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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

What Man Hath Put Asunder, Gorbachev Wants to Reunite

Some people just have that glass-is-half-full kind of outlook on life.


Add Mikhail Gorbachev to that list of eternal optimists. Three years after the breakup of the Soviet state, he still thinks it possible to recreate a union among the former Soviet republics.


"The breakup of the Soviet Union was a mistake that must be corrected," the former Soviet leader said at a press conference Tuesday to promote his new book, "The Union Could Have Been Saved."


This new union, Gorbachev envisions, would not be a replica of the Soviet Union, but a different, multinational confederation, which the former republics would join voluntarily. Just what would prompt them to do this in the ideological vacuum left in the rubble of the Soviet Union he did not make entirely clear, but Gorbachev brushed aside any doubts. "The feeling of unity has been preserved. Everything is still alive and can live," he said.


As the architect of such a union, Gorbachev may in fact be entertaining the prospect of a comeback -- though he skirted reporters' question as to whether he will run for president in the future.


On the concrete nature of his perceived union, as with his own plans, Gorbachev did not get much more specific.


Indeed, as the title of his new book might indicate, he spent more time considering the past. Three years after the fact, Gorbachev is still smarting from the agreement signed in the Belovezh forest between Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus -- the final and fatal blow to the Soviet Union. The former Soviet leader can certainly hold a grudge.


"I cannot recognize and come to terms with the fact that three people gathered and decided to dissolve the Soviet Union," Gorbachev said, calling such a move "intolerable."


On Dec. 9, the third anniversary of the fateful agreement, the Gorbachev Fund will hold a seminar. The theme, reminiscent of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin: "What Is to Be Done?"