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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Gorbachev Urges Union, Behind Him

Mikhail Gorbachev warned Grigory Yavlinsky and Russia's other democratic leaders Sunday that they would be making a mistake if they unite in support of President Boris Yeltsin. He argued instead that they would be better off uniting behind him.

Speaking at a press conference in which he outlined the political platform for his presidential campaign, the former Soviet president gave his views on proposals for a democratic alliance behind Yeltsin by "Third Force" centrist candidates such as Yavlinsky, retired general Alexander Lebed and eye surgeon Svyatoslav Fyodorov.

Referring to the Third Force candidates as his "friends," Gorbachev said, "If Yavlinsky and other friends of the former Soviet president fall into the trap set by President Yeltsin and his team, it would mean political death for them and a tragic loss for Russia."

That tragic loss, Gorbachev said, might include depriving the electorate of the chance to vote him into office.

"Gorbachev naturally is in the minds of the electorate," he said, referring to himself in the third person. "They believe that Gorbachev as the most experienced man should be the one to form this alliance. He should open the road for new generations of politicians in the future."

The platform presented at the press conference detailed Gorbachev's solutions to what, in his view, are the 10 most important problems facing Russia today, beginning with Chechnya and ending with integration of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

However, Gorbachev spent very little time discussing his policies, devoting most of his words to blasting the media for what he termed biased coverage against his campaign. Gorbachev throughout his campaign has been at odds with the press, criticizing them for failing to give his campaign more coverage and for not taking him more seriously. Polls, however, show he has the support of less than 2 percent of voters.