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TRAC
Interview Transcript

Paul Pozner     (cont)

Although a lot of people, even up to now, that would say, it would be good if AndropovŃnot the other guys, but Andropov because the other guys was no goodŃthen came the guy...

Interviewer: Chernenko

Pozner: Chernenko, and it was, to my mind, it was a heroic act of Chernenko. Chernenko was very sick by that time. And at that time in the Politburo, there were two groups. One group with Gorbachev, and the other group supporting others. Chernenko won, because he was very close to Brezhnev. He was the guy. And he would say yes, he would be. The problem with him that he knew, he was so sick, with lungs and everything, and the doctor said to him that if you take this job and you do it, you will not live more than one year. I knew it because I knew his son. Otherwise, he may live another five, six years maybe. So he agreed, knowing what heÕs doing, but ChernenkoÕs error this year gave Gorbachev the time to grow, and when Chernenko died, it was also very close, and if the guy from the old guard who gave his voice to Gorbachev and Gorbachev became the leader, otherwise it would be Gromiko or somebody else, but it was very, very, very close.

Interviewer: Do you know Chernenko or his son?

Pozner: Yes.

Interviewer: And so you know about ... Pozner: Yeah, I know about all this stuff. I know it exactly. And so, here came Gorbachev, and Gorbachev just, if you want, he was the person who, in some say, just personal life, what the country wanted. So he went, he took Sakharov out of Gorki, and he started this Perestroika. Perestroika, I donÕt understand this name. Perestroika and glasnost. Glasnost is it possible to say, the truth? To say, hopefully, what you want? Of course, but, okay, letÕs keep this terminology.

The problem is that he was on one part a guy of the old, of the old guard, with all the psychological staff of the old guard, with old guard people around him. On the other hand, he felt that we had to change everything, and he wanted to change. And I believe that that was his problem. Plus, that heÕs a weak guy. HeÕs not a strong guy. He has no guts to make a decision and to go through and to keep it. He go with forth and back, forth and back.

So, his first big mistake was the first congress of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of the new election. Sakharov at that time started to speak. He asked for more than he was given, because he was deaf to the congress. People didnÕt give him to speak; a lot of people didnÕt give him to speak. Gorbachev was influenced by the mass. It was Sakharov; Sakharov said one thing. The Soviet Union was created freely, but it was, as a result of a civil war, and it was not so much freedom. LetÕsŃthe first thing that we have to do is to work on a new agreement between all the Republics of the Soviet Union. If at that time, they would do that and there would be allowed a country with the Russian Republic or the Baltic Republic, inside of the Soviet Union, with a consideration which is a little bit more clear. And that will changed. There will be a new agreement of the Soviet Union. Believe me, Soviet Union would exist up to now, with the Baltic Republics inside.

What happens is that nobody wanted to even listen to that in Ō86. And here started the problem. Like with Germany, Gorby wanted so much to be good with the Germans, with the Westerners, he just gave away Germany. And the Soviets went out of the Germany like they were defeated in World War II. And that was humiliating for the population, for all the people who won the war. ThatÕs true, and it was a humiliation. He could get much more money for a construction of his country, giving back East Germany. He could doŃhe could get a lot of things. He just gave it away. Of course they got some money, they got some debt, but itÕs not to be compared what he could ask for that situation.

And inside, the political leaders in the country, in the countries of the Socialist camp, they had their egos, and they saw the worthlesness of essential power, and they wanted to be stronger. And the easiest way is the national problem, in a national way, a national sense, saying, we Georgians, we would live much better if the Russians wouldnÕt just force us to take debt, forgetting that Georgia also has about 50 nationalities. And so on and so forth. ThatÕs how we want it.  

 

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RAO > Catalgoues > Transcripts > TRAC > Paul Pozner p.8

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