Gorbachev is of the same age as I am. Several days ago I read a post (on a Russian forum) in which he was accused of being responsible for the disintegration of the Soviet Union. In my opinion the country disintegrated spontaneously, after the truth about dark sides of Stalinism became known. Yes, Gorbachev, the leader of the Soviet Communist Party, did contribute to the fall, by promoting the policy of "glasnost," that is by allowing truth to be known. But reforms introduced by the President of the Soviet Union, Yeltsyn, were equally important. The same can be said about Gorbachev's predecessor Khrushchev, about Solzhenitsyn, Shalamow and Pasternak, whose books were allowed to be published, and about authors of many other documents.
Karl Marx would say that focusing on characters of exceptional individuals, such as Lenin, Stalin and Gorbachev, is not sufficient. He would most probably try to identify mistkes made by those who managed the country's economy, focusing on nationalization of means of production, collectivisation of agriculture, and on dealing with some national aspirations.
Ludwik Kowalski, Ludwik Kowalskihttp://csam.montclair.edu/~kowalski/life/intro.html
A Russian author wrote:
"Gorbachev must be put on trial! This diversionary enemy worked for western intelligence services."
"Судить Горбачёва необходимо! Это враг, диверсант который работал на западную разведку!"