There are two main schools of thought on Gorbachev.
The minority view-Gorbachev was the tool of the CPSU, whose role was to stage a fake destruction of Soviet power, in order to break up the Western alliance and pave the way for a Russian/Chinese final assault on the West.
I remember some years ago interviewing a former member of the NZ Socialist Unity Party who had trained in Moscow in the ’80s at Lenin’s Institute for Higher Learning.
This school trained thousands of foreign communists in subversion and Soviet strategy.
This man was told by one instructor, that Andropov had been chosen by the party hierarchy to lead a stunning “liberation” that would rock the West.
“Unfortunately” Andropov died of kidney disease, so Chernenko the old style hardliner was installed in the top job, while a new man could be groomed.
As soon as he was suitably trained, Gorbachev took over.
Now that China has openly allied with Russia, Gorbachev seems to think it safe to show his true totalitarian colours.
MOSCOW, April 17 (RIA Novosti) – Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, now head of a socioeconomic and political think tank, said opposition marches in Russia only undermined stability in the country.
Opposition protests, March of Dissent, were held in Russia’s two largest cities over the weekend. Rights groups, oppositionists and journalists have accused Russian police of abusing their power in dispersing the unsanctioned opposition demonstrations. A total of 250 and 170 people were detained respectively.
“Somebody wants to complicate the situation in the country and push for instability,” Gorbachev told a RIA Novosti news conference. “We must learn our lesson, and tell those who arouse fear in society that it is unacceptable.”
The first and the last U.S.S.R. president backed President Vladimir Putin, crediting him with the current stability in Russia.
“He has done a lot to turn the country towards modernization, I support Putin,” Gorbachev said.