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Gorbachev relationship with other leaders

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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Oct 2007, 15:55
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Party Member
Post 04 Dec 2012, 00:37
How was Gorbachev viewed in the eyes of other Warsaw Pact leaders at the time (Ceausescu, Honecker, Jaruzelski, Zhikov)?
We have beaten you to the moon, but you have beaten us in sausage making.- Nikita Khrushchev
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 01 Nov 2003, 13:17
Ideology: Other
Forum Commissar
Post 05 Dec 2012, 05:41
I have heard Honecker was not impressed with his reform and liberalisation efforts. Honecker did not want such reforms in the DDR and held on to the old system.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 01 Mar 2011, 14:10
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Komsomol
Post 07 Dec 2012, 21:50
Ceaușescu and Honecker were not liked by Gorbachev (Gorby actually called the latter an "arsehole" back then), since both men refused to implement Soviet reforms and in fact indirectly criticized them. Gorby discussed getting rid of both men behind the scenes with liberal elements of those parties.

The other Warsaw Pact members didn't mind Gorby's reforms as much (many East European economies actually had more thorough "market" systems than the USSR up until Gorby came along) but were not fond of the move towards a multi-party system.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Oct 2004, 22:04
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Resident Soviet
Post 08 Dec 2012, 01:11
I would say that all the leaders in the Eastern Bloc were opposed to Gorbachev by the late 1980s, Jaruzelski possibly excepted. As hardline conservatives, Honecker, Husak, Zhivkov and Ceausescu were the most opposed, and this became obvious by 1988 in all sorts of ways, from the types of language used in relation to the USSR in their nations' periodicals to the personal relations between the leaders. Kadar's stance was probably more supportive of reforms at first, given that Hungarian Goulash socialism was praised by Andropov as one possible source of knowledge for reform ideas, and that Gorbachev was initially considered Andropov's successor in ideological terms. It was only toward 1988 and on that Kadar may have began having doubts, though ideologically he was more of a democratic socialist with conservative elements than a communist. Jaruzelski too seemed to have been in favour of continued economic and political liberalization, since his support for socialism seemed to stem from his belief as a military man that socialism and alliance with the USSR was objectively the best thing for Polish national security, given the country's geographical location. Once the Soviet system began changing, and with it its relations with Eastern Europe, so too did Jaruzelski's conception of what level of reform was acceptable for Poland.

Honecker and Ceausescu were hit the hardest (at least openly). Honecker's case is the most obvious and out in the open, given that he suffered personal political defeat in 1989 as a result of street demonstrations encouraged by Gorbachev's visit to Berlin (late 1989 was the period where Gorbachev seemed to spread counterrevolution everywhere across the communist world that he went). There are also records indicating that Ceausescu was actually undermined in part by the KGB, which actively engaged in helping to steer the counterrevolutionary fervour to the elimination of the regime.
"The thing about capitalism is that it sounds awful on paper and is horrendous in practice. Communism sounds wonderful on paper and when it was put into practice it was done pretty well for what they had to work with." -MiG
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Oct 2007, 15:55
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Post 09 Dec 2012, 03:01
Seeing as Ceausescu and Gorbachev were polar opposites, do you think Gorby would have sent in troops to remove him if he hadn't been removed by Illescu? Also was there any connection between Gorbachev and Illescu?
We have beaten you to the moon, but you have beaten us in sausage making.- Nikita Khrushchev
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Oct 2004, 22:04
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Resident Soviet
Post 09 Dec 2012, 03:26
I don't think Gorbachev would have sent troops, although there are sources in the Romanian wiki Talk page indicating that Illescu had requested Soviet military assistance in the first days of the counterrevolution, to which Gorbachev replied in a non-committal way. At the time NATO was not so willing to rush into imperial campaigns abroad (the balance of power system was still ingrained in their heads), but if they had formulated some sort of military response ala Yugoslavia Gorbachev would probably have supported them, and if he resisted he would do so only through mild protests.

With regard to Gorbachev and Illescu, I'm not sure if you were hinting at this, but there are rumours that the two men might have known each other from university, as Illescu studied at the Moscow State University at the same time that Gorbachev was there. There have even been allegations over the years that Illescu was a KGB agent, made both by Romanian journalists and by former Soviet KGB officers. Anyway, after the overthrow and murder of Ceausescu, Gorbachev publicly praised the rise of the new regime, which he believed to have the characteristics of a socialist regime moving to a social democracy.
"The thing about capitalism is that it sounds awful on paper and is horrendous in practice. Communism sounds wonderful on paper and when it was put into practice it was done pretty well for what they had to work with." -MiG
Soviet cogitations: 1533
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Oct 2007, 15:55
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Party Member
Post 09 Dec 2012, 03:50
soviet78 wrote:
With regard to Gorbachev and Illescu, I'm not sure if you were hinting at this, but there are rumours that the two men might have known each other from university, as Illescu studied at the Moscow State University at the same time that Gorbachev was there.


Very interesting! I didn't know that there was a rumor connecting the two. Figured that while Gorbachev sought bourgeois reform and Ilescu was a turncoat turned reformer, the two would have expressed some solidarity with one another.
We have beaten you to the moon, but you have beaten us in sausage making.- Nikita Khrushchev
Soviet cogitations: 726
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 01 Mar 2011, 14:10
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Komsomol
Post 09 Dec 2012, 22:49
soviet78 wrote:
Jaruzelski too seemed to have been in favour of continued economic and political liberalization, since his support for socialism seemed to stem from his belief as a military man that socialism and alliance with the USSR was objectively the best thing for Polish national security, given the country's geographical location. Once the Soviet system began changing, and with it its relations with Eastern Europe, so too did Jaruzelski's conception of what level of reform was acceptable for Poland.
There is a post-1991 interview I have where Jaruzelski does praise Gorbachev and says that Honecker, for instance, was a "dogmatist."
lev
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 02 Jan 2016, 14:43
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Komsomol
Post 04 Jan 2016, 01:10
Just call it subversion by a degenerate capitalist tool. You do not have to explain it to a layman.
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