At the Valdai Forum held in Sochi, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that "the collapse of the USSR is the greatest humanitarian catastrophe." At the same time, he noted that “at the basis of the collapse of the USSR, there were internal causes. The failure of the political and economic system of the former Soviet Union was the basis of the collapse of the state. Who contributed to this is another matter. I do not think that our geopolitical opponents stood by. ”
The opponent was the former US ambassador to Moscow, Jack Matlock (1987 – 1991), who denied external influence and called Boris Yeltsin and the forces behind him the main driving force behind the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The USSR disappeared from the map of the world by no means as a result of reforms or as a result of complicated diplomatic negotiations and conspiracies. Just because of all the circumstances, he could no longer exist. However, its collapse cannot be considered outside the context of American politics. Former chairman of the KGB of the USSR, member of the Politburo of the CPSU Central Committee, Vladimir Kryuchkov, in his memoirs, notes that it was during the period in which Ronald Reagan was in power in the United States that destructive processes developed in the Soviet Union. At the same time, he observes that it can hardly be said that it was the policy of the United States that was decisive: “But the fact that its creators and performers did not stand aside is historical fact".
DOCTRINE GORBACHEVA AND THE “END OF HISTORY”
Turning to history, in December 1988, a significant event occurred. Mikhail Gorbachev, addressing the UN General Assembly, proclaimed the end of the Cold War and announced a number of proposals for world reforms and steps towards disarmament. In particular, he said the following: “Threats can no longer ... be an instrument of foreign policy. First of all it concerns the nuclear weapons... I would like to talk about the main thing - about disarmament, without which it is impossible to solve a single problem of the coming century ... The USSR decided to reduce its armed forces ... by 500 thousand people ... we decided to withdraw six tank divisions from the GDR, Czechoslovakia and Hungary and disband them ... Soviet troops in these countries will be reduced by 50 thousand people, and 5 thousand tanks will be removed from service. "
The New York Times called Gorbachev's unexpected hourly speech the greatest act of the statesman since Woodn Wilson’s 14 points in 1918 and Roosevelt and Churchill’s Atlantic Charter in 1941 — a complete restructuring of international politics. "He promised to take action unilaterally," noted the New York Times. - Incredible. It's risky. Bravely. Naively. Awesome. Heroically ... his ideas deserve - and in fact they require the most serious response from the newly elected President Bush and other leaders. "
It is noteworthy that before his speech at the UN General Assembly, Gorbachev turned to Reagan and Bush Sr. for support in arms control and withdrawal. However, the American side reacted to his proposals with considerable skepticism. Earlier, at the Moscow summit in May 1988, Gorbachev suggested that Reagan sign a joint declaration on peaceful coexistence and the rejection of military intervention in the internal affairs of other states. Reagan rejected these proposals. The Americans called the course conducted by Gorbachev the doctrine of non-intervention.
Ultimately, this approach only gave Washington a carte blanche regarding its policies in the third world countries. The United States continued to stir up Islamic radicalism. Many American-backed jihadists who fought against the Soviets in Afghanistan joined the Islamic movements in Chechnya, Bosnia, Algeria, Iraq, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Kashmir, and many other regions. Inter-ethnic and tribal conflicts erupted in Africa and the Balkans. In September, 1990, Michael Mendelmbaum, who led the study of the problems of East and West in the Council on Foreign Relations, declared: “The Soviets ... made it possible to end the Cold War, which means that for the first time in 40 years we can conduct military operations in the Middle East Third World. Soon the US will verify this statement.
Gorbachev considered restructuring the beginning of a new era (the policy of new thinking), but apologists of American politics saw in it the main evidence of the victory of the capitalist West after decades of the Cold War. Peter Schweitzer, author of the book “Victory. The role of the secret US strategy in the collapse of the Soviet Union "emphasized:" Most of the literature on American politics and the end of the Cold War ... is devoted almost exclusively to the finer points of diplomacy. This approach speaks more about the authors of these books than about the Reagan administration. Reagan himself did not at all consider that the agreement on arms control or international treaties could measure the success of his foreign policy. He didn’t spend much time on most arms race control agreements; he saw the battle between East and West as a great battle between Good and Evil. ”
He is echoed by Oliver Stone and Peter Kuzik, the authors of the book The Untold Story of the USA: “But what was the legacy of Reagan? One of the most ignorant and indifferent heads of state in US history, he helped revive the ideas of far-right anti-communism that led to the militarization of American foreign policy and the resumption of the Cold War ... declaring adherence to the ideals of democracy, and at the same time arming and supporting repressive dictators. He turned local and regional conflicts in the Middle East and Latin America into the battlefields of the Cold War, as a result of which terror reigned there, and popular movements were suppressed. He spent a lot of money on military spending, cutting social programs for the poorest segments of the population. He drastically cut taxes for the rich, tripling the national debt of the United States and turning the country from a world lender in 1981 to the largest borrower in 1985 ... He missed a chance to rid the world of offensive nuclear weapons ... Therefore, despite all the praise that he gave to the cold the war, the lion’s share of merit in this business ... belonged to his Soviet counterpart Mikhail Gorbachev. "
From the point of view of Henry Kissinger, described by him in the monograph “Diplomacy”, “both Reagan and Gorbachev believed in the victory of their own side. However, there was a significant difference between these unexpected partners. Reagan understood what forces were driving his society, while Gorbachev completely lost contact with them ... Gorbachev sharply accelerated the death of the system he represented, calling for reforms that he was not capable of. ”
By the summer of 1991, the United States CIA and RUMO submitted to the president a report on the state of the Soviet economy. It noted, in particular, that “six years after the USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev began to pursue a policy of reforms that became known as perestroika, the Soviet economy was in crisis. Product output is declining at an ever-increasing rate, inflation threatens to spiral out of control, interregional trade ties are broken, and the center and the republics are embroiled in a fierce political struggle for the future of the entire multi-ethnic state. ” Vladimir Kryuchkov in his book "The Personal File" writes that, in general, the CIA correctly assessed the course and results of the restructuring in the USSR. As he recalls, in 1990, Robert Gates (director of the CIA in 1991 – 1993) visited Moscow. During the meeting, he directly asked if Kryuchkov wanted to know the CIA’s point of view on what would happen to the Soviet Union in 2000, the beginning of the next century. From his words one could understand that he doubted whether the USSR would remain by that time. At the same time, he expressed his intention to transfer the corresponding analytical forecast to the CIA. But the document was never transmitted.
Zbigniew Brzezinski in his book “The Great Chessboard” vividly described the beginning of the era of America’s domination as “the first, the only and the last truly world superpower”, and with it came the “end of history”. This topic was most clearly expressed in an article by the American political analyst Francis Fukuyama, published in 1989 in the National Interest magazine entitled “The End of History”. It proceeds from the postulate that “the end of history” means that there will be no more progress in the development of principles and institutions of social organization, since all major issues will be resolved. ” Fukuyama believes that the world reached such a state at the end of the 20th century: “What we are probably witnesses to is not just the end of the Cold War or another period of post-war history, but the end of history as such, the end of the ideological evolution of humanity and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of government. " The main thing is that world communism was defeated - spiritual and material - and there were no forces left on earth capable of challenging the liberal democracies led by the United States of America.
CARE OF THE USSR FROM EASTERN EUROPE
“The Gorbachev Doctrine,” which he announced at the UN, writes Valentin Falin (head of the international department of the Central Committee of the CPSU in 1989 – 1991), meant: “The USSR is leaving Central and Eastern Europe.” The result of the implementation of the “Gorbachev Doctrine” was, in the words of the famous historian Anatoly Utkin, “the flight from Europe”.
The countries of Eastern Europe since the end of the Second World War have been the main priority of the foreign policy of the Soviet Union. A new approach towards its allies was outlined at the first meeting of Gorbachev with the top leaders of the Warsaw Pact countries, held after the funeral of Konstantin Chernenko. In his speech, he said: “... we are for equal relations, respect for the sovereignty and independence of each country, mutually beneficial cooperation in all spheres. Recognition of these principles means at the same time the full responsibility of each party for the situation in their own country. ” Alexander Yakovlev was sent to clarify the Soviet position after the April Plenum of the Central Committee of the CPSU. He writes: “Mikhail Sergeyevich specifically sent me to go round all the leaders of the socialist camp and explain ... From now on, they had to rely on themselves and build their lives as they see fit.”
Professor of St. Petersburg State University Matvey Polynov in the article “The Gorbachev Doctrine and the Soviet Union’s withdrawal from Eastern Europe” emphasizes that, unlike the Soviet policy of non-intervention, the American policy was exactly the opposite: drive a wedge between the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies, gradually oust the ruling parties and facilitate the arrival to the power of pro-Western opposition forces. In the spring of 1988, a seminar of the “American Intellectual Elite” was held with the participation of Henry Kissinger and Gene Kirkpatrick, at which subversive plans regarding the socialist countries were discussed and, above all, they talked about stimulating opposition camps. There is ample evidence that during the 1989 events of the year, American ambassadors in Warsaw, Budapest and Prague played a very active role. There was a lot of material and propaganda support for Solidarity in Poland, other protest movements and dissident circles.
16 January 1989 arrived in Moscow by the personal representative of the American President Kissinger, who was supposed to understand how far the Soviet leadership was ready to go in defense of their interests in Eastern Europe. On the same day, he met with a member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the CPSU, A.N. Yakovlev and in a conversation with him demanded that the Soviet Union not interfere with the development of events in Eastern Europe. In exchange, Kissinger guaranteed the development of normal US relations with the USSR. Otherwise - the aggravation of the US-Soviet relations. The next day he was received by Gorbachev. The assessments of this meeting, given by different scientists and diplomats, practically coincide. Karen Brutents, who at that time worked in the international department of the Central Committee of the CPSU, notes: “Back in January 1989, he visited Moscow and met with Gorbachev Henry Kissinger. In fact, he proposed a deal, the meaning of which was as follows: we will expand political contacts with you, help ease the burden of military spending, as well as other “ways”, but in exchange for changes in Eastern Europe. In fact, by offering himself as a mediator, he put forward the idea that Bush and Gorbachev agree on joint actions to liberalize the situation in Eastern Europe based on the US commitment not to act against the legitimate security interests of the Soviet Union. ”
On his visit to the USSR, Kissinger presented a detailed report to the White House, in which he noted: “... Gorbachev's perestroika is stalling, and the Soviet leader is looking for success in the field of foreign policy. Gorbachev is willing to pay a reasonable price for it. " 12 February 1989, after Kissinger’s visit to Moscow, in the White House, George Bush convened a meeting at which an analysis was made of the internal situation in the USSR and the problems of its foreign policy. The conclusion was that the Soviet leader agreed to changes in Eastern Europe and that these changes would themselves lead to the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The Soviet leadership, headed by Gorbachev, as if not noticing the US policy towards the allies of the USSR, continued to pursue its previously chosen course. During his visit to Helsinki on 25 – 27 in October 1989, Gorbachev publicly stated that the Soviet Union “has neither moral nor political right to interfere in the events of Eastern Europe,” and added: “We presume that others will not interfere” .
At the 2 – 3 Maltese Summit in December 1989, which included events in Eastern Europe, Gorbachev reassured Bush Sr. that the USSR would not interfere in Eastern European affairs: “We are for peaceful change, we don’t want intervention and not intervene in future processes. Let the people themselves, without outside intervention, decide how they should be. ”
George Bush (and in fact, the whole West), having received such guarantees, continued to contribute to the opposition anti-Soviet forces to destroy the socialist regimes of these countries.
It would be wrong to link the causes of the events that took place only with the influence of an external factor - the position of Moscow and Washington in this region. These events had serious internal reasons. All countries in the region are in a position of socio-economic crisis. As a result, in 1989, the socialist regimes were eliminated in all countries that were military and political allies of the USSR, and forces oriented toward the West came to power.
Doctrine of Reygan
The tragic fate of the Soviet Union was forged under sweet speeches and fervent laughter. Reuters Photos
The Reagan Doctrine was aimed at assisting movements from anti-Communist positions in the third world countries. 8 March 1983 in his speech about the notorious “evil empire” Reagan said: “I believe that communism is another sad and strange section of human history, the last page of which is being written now.”
At the beginning of 1982, the Reagan administration began to develop a strategy based on attacking the main, weakest points of the political and economic Soviet system. “For these purposes,” recalls then-Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, “a broad strategy was adopted, including also an economic war. It was a super secret operation conducted in cooperation with the allies, as well as using other means. ”
The goals and means of this attack on the Soviet bloc and the USSR were plotted in a series of secret national security directives (NSDDs) signed by President Reagan in 1982 – 1983, official documents of the president sent to advisers and departments dealing with key foreign policy issues. These directives in many ways meant giving up the policy that America had recently been pursuing. NSDD-32, signed in March 1982, recommended the "neutralization" of Soviet influence in Eastern Europe and the use of covert measures and other methods of supporting anti-Soviet organizations in the region. NSDD-1982, adopted by Reagan in November 66, in turn, declared that the goal of the United States policy was to undermine the Soviet economy by attacking its "strategic triad", that is, the basic foundations of the Soviet national economy. Some of these directives had as their goal the pursuit of an offensive policy by America, which should result in the weakening of Soviet power, as well as economic warfare, or a war for resources.
The strategy was created and began to be implemented at the very beginning of Reagan's work as president. It was directed against the core of the Soviet system and contained: secret financial, intelligence and political assistance to the Solidarity movement in Poland, which ensured that the opposition remained at the center of the “Soviet empire”; significant military and financial assistance to the resistance movement in Afghanistan, as well as the supply of weapons for the Mujahideen, enabling them to extend the war to the territory of the USSR; campaigns to sharply reduce the inflow of foreign currency to the Soviet Union as a result of lower oil prices in cooperation with Saudi Arabia, as well as restricting the export of Soviet natural gas to the West; comprehensive and elaborate psychological warfare, aimed at sowing fear and uncertainty among the Soviet leadership; comprehensive global actions with the use of secret diplomacy in order to limit the access of the Soviet Union to Western technologies; widely organized technical misinformation in order to destroy the Soviet economy; the growth of the arms race and maintaining them at a high technical level, which was supposed to undermine the Soviet economy and aggravate the crisis of resources,
In connection with the decision taken to support Solidarity in Poland, the president ordered the National Security Council (SNB) to draw up documents outlining American targets in Eastern Europe. As noted by the performers themselves, the prepared document was very radical. “As a result, we found the Yalta Conference invalid,” recalls Edwin Meese, a former member of the National Security Council.
“NSDD-32 prescribed a more proactive stance and broke with the past,” recalls William Clark (adviser to the US president on national security in 1982 – 1983). - Ronald Reagan clearly stated the position of the United States, which did not agree with the Soviet dominance in Eastern Europe. We sought to create a large-scale strategy aimed at weakening Soviet influence, as well as strengthening the internal forces fighting for freedom in this region. In comparison with countries such as Bulgaria, Romania and Czechoslovakia, Poland created a unique opportunity to resist the regime. This does not mean that in other countries we did not look for opportunities either to openly or secretly weaken the influence of Moscow. ”
The US embargo on the construction of the USSR gas pipeline was assessed in Europe as a declaration of economic war against the Soviet Union. However, Western Europe continued to trade with the Kremlin. President Reagan insisted that the United States take a decisive stance that tends European allies to cut off Moscow from new gas and oil production technologies. The Americans proposed, in the light of current events, the introduction of three changes to the Coordinating Committee on Export Controls (COCOM). COCOM was created in 1949 year to unite the views of the West on technology trading with the social camp.
First, the United States wanted to further emphasize the ban on the sale of strategic technologies of the USSR, including the latest computers and electronic equipment, semiconductors and technology of metallurgical processes. In addition, they wanted to limit the construction of Western industrial enterprises in the Soviet block.
Secondly, the United States proposed that all contracts with the Soviet bloc in the amount of 100 million or more be automatically submitted for approval to COCOM in order to avoid the possible transfer of secret technologies. This, in fact, would give Washington the right of veto with all European trade agreements with Moscow.
The third proposal was the first since the emergence of COCOM, an attempt to embrace as many technologies and goods as possible. The United States sought to create a special closed list of goods. France and England agreed to join the American proposals, but West Germany did not show any desire.
At the NATO meeting on the issue of sanctions for the construction of the gas pipeline, the foreign ministers took a middle position. They agreed that Europe would participate in the gas pipeline construction project, however, without violating the US sanctions. In other words, terminated contracts of Americans will not be concluded by European firms. European foreign ministers assumed that the Reagan administration would not really seek compliance with this agreement and that this is a dubious success that will remain only on paper and will satisfy the Americans. But everything turned out just the opposite.
The United States also directed efforts towards achieving another important goal — to tighten the credit loop around the USSR. Western Europe not only gave Moscow big loans, but in addition did it below the market rate. Interest on loan subsidies was very low for the Kremlin. The French government financed part of the enterprise for the construction of a gas pipeline while prorating 7,8%, or less than half of what the USSR would have paid at current market rates.
In general, it can be stated that the Reagan administration did not provoke a crisis of the Soviet system, but only seriously aggravated it.
SIGNS OF THE BEGINNING OF A NEW COLD WAR
The period of uncertainty in relations between Russia and the West, when the parties did not see each other neither friends nor enemies, ended. The crisis in Ukraine has led the parties to cross the red line and enter into relations that are not mitigated by the ambiguity characteristic of the last years after the collapse of the USSR and the elimination of ideological "isms." In May 2014, Alexander Vershbow, Deputy Secretary General of NATO, said that NATO was forced to begin to consider Russia "more an enemy than a partner."
In his speech at the 70 th, anniversary, session of the UN General Assembly regarding the sanctions imposed by Washington and its allies, President Barack Obama noted that "this is not a desire to return to the Cold War." At the same time, many politicians and commentators in the United States believe that the new cold war has, in fact, already begun.
First of all, the sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies are aimed at limiting and depleting resources for the development of Russia. As before, campaigns are being conducted to sharply reduce the flow of foreign currency to Russia as a result of maintaining low oil prices, as well as restricting the export of natural gas to the West. The credit loop around Russia is also delayed. Terminated military technical cooperation. Prohibited the export of dual-use products and goods related to weapons. In fact, the COCOM rules have been renewed, providing for a ban on the transfer of technology and goods to strategic sectors of the Russian economy. Thus, they are striving to weaken the economic and military power of modern Russia and reduce its political influence in the world as a world power.
The legal regulation of the sanctions imposed by the US administration is carried out on the basis of the provisions of the US Public Law of April 3 of 2014 of the year “On support of sovereignty, integrity, democracy and economic stability in Ukraine”. In its development, the executive orders of the President of the United States on blocking the property of persons contributing to the situation in Ukraine have been adopted.
The documents are based on “targeted” sanctions against any individuals and legal entities entered by the Ministry of Finance in coordination with the State Department in the list of “Specially designated persons” and “Identification list of sectoral sanctions”. Their implementation is carried out through the following basic mechanisms: the freezing of all assets under American jurisdiction; a ban on transactions (through loans, credit guarantees, etc.) and on any type of business activity with specified entities; ban on entering the United States.
For the first time, Americans used the so-called sectoral order, which specified a list of sectors of the Russian economy: finance, metallurgy, energy, mining, engineering, the military-industrial complex, against which enterprises sanctions can be used. The specially developed by the Ministry of Finance "Identification list of sectoral sanctions" included mainly banks and concerns of the fuel and energy complex.
In March, 2015, the US president extended the sanctions by one year. The US State Department at the same time noted that the issue of lifting the sanctions will be considered only after the implementation of the Minsk agreements on Ukraine. The issue of extending European sanctions will be resolved at the EU Summit 17 – 18 December 2015.
An important feature of the confrontation is that if the epicenter of the first cold war was in the heart of Europe, now, as a result of NATO’s expansion in Eastern Europe, it has moved to a dangerous proximity to the borders of Russia. Today, the US and NATO are consolidating at this key outpost, deploying their military bases there, including the means of the global missile defense system. The outbreak of the Ukrainian crisis was a catalyst to accelerate the process of reviving the confrontation between the West and Russia. It must be noted that the actions taken by the countries members of the North Atlantic Alliance lead to the accumulation of a critical mass of hostility between NATO and Russia. This, apparently, manifested itself in the incident with the downed Russian Su-24 bomber in Syria by the F-16 fighter of the Turkish Air Force.
The honorary professor at Columbia University, Robert Legvold, moderator of the Valdai Forum, in the article “How to cope with the new cold war” in 4, wrote: “You should not call the current confrontation between Russia and the West a new cold war. In the end, the current crisis is hardly comparable in depth and scope with the fact that it defined the system of international relations in the second half of the 20th century. The suggestion that Russia and the West are again doomed to such a confrontation may induce politicians to choose the wrong and even dangerous strategy. Using a shortcut is a serious matter.
At the same time, it is important to call a spade a spade, and the collapse of relations between the West and Russia really deserves to be called a new cold war. The cruel reality is that, regardless of the outcome of the crisis in Ukraine, communications will not return to normal business as it was after the 2008 war of the year between Russia and Georgia. ”