Gorbachev claims that the path to the political sovereignty of the republics (economic independence, the preservation of identity, the development of culture) lay through the renewal of the Union. The new Union was to become a democratic, real and effective federation, to which the republics themselves delegated part of their powers. The decisive step in this direction was to be the signing of a new Union Treaty. However, the coup derailed this event. He writes that in his post he fought to the end for the existence of the USSR.
I fought, I want to emphasize this, political by means, tried to convince citizens and my colleagues - the leaders of the republics of their innocence. And today I believe that the integrity of the country could be maintained, that the new Union would meet the interests of all. But the coup weakened my position
- said in the book.
The leadership of the largest republic within the USSR — Russia, headed by Boris Yeltsin — has taken the path of disintegration. The line of dismemberment of the country and separation of state prevailed
- wrote Gorbachev.
Gorbachev writes that there is nothing surprising in the fact that most Russians still regret the collapse of the USSR, and call the last decade of the twentieth century the most difficult period in their lives. At the same time, Gorbachev is convinced that perestroika and glasnost have won. They changed the minds of people. Now people live in a different coordinate system.
And so I think: maybe, as a politician, I lost, self-confidence failed me, I did not see a double danger - from hot heads, impatient radicals and from reactionaries in my own circle. But perestroika won. No return to the past
- emphasized Gorbachev.
Gorbachev is convinced that the future of Russia lies in democracy. Then he urged to remember that Russia had a difficult history, it had 250 years of the “Mongol yoke”, serfdom and Stalinist repressions.
People were taught that they were treated like slaves. And when this ended, in the 90s they had to endure the chaos and arbitrariness that presented them as democracy. Our people should learn from their past - what needs to be rejected and what can be accepted. It takes time. But Russia can have only one future: democracy
- sure Gorbachev.
Gorbachev believes that Russia has all the necessary opportunities and resources for the economic leap forward, as well as the potential to attract new foreign partners. He specified that the first decade of the XNUMXst century brought millions of Russians a significant improvement in living standards and increased their real incomes. In addition, he called the decision to expand NATO - the biggest strategic mistake of the West.