Updated at 17:58,12-04-2021

Gorbachev explained why he did not arrest Shushkevich, Yeltsin and Kravchuk

TASS / Belsat

Gorbachev explained why he did not arrest Shushkevich, Yeltsin and Kravchuk
The first president of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev gave an interview on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Soviet Union.

Gorbachev said that the new Union State may appear within the former Soviet Union.

“I believe that a new union can appear– in the old borders and with the same composition, voluntarily,” said the politician. At the same time, he stressed that he does not relieve himself of the “share of responsibility” for the collapse of the Soviet Union, even though he defended the USSR “to the end”.

Mikhail Gorbachev explained why he did not try to arrest the president of Russia Boris Yeltsin, leader of Belarus Stanislau Shushkevich and leader of Ukraine Leonid Kravchuk. Ex-president of the USSR suggested that the arrest of Republican leaders could lead to civil war.

“I think it smelled like a civil war. This was dangerous. I acted differently — I gave up the power, I resigned to avoid bloodshed,” Gorbachev said.

According to the former Soviet leader, the factors that prompted the collapse of the Soviet Union included the coup in August 1991, and especially the nature of the first Russian President Boris Yeltsin peronality.

“I think that the most serious, large-scale consequences appeared after the Emergency Committee meeting,” said Gorbachev, adding that “it was necessary to break away from this pack” (the highest Soviet bureaucracy that created the State Emergency Committee and tried to remove Gorbachev from power in August 1991 year).

Gorbachev also claims to have seen manifestation of the “ambition” of Boris Yeltsin, when he was party leader. “He was very upset and was very unhappy, hence all his protests due to him not being a member of the Politburo …” said the former Soviet leader, who also headed the CPSU. According to him, Yeltsin simply “did not understand that his role is important, but he began to fight with the Union center”.

On December 8, 1991 the leaders of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, Boris Yeltsin, Leonid Kravchuk and Stanislav Shushkevich signed the Bialowieza documents, that stopped the existence of the Soviet Union, it also proclaimed the establishment of the Commonwealth of Independent States. On December 25, 1991 Mikhail Gorbachev announced his resignation as President of the USSR.