November 28, 2022

Mikhail Gorbachev Didn’t Mince Words When It Came To His Opinion Of Donald Trump

Throughout its history, the USSR had many different leaders, some who were more impactful than others. Mikhail Gorbachev was both an impactful and a different type of Soviet leader. Gorbachev died on August 20, 2022 and was the last living leader of the former Soviet Union. As Reuters states, Gorbachev’s political life was rife with both controversies and oddities. Gorbachev oversaw the fall of the Soviet Union, which was already significantly weakened by his domestic policymaking. Gorbachev brought an end to the Cold War, made numerous partnerships with the USSR’s western opponents, including President Ronald Reagan, and helped push forth Germany’s reunification. 

Much to the entertainment of many, Gorbachev also took part in advertisements for various brands. One of the more notable of these is a Pizza Hut ad from 1998 that he was featured in. He also had a modeling partnership with Louis Vuitton, as Newsweek explains. Alongside his marketing antics, he also didn’t hold back barbs when criticizing other politicians, particularly Donald Trump. According to CNBC, in 2018, Gorbachev actually gave negative commentary regarding Trump’s intelligence over his decision to withdraw the United States from an international treaty that called for the disarmament of nuclear weapons. 

Who was Mikhail Gorbachev

Like many other countries, the Soviet Union had a complicated history. As Britannica states, the USSR’s earliest roots were rife with civil war, bloodshed, and revolution. Much of Russia’s modern development came after the Russian Revolution, as the Bolshevik leadership under Lenin transformed the country into an industrial powerhouse. The USSR would eventually become a nuclear superpower, setting the stage for the Cold War against the United States. The man responsible for ending the Cold War and helping to bridge Russia and the West together was Mikhail Gorbachev. 

As Reuters reports, Gorbachev saw the collapse of the USSR under his leadership. He became General Secretary of the Communist Party in 1985, then president in 1990, leading to numerous reforms. The same year he was named president, Gorbachev was also the recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize and would receive many more honors for his humanitarian efforts (per The Gorbachev Foundation). He left behind a complicated legacy as the last living leader of the Soviet Union and as someone with his critics and unlikely admirers.

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Mikhail Gorbachev thought very little of Donald Trump

Many controversies surrounding President Trump and his administration are highly publicized. As The Atlantic reports that the businessman and former president has a laundry list of scandals, such as sexual assault, racism, and fraud. However, one of Trump’s more controversial moves during his presidency was his decision to withdraw the United States from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. As the BBC states, the withdrawal happened formally on August 2, 2019, and was subject to criticism. The treaty, signed by Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan in 1987, forbids either country from deploying intermediate-range (310-3,400 miles) nuclear, ballistic, and cruise missiles (per the Arms Control Association). 

Gorbachev was one of the observers who had a few choice words for the U.S. president. As stated by CNBC, Gorbachev criticized the withdrawal, adding that the move was ” … not the work of a great mind.” The move was seen by many officials as an escalation of tensions between the U.S. and Russia, evoking memories of the Cold War. However, Gorbachev’s comment was one of the more direct statements made over the withdrawal.