Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev weighed in on the political crisis in Ukraine and said it occurred because the country’s government did not act democratically.
“Ultimately this is the result of the failure of the government to act democratically” and to engage in dialogue and fight corruption, Gorbachev said during an address at the International Government Communication Forum in the city of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.
He added that the root cause of the unrest in Ukraine was an “interruption of perestroika,” referring to his reform policies, and “an interruption of the democratic process” there.
Ukraine’s parliament passed a resolution on Saturday that ousted President Viktor Yanukovich and set elections on May 25. Independence Square has been home to protesters since November when he turned down a European Union trade deal in favor of a $15 billion bailout from Russia.
On Friday, after Yanukovich signed his own deal with the opposition, he left Kiev for Kharkiv in the east, which is more culturally and historically tied to Russia. The people in west Ukraine do not like Yanukovich because he is backed by Moscow and they view him as Russia President Vladimir Putin’s puppet.
Gorbachev won the 1990 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts and policies that ended the Cold War and ended communism in Russia.