Lawmakers want Gorbachev investigated over Soviet Union collapse

10 April 2014 15:24

Russian State Duma lawmakers have asked for an investigation to be opened against former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev for his role in the 1991 collapse of the U.S.S.R., Moscow Times reports.

The lawmakers say the then Soviet leadership — headed by Gorbachev — acted illegally to bring about the collapse, despite more than 77 percent of voters casting ballots in March 1991 in favor of preserving the Soviet Union.

They also say that recent political protests in Ukraine, which brought a new government to power, call for a review of the Soviet collapse.

"We are still reaping the consequences of the events of 1991," said Mikhail Degtaryov of the Liberal Democratic Party. "People in Kiev are dying and will continue to die at the fault of those who many years ago at the Kremlin made a decision to break up the country."

Note: Ukraine declared its independence from the Soviet Union in August 1991, shortly after hardline communists attempted a coup in Moscow against then-President Gorbachev.

A formal agreement to break up the Soviet Union was signed three months later by the leaders of the Soviet republics of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus at a meeting in which Gorbachev did not take part.