Tuesday, October 18, 2005

In Memorium, Alexander Yakovlev

"Alexander Yakovlev, a key architect of former President Mikhail Gorbachev's political reforms of perestroika and glasnost that shook the last years of the Soviet Union, died Tuesday, according to a foundation he headed. He was 81....

Yakovlev, who joined the Soviet Communist Party's ruling Politburo in the mid-1980s, was known as the "godfather of glasnost" for spearheading Gorbachev's policy of openness that gradually lifted the heavy hand of the state off the press and individual speech.

That program, and perestroika, which means "restructuring," were keys to Gorbachev's efforts to liberalize society and expose past crimes of the Soviet regime.

Some believe those reforms set in motion the process that led to the Soviet Union's dissolution in 1991."

Vladimir Isachenkov "Architect of Soviet Perestroika Dies" AP via WashingtonPost.com October 18, 2005.

"Good people, remember: we loved life, and our Motherland, and you. We were burnt alive. This is what we want everyone to do: turn your grief and sorrow into the courage and strength that will enable you to insure peace and quiet on Earth. May never again life die in whirlpools of fire!"

Inscription on the Khatyn, Belarus War Memorial. Hundreds of villages were razed to the ground in Belarus, by the Nazis, in 1941-1944. This memorial is located 58 miles northeast of Minsk, and the bronze figure of an elderly man carrying the body of a child is by Selikhanov.

Source: The People's Feat. Monuments of the Great Patriotic War. Compiled and edited by V.A.Golikov. The Publishing House of Political Literature. Moscow. 1984.


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