Like a bear betwixt new fish and old honey, the Kremlin is torn between decrying the fall of the Soviet Union and the since besmirched reality that without his extraordinary intervention, Russia would not exist.
Satisfied that the opening paragraph somehow demonises Russia in a way which means the rest of these words will continue to do so, lazy decadent Westerners have elected to read no further. But those whose hearts lie in comradeship and whose minds are driven by reason will know that without Mikhail Gorbachev, the rise of warmongering Generals in East and West, multiplied by the proliferation of nuclear weapons, would have led to mutually assured destruction as surely as a Mk 1 Lada would start on a frozen Ural morning.
Whether by the choice of irrational men with no vision for a third way, or the unintentional error of the infinitely fallible, America would not exist either. Therefore Americans owe their lives not to the oddly heroic gunslinger Ronald Reagan, but to a mind wise enough to think for them both.
And what of the yapping British lapdog, so delusional as to still believe that its 'greatness' would have somehow overcome the annihilation of the fragile biosphere in which it barely survives alongside all others? Margaret Thatcher said of Gorbachev, 'We can do business together.' Vacuous rhetoric with no tangible meaning further than a preparedness to go to the toilet beside him, perhaps?
Even the humble satirist must recognise that without the actions of one extraordinary human, this life would be nought but dust long blown away, these words never to materialise.
Thank you, Mikhail. For everything. Except these unworthy lines.