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19 August 2023

Gorbachev through the Eyes of the Kyrgyz People: A Study of Oral History

History Studies. International Journal of History
Gorbachev through the Eyes of the Kyrgyz People: A Study of Oral History

Mikhail Gorbachev initiated reforms called glasnost and perestroika in the USSR, in 1986, and made radical steps with great hopes in order to enhance the efficiency and productivity of the Union. Gorbachev´s reforms were greeted with enthusiasm in the world, and he obtained an immense popularity. Even after his presidency his popularity remained as one of the most celebrated historical figures of the USSR outside of the post-USSR countries — including Turkey — for long years. The reforms introduced by Gorbachev resulted in the dissolution of the Union and even in the termination of the USSR as an unintended consequence for the rulers. Thus Kyrgyzstan acquired its independence. This study aims to present, how in Kyrgyzstan Gorbachev is being perceived, who unintentionally opened the road to its independence. The data has been collected through a study of oral history conducted with 48 correspondents over 50 years of age during the independence and had lived in the USSR. The data demonstrated that vast majority of this generation perceives Gorbachev very negatively because of his role in the dissolution of the USSR, instead of respecting him as a person, who had enabled Kyrgyzstan´s independence.

Source: Gökçe Yoğurtçu, Yunus Emre Gürbüz (2020). Gorbachev through the Eyes of the Kyrgyz People: A Study of Oral History. History Studies. International Journal of History. Vol.12. Is.3: 961-979

Source web-site: https://www.historystudies.net/dergi/kirgiz-halkinin-gozunden-gorbacov-bir-sozlu-tarih-calismasi2020065fec1ef.pdf

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