It could have been a civil war: Gorbachev

Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the hard-line coup said that he knew about the coup being prepared but he thought it was more important to avoid bloodshed and especially a civil war.

The attempted coup on August 19, 1991, by Communist hardliners led to the break-up of the Soviet Union.

“The most important thing was not to bring [the coup] to bloodshed … and we escaped [the bloodshed]. It could have been a civil war,” Gorbachev said at a news conference on Wednesday.

He believes that problems within the Communist Party led to the coup. The Communist Party had become a wrench in development of the country and had to be reformed. According to Gorbachev, it was necessary to democratize the Soviet Union but not destroy it.

Gorbachev also said that Russia now needs to follow the path of integration processes, such as a single economic space on the basis of Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan.

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