How We Betrayed Russia

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Where did all the time go?  Thirty years ago this week the Berlin Wall fell.  Then Soviet chairman Mikhail Gorbachev freed the Baltic states and allowed divided Germany to reunite.  It was a geopolitical earthquake of historic proportions – and a major miracle of our times.

The once mighty Soviet Union had become exhausted by its long military/economic/political struggle to keep up with the much wealthier United States and its rich allies.  Moscow had 40,000 tanks, but its economic infrastructure, crippled by Marxist ideology, was an empty shell.

A senior KGB general in Moscow told me that, a decade earlier, the renowned Soviet physicist Andrei Sakharov had warned the Politburo that failure by Soviet industry to account for deprecation to modernize and replace outdated equipment would provoke a major crisis by 1990.  This is exactly what happened.

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By 1990, Soviet industry was broken down, outdated or rusted away.  The Kremlin could no longer maintain the Soviet welfare state with its free medicine and education, long holidays, vacation spas, early pensions and unaffordable military spending.  Arms alone may have accounted for over 40% of Moscow’s budget.

The Soviet Empire came crashing down after a revolt by East Germans, followed by Baltic peoples and central Europeans.  Secretary Gorbachev, an idealistic leader of high ethics, refused to use the Red Army to crush

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