This was spreading around Twitter and I hadn’t seen it in awhile. It really does have a claim to be the most bizarre and amazing advertisement in television history.
By the late 90s, Gorbachev was a typical Russian–he needed money in a post-communist society that had not treated him very well. So here we go. Talk about just a complete and total capitulation to the Americans. You’d like to interpret this in the context of good post-Cold War American-Russian relations. It’s not. It’s dancing on the grave of the Soviets. There’s a reason Gorbachev is a tremendously unpopular figure in Russia 30 years after the fall of communism. He’s seen as a massive failure. And let’s also remember, while Gorbachev did a lot of good things as premier, it was all to save the communist system that he very strongly believed in. He started rising up the Communist Party ranks early in the Khrushchev years and continued through the Brezhnev era. This wasn’t some latent reformer just waiting to change Russia. This was a Communist stalwart who reluctantly engaged in changes to save a broken nation. He failed. And while he always would be welcome in the U.S. in the aftermath of 1991, this is really rather embarrassing. One can see why Russians are nostalgic enough for Soviet power to keep supporting that KGB hack Vladimir Putin.