Russia

Gorbachev To Putin: Your Time Is Up

The 80-year-old former Soviet leader says Vladimir Putin's best days are behind him. Putin, Russia's current prime minister, is hoping to regain the presidency in next month's election.

Gorbachev will be 81 next month (Veni Markovski)
Gorbachev will be 81 next month (Veni Markovski)

MOSCOW – Less than a month before Russia's presidential election, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev used a public lecture to both criticize the candidacy of Vladimir Putin and offer his services to monitor the vote.

Speaking at Moscow's International University, Gorbachev said Putin had done "some useful things' but that the current prime minister now the presidential frontrunner had "exhausted" his reserves of leadership of the country.

Instead, the 80-year-old Gorbachev said it was time to find "solid candidates' for the Duma, the Russian parliament, instead of appointments through nepotism.

A Nobel peace prize winner who served from 1985 to 1991 as the last leader of the Soviet Union, Gorbachev also said he was available to help run the Voters' League, which was set up last month to promote a fair election and monitor against fraud at the polls. It was the Voters' League coined the slogan "for fair elections," which was used at the rallies that brought tens of thousands out onto the streets last weekend.

"Yes, I would have agreed to head the League of Voters. If the situation does not change after the elections, we will go out into the streets," Gorbachev said.

The monitoring group said it had received a "strange letter" from Putin's team, requesting that it send a representative it could work with during the election campaign.

Last month, while in London, Gorbachev criticized Russia's electoral system, saying it needed a "major readjustment."

Read the full article in Russian by Maria Makutina

Photo - Veni Markovski

*Newsbites are digest items, not direct translations

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Geopolitics

Why Ghosts Of Hitler Keep Appearing In Colombia

Colombia's police chiefs must be dismally ignorant if they think it was "instructive" to expose young cadets bereft of historical education to Nazi symbols.

Nazi symbols were displayed in public at the Tuluá Police Academy

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-OpEd-

BOGOTÁ — Adolf Hitler was seen in 1954, wandering around the chilly town of Tunja, northeast of the Colombian capital. The führer was, they said, all cloaked up like a peasant — they even took a picture of him. Later, he was spotted nearby at the baths in the spa town of Paipa, no doubt there for his fragile health.

A former president and notorious arch-conservative of 20th century Colombian politics, Laureano Gómez used to pay him homage. A fascist at heart, Gómez had to submit to the United States as the victor of World War II. He wasn't the only fascist sympathizer in Colombia then. Other conservatives, writers and intellectuals were fascinated by Nazism.

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Support Worldcrunch
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