"Gorbymania" may not be at the peak which it attained 20 years ago, in Germany these days, but there are enough followers and string-pullers here to join his new campaign against Putin. Visiting the German capital together with his granddaughter Xenia, Gorbachov announced today that the headquarters of his Mikhail Gorbachov Award (MGA) will be moved to Berlin, where the next awards ceremony with international prominents attending, will be held in March 2012. The last MGA awards ceremony was held in London, attended by, among others, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
In Germany, Gorbachov has rallied prominent support for his new project from former German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher and present Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle. In Berlin, he attacked the Putin Presidential election campaign as a manipulation of Russian voters' will, likening Putin to Stalin, from whom he cited a quote attributed to Stalin, once saying that "the votes are not what's important in elections, it's the counting of the votes that is."
A flanking move supporting the machinations of Gorbachov without naming him, however, comes from the German Foreign Policy Association (DGAP), where Stefan Meister has published a vile commentary denouncing the recent Russian Duma elections. Meister called for Europe to stop working with the elites of Russia, and instead focus their work on the "civil society and the people." The Putin-Medvedev policy is undemocratic and hostile to reforms, Meister charged.