Thursday, June 3, 2010

Gorbachev's Chilling Reaction to Tiananmen Death Toll

Claire Berlinski wrote in City Journal on the "hidden history of evil" of communism, in which she described some valuable archives from the Soviet era. The archives were smuggled out of Soviet Union by dissidents and are supposed to have been verified by "other prominent Soviet dissidents and Cold War spies" and approved as credible by British judges.

In one example, Claire cited Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev's reaction to the death toll of Tiananmen massacre in a Politburo meeting on October 4, 1989, four months after the tragedy:
[Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR Anatoly Ivanovich] Lukyanov reports that the real number of casualties on Tiananmen Square was 3,000.

Gorbachev: We must be realists. They, like us, have to defend themselves. Three thousands... So what?
The City Journal article did not explain the source of the "3,000" death toll number. It most likely came from the predominant figure cited by western media at the time.

Gorbachev has famously walked into the Tiananmen Standoff in May, 1989, for a historical summit with Chinese leaders. His visit, or the anticipation of it, was a major factor in students' decision to launch a hunger strike. Students had welcomed Gorbachev as "the true reformer," but Gorbachev also chided the students as "hot heads."

Thanks to Feng Congde for locating this article.

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