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Friday, 1 March, 2002, 18:05 GMT
Mikhail Gorbachev: Talking Point Special
Seventeen years ago this month, Mikhail Gorbachev was elected Secretary General of the Communist Party.

Until then, the Cold war freeze looked as if it might last forever. The Soviet Communist party seemed incapable of reform. The world was divided between Communist East and Capitalist West, each bristling with nuclear weapons.

But unlike previous Kremlin leaders, Gorbachev spoke of reform from the start. Before long his slogans for economic reform ("perestroika") and the end to censorship ("glasnost") were known the world over. Superpower summits to slash nuclear arms revolutionized global security.

In the West, many believe Gorbachev made the world a better and safer place. They count him as one of the most important politicians of the twentieth century.

But in fact his rule lasted only six short years, cut short by an attempted coup in 1991 and the collapse of the USSR four months later.

Today some Russians blame him personally for the break-up of the Soviet Union. Many still question whether his reforms were good for their country.

What do you think of Mikhail Gorbachev's place in history? Do you agree he is a great world statesman, or side with those who blame him for 'selling the Soviet Union to the Americans'? And whatever you think, what would you like to ask him directly? This is your chance to put your questions to Mikhail Gorbachev.

The BBC's Diplomatic Correspondent Bridget Kendall will put your questions to Mikhail Gorbachev live on March 7 at 1330 GMT

Send in your questions using the form below.


Name:

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City and Country:

Your question:

Disclaimer: The BBC will use as many of your comments as possible but we cannot guarantee that all e-mails will be published. The BBC reserves the right to edit comments that are published.
See also:

15 Sep 00 | Europe
Interview with Mikhail Gorbachev
02 Mar 01 | Europe
Gorbachev comes in from the cold
23 Feb 01 | Europe
Gorbachev turns TV presenter


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