"Those who organized the coup in August 1991, and after the coup used the weakened position of the president of the USSR, are responsible for the end of perestroika and the collapse of the Soviet Union," Gorbachev said.
He added that he was aware of the possible risks of perestroika, but the entire leadership of the country understood that changes were necessary.
"It was impossible to live as before. And an essential part of perestroika was a new foreign policy mindset that encompasses both universal values and nuclear disarmament, as well as freedom of choice," the last Soviet leader explained.
He emphasized that he did not regret perestroika, but acknowledged that there were mistakes and mistakes on the path of reforms, and expressed the view that Russia would never return to a totalitarian system.
In fact, the Soviet Union collapsed on December 25, 1991, when Gorbachev, in an appeal to the Soviet people, announced the completion of his presidency. This was preceded by an agreement signed on December 8 by the leaders of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, which spoke about the termination of the USSR and proclaimed the creation of the Commonwealth of Independent States. This act went down in history as the Bialowieza Agreement.
Back in 1990, all Union republics adopted declarations of state sovereignty. To stop the collapse of the country, a referendum on the preservation of the USSR was held on March 17, 1991. "For" then spoke out 76.4 percent of those who participated in the vote. Based on the results of the referendum in the spring and summer of 1991, a draft treaty "On the Union of Sovereign Republics" appeared, the signing of which was scheduled for August 20. But it never took place due to an attempted coup on August 19-21.