Ivan Frolov, 1990

Secretary, Central Committee and Editor, Pravda. Interviewed Sept 1990 in Moscow.
Interviewer: Gwynne Dyer

Gwynne Dyer: The circulation has dropped by almost half in the past year. What are you doing to fix it?

FROLOV: Trying to publish more controversial things.

Dyer_: It was rumored that he replaced Afanasyev because Afanasyev was not in step with the Central Ctte. What is your own view of this?_

FROLOV: (mumbles)

Dyer: There are parties within with CP. Do you think they will split?

FROLOV: No. They probably won’t call themselves communist.

Dyer Was the reunification of Germany foreseen?

FROLOV: No. I was posted in Czechoslovakia for seven years and even there many people realized that it would be undesirable to use force the way we did before to sustain communist regimes.

Dyer What security arrangements do you see for Europe and for the world?

FROLOV: The 2 plus 4 arrangement is the most promising. He doesn’t worry if some parts of the SU break away — those that are not the most naturally connected because that will not hurt the defensibility of the Soviet Union as a superpower. He thinks the Ukraine will stay part of the SU. Yes, the ties will strengthen. He is representing a Ukrainian district that has a lot of Russians and in the Ukraine in General there are 20 million Russians.

Dyer I am struck by how mature everybody is about allowing the empire to fall apart. This isn’t very common.

FROLOV: A mathematician told me this is like a divorce, and I told him, it may be all right for a mathematician to say to his wife, well, fare well, all the best, goodbye. But they may start it and the court finishes it. There is always the problem of property settlement. It is not so simple. When a nation is separating that is not going to be simple either. There is a lot of talk about democratization but I havenn’t seen any of it in the party.

Dyer Who makes the decisions in the party? Gorbachev? The Central Ctte? The Politburo? Who is accountable to whom?

FROLOV:: I would stress Gorbachev. He is the initiator of the most radical proposals but the decisions are made by all.

Dyer The slogan is that anything ispossible as long as it is a socialist society. But what is a socialist society?

FROLOV: Marx said that all societies were tending toward democracy, and in that sense you might call it one thing in the West and we might call it socialism here. But I have only been a politician for four years. Before that, I was an academic and had written many books in which you can see that I was always in favor of democracy.

The Russian Quest for Peace and Democracy, by Metta Spencer, published by Lexington Books