MOSCOW (AP) — When the Berlin Wall fell, the Soviet Union stepped back, letting East Germany's communist government collapse and then quickly accepting German unification. Russian President Vladimir Putin now blames the Soviet leadership for naivety that paved the way for NATO's expansion eastward.
Many in Russia share that view, seeing the collapse of the Berlin Wall and reunification of Germany as a moment when Moscow reached out to the West hoping to forge a new era of partnership but was cheated by Western powers.
Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev encouraged the Communist leaders in Central and Eastern Europe to follow his lead in launching liberal reforms and took no action to shore up their regimes when they started to crumble under the pressure of pro-democracy forces.
Follow AP's full coverage of the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall at https://www.apnews.com/FalloftheBerlinWall