Gorbachev endorsed Putin in an interview with the London Times. “I would vote for him and I support him. Based on what I know, and comparing him with other candidates, I would prefer Putin.” Gorby then added this:
“Putin has brought stabilization to Russia. Not everyone would have been able to cope with the kind of legacy that he inherited from Boris Yeltsin. I did not think he would succeed but he did succeed in preventing total collapse in the country. He began solving some important social and economic problems and re-established governance in Russia. That has opened the way to the possibility of launching real modernization.”
His “the possibility launching real modernization” is what intrigues me. It makes me wonder where Putin ranks in the pantheon of Russian modernizers.