25 years ago there was an unsuccessful coup attempt in Russia, known as the “coup”. The coup has not calculated its forces and was defeated because people stood up to defend the newly-acquired democracy and elected President of Russia Yeltsin.
The current government seeks to bury August 1991. A whole generation that does not remember and does not know what happened then. It is our duty those who participated in these events — to talk about them and evaluate them. The protagonist of these events was the people — ordinary citizens.
Power makes it clear that the Russian people can only manage hard, authoritarian. People, according to authorities, is a foolish children, who are unable to decide anything, it is democracy they are contraindicated. To give them democracy — the same thing that to give children in the hands of the match. Control method these “children” have the power of one — the carrot and the stick. He used and perfected over the last 16 years.
Many supporters of the democratic opposition in recent years came to about the same point of view. In relation to the Russian people and then I hear, “slave psychology”, “paternalistic consciousness.” In discussions about the possibility consciously to build democracy in this nation betrays a feeling of complete hopelessness. An equally widespread view that democracy is necessary, but our people need her to “teach”, for example, as it did in the time of Pinochet.
I’m convinced that’s not right-neither one nor the other. All developed countries have passed the stage of rigid authoritarian control, but then came, each to its way to democracy. Immediately in democracy managed to jump only to the countries that have developed outside of the mainline historical context, such as the United States.
In Russia there were periods of democratic governance. For example, often mentioned the Novgorod Veche. Or election of the king after the time of Troubles. It was a real democracy. Free Russian people themselves got together and determined the further course of history — called the Romanov to the throne.
The latest example of conscious attempts to build democracy in Russia — just the late 80’s-early 90-ies. Totalitarian power in the Soviet Union by this time had collapsed because of its own contradictions. The gradual emergence of freedom — both political and economic, began to be built in the future shape of the country. Gorbachev was forced to announce free elections, which led to a free Parliament, and then there were free elections of the President of Russia in June 1991.
Conservatives at that time personified the KGB and some of the leaders and functionaries of the Communist party. They realized that to lose, and was looking for an excuse to use force to suppress democracy.
The reason for them was the date of 20 August 1991, when he was supposed to be signed a new Union Treaty, on which people worked as a team of Yeltsin and Gorbachev team. It was an attempt to offer a new kind of Union in which with the preservation of economic ties all of the Republic would become a truly independent state. In General, it would be similar to the CIS, created later.
The conservatives took the opportunity of signing such a Treaty as the fall of the last Bastion of the Soviet Empire, so firmly resolved to avoid it.
And so began the coup of 1991. The chronicle of these three days, and ended with the victory of democratic forces stated many times, and there is no need to repeat it.
The investigation revealed that the coup putsch was organized by the KGB and organizational structures of the Communist party — they were ready to shed the blood of civilians. But was not prepared for the leadership of the Soviet army and special forces “alpha” and “Vympel”.
People who are defending the White house risked his life. The signs of impending storm was quite real: the snipers took positions on roofs of neighboring houses. But the people did not disperse, because a few years of perestroika, people had to feel themselves masters of the city and the country. Within two years before the August events on the streets under the leadership of public organizations, the largest of which was “Democratic Russia”, people left on meetings with up to a million. Not just out — influenced government decision-making.
Election of President Yeltsin in June 1991 were actually completed democratic revolution, and when on August 19, the need arose to protect her, men did.
Saddest long-term result of the democratic revolution was the fact that shortly after this item was again closed, and then pupate, and the government again engaged in strangulation of all, the new democratic freedoms and the unleashing of aggressive wars, the main of which is the war against civil society in Russia.
So, now we have to forget about the possibility of democracy in Russia? No! Because freedoms in Russia today still greater than it was in the late USSR. Yes, and the government itself is not monolithic. For example, the appointment of Pamfilova to the post of Chairman of the CEC and its actions in this post, allow us to hope that at least the process of voting will be more transparent than last time.
The main conclusion of the events of August 1991, the Russian people, having lived through the horror years of totalitarianism, receiving and sensing freedom, defended it, risking their lives. Russians are not slaves as they can and to build and defend democracy.
All this is possible in the near future.
Ending this article, I realized that it is impossible not to say a few words about the obvious Parallels between the coup of ‘ 91 years and the recent coup attempt in Turkey. In both cases, the coup plot involved thousands of people, the army didn’t act decisively enough, both the coup failed. But is it possible to draw Parallels between Erdogan and Yeltsin?
In Russia after the failure of the coup Yeltsin ordered the arrest only around 20 people. Though to swear allegiance to the GKCHP had thousands of managers at different levels. And even those arrested, who were expecting a military Tribunal, he was released a year and a half under house arrest, then pardoned.
What of this conclusion? In Russia, democracy has won, and Yeltsin in accordance with that showed humanity and compassion. Pardoned his opponents in the future were not in any way affected rights and opposed it. While Turkey defeated the dictatorship, and now are showing all the signs of the establishment of the fascist regime.
Putsch: three days in August. Chronicle of events