Notes IV  




Three died (August, 1991).

The statement issued on August 19, 1991 by the State Committee for the State of Emergency in the U.S.S.R. included the following passages:

Compatriots, citizens of the Soviet Union, we are addressing you at the grave, critical hour for the destinies of the Motherland and our peoples. A mortal danger has come to loom large over our great Motherland.

The policy reforms, launched at Mikhail S. Gorbachev's initiative and designed as a means to insure the country's dynamic development and the democratization of social life, have entered for several reasons a blind alley. Lack of faith, apathy and despair have replaced the original enthusiasm and hopes. Authorities at all levels have lost the population's trust. Politicking has replaced in public life concern for the faith of the Motherland and the citizen. Malicious outrage against all state institutes is being imposed. The country has in fact become ungovernable.

Never before in national history has the propaganda of sex and violence assumed such a scale, threatening the health and lives of future generations. Millions of people are demanding measures against the octopus of crime and glaring immorality.

We intend to restore law and order straight away, end bloodshed, declare war without mercy to the criminal world, eradicate shameful phenomena discrediting our society and degrading Soviet citizens.

We shall clean the streets of our cities from criminal elements and put an end to the arbitrariness of the squanderers of the national wealth.

We are calling upon the workers, peasants, working intelligentsia, all Soviet people to restore, within the briefest period of time, labor discipline and order, and raise the level of production in order to march ahead. Our life and the future of our children and grandchildren, the fate of the Motherland depend on this.

We are a peace-loving country and shall undeviatingly honor all our commitments. We have no claims to make against anybody. We want to live in peace and friendship with all. But we firmly declare that no one will ever be allowed to encroach upon our sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. All attempts to talk the language of diktat to our country, no matter where they may come from, will be resolutely suppressed...

We call on all true patriots, people of good will, to put an end to the present time of uncertainty.

We call on all citizens of the Soviet Union to grow aware of their duty before the country and render all possible assistance to the State Committee for the State of Emergency in the U.S.S.R. and efforts to pull the country out of crisis.

The initial response to the coup by then-U.S.-president George Herbert Walker Bush was to enunciate his "gut instinct" that Gennadi I. Yanayev (State Committee for the State of Emergency in the U.S.S.R. member and selfappointed "acting president" of the U.S.S.R.) had "a certain commitment to reform." Mikhail Gorbachev, held incommunicado at his Crimean dacha, was said to be "undergoing treatment...very tired after these many years! ...As soon as he feels better, [Gorbachev] will again take up his office."

Tuesday, August 20, 1991: hundreds of thousands of Russians ignored a military curfew to demonstrate in favor of a defiant Boris Yeltsin ("You can erect a throne of bayonets, but you cannot sit on it for long"), and against the reactionary coup of August 19. Impromptu barricades included bathtubs, sheet metal, logs, desks, and at least one kitchen sink. Before dawn on August 21, tanks and armored personnel carriers came up against large crowds of unyielding citizens--some armed with Molotov cocktails. Three civilians were killed in the confrontation, but the military of the Soviet Union withdrew from the area.

This exchange took place before the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Republic on August 23, 1991, shortly after the coup failed:



Part I   Notes I
Part II
Notes II
Part III
Notes III
Part IV
   Notes IV
Part V
   Notes V
Part VI
   Notes VI
Part VII
   Notes VII
   Notes VIII
Part IX
   Notes IX
Part X
   Notes X
Part XI
   Notes XI
Part XII
   Notes XII

©, Acknowledgments
The Author




"Now, for a bit of relaxation, let me sign a decree banning the activity of the Russian Communist Party."



"Boris Nikolayevich... I think you'll be--I don't know what you're signing there."



"There, it's been signed!"



     Notes III       Notes V