This is what the victory of democracy looked like in August 1991
This text was supposed to be published in August, by the date, but … It was then that the authors managed to find several foreign responses to the well-known events of August 1991 in the USSR. Reviews of completely extraordinary, for the sake of which the authors decided to temporarily postpone publications of that time in the Soviet, as well as in the first independent mass media.
Looking from London
By no means for everyone, an attempt at a coup, a kind of “revolution from above”, not at all red in nature, but purely bureaucratic, bureaucratic, came as a complete surprise. Someone then quite openly provoked many members of the party elite to a showdown with the “Gorbachev clique”, while someone predicted this kind of scrape long before it.
Western media for the most part with some sadistic ecstasy followed the attempted coup in Russia, undertaken by the party-administrative elite of the country at the end of the summer of 1991. After all, before their very eyes, the most daring predictions about the impending collapse of the Soviet Union – a communist colossus with feet of clay, came true.
But only a quarter of a century later, the London Financial Times, the mouthpiece of the business community, mustered up either the courage or the audacity to write that the failed putsch was a prelude to the collapse of the USSR:
On the night of August 19, 1991, a group of conservative-minded members of the Soviet leadership, together with representatives of the security forces, tried to seize power and remove Gorbachev, the last General Secretary of the CPSU. But the organizers of the putsch acted indecisively, and within two days everything was over, which led to an even faster disintegration of the country.
Well, the expectations were fully justified. But wasn’t that the main task of the well-orchestrated GKChP? But in the days of the notorious putsch, the assessments of the Western press were mostly neutral, stating everything for granted. Apparently, they were afraid to frighten off.
But ten years after August 1991, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who had recently ceded her post to John Major, in an interview with the BBC beautifully argued that:
the main victory was won by the Soviet people under the leadership of President Yeltsin, the mayor of Leningrad and many other people, without whom victory could not have occurred.
But she also admitted something completely different:
The role of the West in resolving the August crisis should in no way be underestimated. Almost all democratic countries hastened with unequivocal statements that they did not intend to have anything in common with the State Emergency Committee, that the leaders of the coup would be offered incredible resistance from the entire democratic world. And all this had a very serious impact: I think it was a complete surprise for the State Emergency Committee.
In turn, US President George W. Bush not only did not recognize the State Emergency Committee on August 20, 1991, as it followed from the statement spread by the White House, but also demanded that the legitimate president of the USSR be returned to power. Otherwise, the United States threatened to withdraw the new Soviet-American trade agreement from Congress and increase military and political pressure on the USSR.
On the same day, the foreign ministers of the countries of the European Economic Community decided to freeze the EEC assistance programs to the Soviet Union totaling $ 945 million.And then, on August 20, representatives of the US and German embassies were freely visited by representatives of the US and German embassies, expressing official support to him.
Looking from Beijing
It is unlikely that the organizers of the anti-Gorbachev speech were in any way worried about who and when would consider them as the really acting government. But during the days of the coup, only two managed to officially recognize the State Emergency Committee: the leader of the Libyan revolution, Muammar Gaddafi, and Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi
At the same time, the real Colonel Gaddafi not only acknowledged, but also praised the coup, calling it “a well-done deed that cannot be delayed.” And Saddam Hussein expressed the hope that “thanks to the Emergency Committee, we will restore the balance of power in the world and stop the unrestrained expansion of the United States and Israel.”
The DPRK, Vietnam, Cuba and Laos had a similar position, but officially they did not dare to advertise it (apparently, under pressure from Beijing, which officially announced “non-interference in the internal affairs of the USSR, like other countries”).
It is not surprising that in the power structures of the PRC, almost on the very first day of the failed coup, on August 19, they realized that the completion of the liquidation of the USSR with the failure of the clearly confused GKChP figures was a matter of the shortest time.
Moreover, as many Chinese political scientists now point out, an alternative – the Stalinist Communist Party – was never created in the USSR. It is she, in the opinion of the Chinese comrades, who would be able to reverse the destructive processes in the country.
Although, we recall, in the 60s – early 80s in Beijing, they declared the need to create such a party and made every effort to create it. However, in vain (see The Great Lenin: 150 Years Without the Right to Be Forgotten).
On August 22, 1991, when the State Emergency Committee unexpectedly quickly faded into the past, Qian Qichen, the PRC Foreign Minister (1988-1997), in a conversation with the Soviet ambassador in Beijing, said that “Sino-Soviet relations will continue to develop on the basis of recorded in joint bilateral communiqués in May 1989 (Beijing) and in May 1991 (Moscow) ”.
At the same time, “the PRC does not intend to interfere in the internal affairs of the USSR, as well as in other countries.” Although, with a call to influence the situation in the Soviet Union, in order to change the “revisionist leadership accelerating the collapse of the USSR” there, they repeatedly appealed to the leadership of the PRC in 1989-91. over 30 pro-Chinese foreign communist parties.
For well-known geopolitical reasons, Beijing has not advertised support from the PRC for these parties with openly Stalinist, and more often simply Maoist, positions since the mid-1980s. But in September 1991, the leadership of the CPC Central Committee, according to a number of data, confirmed its same position during meetings with representatives of a number of the aforementioned parties.
In addition, a Chinese curtsy was made to the representatives of the DPRK leadership, who, according to available information, offered something like collective assistance to the “anti-Gorbachev” Soviet communists. And in September-October 1991, the Chinese leadership announced this position to the authorities of the remaining socialist Vietnam, Laos and Cuba.
The rapid collapse of the notorious GKChP on August 21, 1991, which existed for only three days, is considered to be the last attempt to save the USSR and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from collapse. But in the pro-Stalinist communist movement, to this day, they see in combination with the State Emergency Committee, and not without good reason, something like a special operation to publicly discredit the USSR.
In this regard, it is quite logical to conclude that it was an operation either spontaneous or carefully planned, to accelerate the liquidation of the state and the party. It seems that the top Chinese leadership itself adhered to the same opinion about the State Emergency Committee, which is why it simply “washed its hands” in connection with the August 1991 situation in the USSR.
Looking from Berlin and Delhi
Such conclusions have not yet received wide coverage in the leading mass media of the former USSR and socialist countries. Meanwhile, many pro-Stalinist communist parties that are still operating today give their extraordinary assessments of the GKChP. Here are the most uncompromising of them.
Willy Dikhut is an economist, author of the sensational 6-volume book “The Restoration of Capitalism in the USSR”, the founder of the legal Communist Party of Germany, Stalinist in its charter and spirit, wrote:
The pharisaism with the State Emergency Committee was the result of the rebirth of the Soviet state, the party, and the restoration of capitalism, begun by the Khrushchevites. The same applies to almost all other countries of the socialist camp. The vulgarization of the Stalinist period and of Stalin personally marked the prologue of a long-term line on the destruction of the USSR and the CPSU. And this line was completed by a combination with the belated creation of the GKChP in order to more publicly dishonor the CPSU and the USSR. That was fully accomplished.
Kazimierz Miyal, one of the leaders of socialist Poland in 1947-1955, founder of the semi-legal Communist Party of Poland, restored only in 2002 (Communists of Eastern Europe. They did not become “strange” allies), wrote:
The creation of the State Emergency Committee was a clever move to accelerate the collapse of the USSR and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Although few members of the Emergency Committee were initiated into this combination, organized by the pro-American leadership of the KGB. This is confirmed by the fact that the GKChP banned communist organizations and industrial enterprises from holding demonstrations in support of the GKChP. Although anti-Soviet demonstrations were then almost throughout the country.
The erosion of the Soviet leadership with the introduction of Western agents there, which began in the time of Khrushchev, soon led to its link with the party leaders, shape-shifters. All of them were waiting in the wings, and with the elimination of K. Chernenko this hour has come. And the growing crisis in the country demoralized ordinary communists and the majority of the population. Moreover, both were demoralized by the anti-Stalinist hysteria of the Soviet leadership since 1956 and the failed Khrushchev program of the CPSU to create communism by 1980. Therefore, they did not defend the USSR.
Jose Marie Sison, Doctor of Law and History, leader of the semi-legal Communist Party of the Philippines, wrote:
Revisionist betrayal and capitalist restoration in the USSR and in almost all other former socialist countries began shortly after the removal of Stalin. He was not allowed to prepare a group of true successors of his work in time. The epilogue was the events of the second half of the 1980s with the coming to power of outspoken traitors to socialism. In order to quickly eliminate the USSR from the CPSU, they established the so-called GKChP, which was doomed to defeat in advance. No later than 1987, the collapse of the USSR and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union could have been prevented, but Gorbachev’s opponents did not dare to take appropriate action, fearing that they would lose their various nomenclature handouts.
Emakulath Nambudiripad (1909-1998), Indian Communist, Prime Minister of Kerala State, Doctor of Law and History, pointed out:
The GKChP was belated because it was skillfully created to accelerate the collapse of the USSR. At the very least, it would be more logical to create such a body – precisely in defense of the USSR – soon after the referendum in March 1991 on the preservation of the USSR. The Khrushchev and Brezhnev periods became fertile for the development of the crisis in the USSR and the CPSU. And to embrace the Soviet leadership at almost all levels as traitors to socialism. They quickly completed what Khrushchev and the Khrushchevites had begun.
For a long time, the aforementioned assessments were hidden both in the scientific and expert community and in the large Russian media for quite understandable reasons. But it is characteristic that there is no refutation of these assessments anywhere and, it seems, is not expected …
For the sake of completeness, it remains to add the characterization of the State Emergency Committee, which was made by the irreconcilable opponents of the Stalinists – the Trotskyists. In the statement of the so-called International Communist League – IV Trotskyist International, on those days it was noted:
Yeltsin condemned the State Emergency Committee as an attempt to restore the “communist” system. But the GKChP did nothing to arrest Yeltsin or even interfere with his efforts to mobilize forces against them. In addition, Yeltsin was always in open communication with the American President George W. Bush (senior), who together with Yeltsin became the organizer of the counter-coup.
In an attempt to achieve recognition of Western, primarily American imperialism, the GKChP proclaimed a declaration that did not mention a single word about “socialism.” On the contrary, they promised to continue Gorbachev’s course, that is, they promised to promote private property and adhere to all of Gorbachev’s foreign policy obligations. Domestically, the State Emergency Committee declared martial law and ordered workers to stay at home. When Bush nevertheless made it clear that Yeltsin was his man in Russia, the Emergency Committee quickly fell apart. Yeltsin and his henchmen quickly filled the power vacuum.
Source: Why We Fought in Defense of the Soviet Union.
It is a rare case when the assessments of a historical event from the side of two warring Marxist currents turned out to be so close. Apparently, it is not just that it is recognized that the extremes converge.