The Soviet System: From Crisis to Collapse

By Alexander Dallin; Gail W. Lapidus | Go to book overview

49 Interview with Aleksandr
Yakovlev, August 16, 1991

OLEG MOROZ

Interview on the Eve of the Coup.... Literaturnaya gazeta, No. 34, Aug. 28. ... I spoke with Aleksandr Nikolayevich Yakovlev on Friday Morning [August 16]. And then, on Monday morning— ...

The interview with A. N. Yakovlev was slated to be published in the Aug. 21 issue of Literaturnaya gazeta. However, that issue was canceled; along with other democratic publications, Literaturnaya gazeta was banned by the junta.

...

* * *

Question.—You were one of the initiators of perestroika. One can detect a certain symbolism in the fact that the CPSU is now getting rid of you: This party no longer has any use for perestroika; perestroika sticks in its throat. What do you think—is this symbolism being brought out deliberately, or are the people who are expelling you not thinking about this?

Answer.—Of course it's being done deliberately. I think it's deliberate....

In principle, of course, they are against perestroika. The apparatus was always against it, never accepted it. The rejection merely varied in degree. Until the January 1987 plenary session, say—until the apparatus's interests were affected—it voted in favor, albeit reluctantly and with dissatisfied grumbling. But once its interests were directly affected, the law of bureaucratology went into effect—hang onto your position no matter what. The apparatus joined open battle—first of all, against those who had actually started perestroika and were defending it. It wasn't the Party that began perestroika, after all. That's just something that was said for public consumption, for rhetorical effect....

Q.—Could they have failed to consult with Gorbachev on the matter of expelling you?

A.—... If he knew about it and it was done with his blessing, that will be the greatest disillusionment of my life. However, I still cherish the hope that they did it behind his back [Gorbachev confirmed this on his return from the Crimea—O. M.]. These people are immoral, irresponsible and ill-educated. In fact, they've

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