The Soviet System: From Crisis to Collapse

By Alexander Dallin; Gail W. Lapidus | Go to book overview
322.
Seven Days That Shook the World, 149.
323.
In Histoire secrète ... , 188-90.
324.
Central Television, 24 Aug. 1991, in USSR Today, 25 Aug. 1991, 712/34.
325.
It has been claimed by some Russian journalists that the pressure for an assault on the "White House" increased significantly once Moiseev had assumed overall command of the operation on the twentieth. Boris Yeltsin has indicated that he believes that Moiseev bore the chief responsibility for the planned storming of the Russian parliament. (Central Television and Russian Television, 25 Aug. 1991, in USSR Today, 25 Aug. 1991, 712/01-07.)
326.
La Vie quotidienne ... , 218.

52 The Coup Revisited

GAVRIIL POPOV

[I.] "USING AVICTORY WELL IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN WINNING."— Plutarch. Selected Lives, vol. 2, p. 193.— ... In a political sense, the range of assessments of both the coup and the way events developed after it is exceptionally broad. In one view, it was "a great revolution equal in significance to October 1917." In another, it was "a revolution of missed opportunities." According to a third view, it was "a revolution betrayed." And according to a fourth, "there was no revolution at all."

My overall assessment is that the democrats' victory over the coup plotters did not bring to power the democrats, who were totally unprepared to be in that position, but finally forced the reformist apparatchiks and nomenklatura to do what they had done in 1985, 1989 or 1990—to organize themselves, unite, cleanse themselves of ideological garbage, remove the conservatives and start making reforms. To start slowly, but to start.


A Clash Involving Force Became Inevitable

... I am inclined to think that, for the most part the organizers of the coup were people faithful to an idea, loyal servants of the pyramid that had raised them to great heights. They were thinking about the interests of the country—according to their own, communist understanding....

The country was falling apart. Either there had to be a break with the center and each republic had to follow its own path, or the center had to strengthen its authority and try to do something itself. A clash became inevitable. Both the

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