Final Days: The Inside Story of the Collapse of the Soviet Union

By Andrei S. Grachev; Margo Milne | Go to book overview

Notes
1.
The "conservatives" were partisans of the old Communist system. The Soviet political scene during the last months of the USSR was the direct opposite of the structure that usually prevails in the West: The "right" was made up of Communists of every stripe (from neo-Bolsheviks through Brezhnevites to Stalinists) who favored a planned economy; the members of the "left" (democrats, reformers, liberals, and radicals) were generally in favor of marketization.
2.
The Parliament of the USSR, instituted by the constitutional reform of 1988, consisted of two "levels": (1) The Congress of People's Deputies, composed of 2,250 members elected for a term of five years by three different methods: 750 from proportionally represented electoral districts, 750 from national electoral districts (thirty-two from each Union republic, eleven from each autonomous republic, five from each autonomous region, and one from each autonomous district), and 750 from social organizations (the CPSU, labor unions, Communist youth organizations, the Academy of Sciences, writers' and artists' unions, etc.). Gorbachev was one of the contingent of 100 deputies chosen by the Central Committee of the CPSU. (2) The Supreme Soviet, composed of two chambers (the Soviet of Nationalities and the Soviet of the Union). Each had 271 representatives elected by the Congress. One-fifth of these representatives were supposed to be replaced every year, but this rule had not been observed during the Supreme Soviet's two years of existence.
3.
Pankin was the only Soviet envoy who publicly voiced his support for Gorbachev during the attempted coup. After Pankin was "promoted," a counselor at the embassy in Prague, Alexander Lebedev, took his place as ambassador.
4.
A referendum on "maintaining a renewed union" was held on March 17, 1991. Six republics refused to take part: the three Baltic republics, Moldavia, Georgia, and Armenia. In the rest of the USSR there was an 80 percent turnout, and 76 percent voted in favor. Most of the yes votes were cast in rural areas and in the Central Asian republics (which averaged more than 90 percent in favor) but in no republic participating did the yes vote fall below 70 percent.
5.
Rukh, the Ukrainian nationalist party, was established in 1988, a move made possible by the first liberalization measures, which allowed "popular fronts" in support of perestroika to develop in the republics. Initially an informal organization, Rukh was strengthened by its electoral successes, which demonstrated a strong following in western Ukraine (annexed by Stalin in 1939) and in Kiev. It gradually won over a majority in favor of Ukrainian independence.
6.
After the October Revolution, in a move to strengthen Bolshevism in Ukraine, Soviet Russia ceded to that republic part of the industrial basin of Donbass, on the right bank of

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Final Days: The Inside Story of the Collapse of the Soviet Union
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword - ARCHIE BROWN ix
  • Preface xv
  • Mending the Breach 1
  • Reinforcements From The Second Front 13
  • On a Crumbling Verge 33
  • A President Without a Country 47
  • One Last Mission For the Union 59
  • On the Eve Of the Seventy-Fourth Anniversary Of the October Revolution 85
  • The Mirage Of a Confederal State 97
  • A Free Man With Nothing to Fear 113
  • A Cloud in Trousers 119
  • Fight to the Finish 127
  • Final Hours 145
  • Checking the Pulse 153
  • Last Rites 159
  • Burying a Time Capsule 169
  • Departure 175
  • Afterword: - A Mythical Kingdom Vanishes--Again 195
  • Appendix: Resignation Speech of Mikhail Gorbachev - Delivered at 7:00 P.M. on December 25, 1991 203
  • Notes 207
  • About the Book and Author 214
  • Index 215
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