Russia at the Barricades: Eyewitness Accounts of the August 1991 Coup

By Victoria E. Bonnell; Ann Cooper et al. | Go to book overview

4 A Man in the Crowd

This account appeared in the popular weekly Ogonëk ( October 5-12, 1991). The name of the author was withheld by the magazine.

On the morning of August 22 a young man came to our editorial offices with a stack of photographs and began to tell us about where he was during the coup and what he photographed. Unfortunately, the photographs were of poor quality, but his story seemed interesting to us--not as that of a fully objective witness of these tragic events (it is too personal for that, and indeed how could anyone be objective back then?)--but as an interesting example of the awakening of the civic consciousness in a man who was, in all respects, well adjusted.

-- Alla Tsenina and Sergei Filippov

On Monday the 19th I walked over the bridge from the Hotel Ukraina to the White House. Everything there was unsteady somehow. There were not many people. Appeals were posted about. People were erecting barricades. It was evident that they were there of their own volition, without orders. Some vehicles were being deployed. On the bridge there was a column of troops, and people were speaking to the soldiers. Then I realized that they had convinced the soldiers, won them over. The column turned around and began to depart toward Kutuzovskii Prospect. And what can I do? I wondered.

There were four tanks over to the right, on the incline of the embankment. The first tank was No. 104. There was a major standing on top of it. His name was Sergei Vladimirovich Yevdokimov. He said that he was part of the Taman Division. We struck up a friendship. We shared the same first name and patronymic. I spent four hours with

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