And even those who sympathized with the ideas of the State Emergency Committee realized that something was wrong with the coup. Writer Nikolay Konyaev records On August 19, he conveyed his impressions of the leaders of the putsch:
“… I went to watch the Vremya program. There, instead of M.S. Gorbachev – the State Committee for the State of Emergency (GKChP) … Slavic faces, calm, but fear in their eyes … And the speeches too, although correct in meaning – “The results of the national referendum have been trampled … The crisis of power had a catastrophic effect on the economy … caused an explosion of egoism “… – but some separate from those who pronounce them, they are not filled with energy and power of power. And only somehow vaguely, incredibly and very scary from these words … “
And on August 20 he stated:
“So they waited … Yeltsin declared the State Committee for a State of Emergency (GKChP) outlawed, and part of the troops went over to his side.
But this is in Moscow.
And here, in Ascension, no one is building barricades, they even talk about the incident without interest.
They approve – that they turned Gorbachev, they are worried – someone spread a rumor! – that they will not stock up on August vodka coupons.
The rest – nobody cares. “
Komsomolskaya Pravda journalist Andrei Dyatlov, who spent all 3 days of the coup with his colleagues in the White House and prepared leaflets for distribution among Muscovites, on the morning of August 20 noted in the diary:
“The deputies are trying to work with the troops. The soldiers say that until the last moment they did not know why and where they were going, against whom to oppose ”.
On the morning of August 21, the commander of the Airborne Forces Pavel Grachev, the commander of the Air Force Yevgeny Shaposhnikov, the commander of the Strategic Missile Forces Yuri Maksimov and the commander of the Navy of the Navy Chernavin, demanded the withdrawal of troops from Moscow, and Alpha refused to storm the White House. This meant the failure of the putsch.
Screenwriter Anatoly Grebnev so commented August 19, the formation of the State Emergency Committee:
“Ah, Mikhail Sergeevich, Mikhail Sergeevich, you were warned! I gave Bakatin, I took Pugo! I trusted Yazov and Kryuchkov! I ran around the St. George Hall, persuading the deputies to vote for Yanaev! I shunned the democrats, I didn’t believe, I was afraid. Here’s your game and showed you! “
Yuri Pominov, editor of the Pavlodar newspaper “Zvezda Priirtyshya” in Kazakhstan appreciated the actions of the putschists are skeptical:
“The intentions are extremely good. But didn’t Gorbachev have good ones? … However, by the composition of the State Emergency Committee, one can judge about his intentions: the tone there seems to be set by the “siloviki” and the military-industrial “generals” … Yes, it is true: we are all tired of the perestroika confusion, permanent crisis, all this chaos … But will it be better from what is being done and is it being done that way? ” He also remembered some of the questions that journalists asked the members of the State Emergency Committee at the press conference: “… do the members of the State Emergency Committee understand that they have carried out a coup d’etat, and what kind of a 1917 or 1964 (when Khrushchev was dismissed) he is; Did the GKChP members consult with Pinochet (applause in the hall); how temporary is your interim government? “
Biochemist and writer Lev Osterman, who appeared at the White House on the evening of August 20, noted in the diary:
“The main, extremely pleasant and, I confess, a completely unexpected surprise for me was that 99% of the defenders of the house were young people between the ages of 18 and 30. I thought that the majority would be middle-aged people – those who usually went to rallies (there were many elderly people there, but here and at night I did not expect to see them). Activation of youth is a very important factor! “
Civil aviation pilot Vasily Ershov so commented the coup on August 21, even before its completion:
“… I do not believe either Yanaev or Yeltsin. I only know one thing: a terrible power struggle. The junta is for a return to totalitarian socialism, and I personally am for capitalism. The whole world recoiled from us. Democracy is over … But you can’t shut up the mouths of the people. He had enough freedom. ” On August 22, Ershov was already on the side of Yeltsin: “I watched the session of the Supreme Soviet of Russia. Yeltsin is great. He did not recognize the junta, and after him many in all cities and villages. And where the regional committees and others obeyed her, he dismissed those. The army began to swear allegiance to Yeltsin. “
10 tanks of a tank battalion led by Major Sergei Evdokimov went over to the side of the defenders of the White House. True, the tanks did not have ammunition. Many years later, Lieutenant Colonel Evdokimov recalled:
“It’s difficult to speak for all the military, but they basically supported the actions of the Emergency Committee. I heard conversations at the headquarters of a regiment, division on the night of August 20-21, and judging by what was being discussed, everything was exactly like that. Part of the reason is subordination, because the boss’s word was the law for subordinates. I proceeded from logic that our chief chief was the supreme commander-in-chief (that is, Gorbachev. – BS), and he did not order us to enter Moscow or storm the White House. The order of the State Emergency Committee, in a situation where the appropriate instruction of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief was not received, was unauthorized and criminal. “
But, even despite the GKChP’s sympathy, almost none of the military was ready to shoot at unarmed people.
The signature under the photo of the removal of the statue of Dzerzhinsky from the pedestal turned out to be symbolic: “F. E. Dzerzhinsky leaves. Lubyanka remains. ” After the suppression of the putsch, the radical reforms that the adherents of democracy hoped for did not follow. The main thing is that the former power structures have remained practically intact: the KGB, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the prosecutor’s office, the judicial system. From these ministries and departments, only a few top officials compromised by ties with the State Emergency Committee were removed. The main cadres with their Soviet ideology survived and successfully reproduced and reproduce their successors.
August 22, 1991 was declared the Day of the Russian Flag. Actually, the tricolor is one of the few conquests of the August revolution that has survived to this day. The fact that in Russia in 30 years all the legacy of August 1991 will be reduced to a new national flag, those who felt like a winner on the evening of August 21 could not even dream about it.