“The collapse of Russia in 90-s. Causes and consequences in the estimates of contemporaries "
Yeltsin’s “hard times” and its impact on the material situation and spiritual and moral condition of Russia have not yet been received in our country historical literature and the media an objective, truthful and comprehensive assessment, although much has been written about it. It was not properly disclosed for the people which external and internal forces stood behind Yeltsin's “reforms” and determined their character and orientation. And this is understandable: the neoliberals who came to power are far from interested in the truth about how their policies led to the collapse of Russia. At one of the meetings at the Academy of Sciences, I had the opportunity to hear this opinion: "We are still waiting for such an XX Congress, from which the whole world is gasping."
What happened to Russia in the 90s? Let's start with the influence of an external factor. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the coming to power in Russia of a new “elite” led by B. Yeltsin were perceived by the US ruling circles as the emergence of extremely favorable geopolitical conditions for implementing the idea of a world “American empire”. To do this, they needed to solve another task - to remove Russia from the American way as an important subject of world politics.
To this end, the Clinton administration has developed a new foreign policy doctrine, called the New Containment Policy of Russia. In fact, it was a continuation of the policy of the Cold War, using not “military” methods, but “indirect methods of influence” on Russia. Even the staff of the German Foreign Ministry embraced this course of the United States with bewilderment. In the Internationale Politik of Germany, they wrote 2001 in October: “For a strategy of“ new deterrence ”and“ negative impact in a mild form ”or a strategy of“ selective cooperation ”with regard to Russia, there is now no reason. Russia does not pose any danger. It is an important partner with, as before, a great impact on security in Europe and Asia. ”
Instead of following the remarkable principles of the Paris Charter, signed by all European countries and the United States themselves 27 November 1990 after the end of the Cold War and German unification and aimed at creating peace, security, universal cooperation and prosperity in Europe, Washington chose to continue the “indirect devastating impact, ”this time in relation to Russia.
A special role in achieving the goals of the new American strategy was assigned to the Yeltsin regime, which was advised by more than 300 American advisers, among whom were many CIA employees. The Russian press cited a lot of evidence on how Russian politics was managed during the "new containment" of Russia. Former Chairman of the Supreme Council Ruslan Khasbulatov, very knowledgeable about the secrets of the then policy, wrote that Yeltsin voluntarily agreed to the role of a puppet of the United States. “Through various tools” he coordinated with the Americans “at the highest political level” the composition of the government, the political, economic, social course of the state, its foreign policy.
Nezavisimaya Gazeta, having published the IMF directives to the Chernomyrdin government in December 1997, raised the legitimate question: “Why does Russia have its own government?” The editor-in-chief of this newspaper, Vitaly Tretyakov, wrote in the article “Government of Slaves”: “Let's call things by their proper names: speech, essentially, it is about external management, at least of our country's economy. Let the smart people do it, but, firstly, they are not Russian citizens, and secondly, no one elected or appointed them inside the Russian Federation, that is, Messrs. Comdessus and Wolfensohn are absolutely not responsible to anyone in our country. This is how bankrupts are ruled ... Slaves who temporarily burst into power sit in the Kremlin. ”
It was about a team consisting of Yeltsin, Gaidar, Chubais, Berezovsky, Gusinsky, Gref, Abramovich, Chernomyrdin, Kozyrev and many other nouveau riche. What could be expected, for example, from Chubais - a member of the closed Bilderberg club created by representatives of the American financial oligarchy in 1954? This club became an important part of “world power” along with the Trilateral Commission established by Rockefeller, Morgan and Rothschild in 1974, as well as the American Council on International Relations and other similar organizations engaged in the development of geopolitical problems in the interests of the “US world elite”. Such prominent politicians as G. Kissinger, Z. Brzezinski, D. Bush, a number of major financiers and industrialists entered the Bilderberg club. In addition to Chubais, I. Ivanov, who was the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and secretary of the Security Council and became a member of the board of directors of LUKOIL, were chosen from Russia for him, except for Chubais.
Using Yeltsin and his team, the Clinton administration hoped to create material and spiritual poverty in Russia, a state of devastation of its statehood, economy, science, education, armed forces, to prevent the country's revival, turn it into a raw material, oil and gas appendage of the West and put the country's security in dependence on the price of oil and gas in the world market. The best way to achieve these goals was the introduction of “capitalism with American specifics” in Russia.
It was a disastrous path for the country. He brought a lack of control over the economy and social processes in the country. The period of “primitive accumulation of capital”, which Western countries went through more than 300 years ago, was marked in Russia by the rampant nature of the market, wild outrage and the top-level impunity for economic crimes. With incredible speed, a state of universal poverty was created in the country. At the beginning of 1992, in one instant, the ruble and government securities were completely devalued, Russian citizens and enterprises lost their savings, tax collection fell to a minimum, and then all the troubles of Russia followed. The overwhelming part of its national wealth was handed over for nothing (“penny per ruble”, as Clinton’s advisor Strobe Talbot) wrote to various rogues to bestow on the financial oligarchy closely connected with the United States and American henchmen in influential government structures.
The American “shock therapy” led to an unprecedented collapse of Russia - the paralysis of its production due to criminal privatization and the lack of effective demand of the population, more than half of which was below the poverty line, the overflow of financial oligarchy, the shadow economy and the crime of enormous financial assets and national wealth of Russia abroad ; the mass escape from poverty to the West, mainly in the USA, of scholars, cultural figures, technical intelligentsia; the collapse of the armed forces, the undermining of scientific, technical and educational potential, the decline of agriculture, the inability to modernize the unacceptably outdated (by 70-80%) industrial equipment.
Russia was gripped by a demographic crisis. In the comments to the preliminary results of the 2002 census of the year, prepared for the meeting of the Government of the Russian Federation, it was said: "The extinction of the Russian people is going on at an enormous pace ... An absolutely planned deportation of the Russian population is happening, by someone."
In the media there were many calls for the legislative and executive authorities to come to their senses, think about their own national interests, stop pursuing the policy of destroying Russia. There was no shortage of appeals to the European public about the destructive actions of the Yeltsin regime. Thus, in “An Appeal to the German Public”, signed along with me by Lev Kopelev, Yuri Afanasyev, Vadim Belotserkovsky, Sergey Kovalev, Grigory Vodolazov, Dmitry Furman and other representatives of the Russian intelligentsia and published in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung XNX, Zeitung in February 19.12.1996, it was said: “With bitterness and indignation, we observe how the German government supports by all imaginable means the anti-democratic regime that has arisen in our country in all its cruel and unlawful actions x and a large part of the German media consciously or unconsciously trying to ignore the deep crisis in Russia.
We cannot imagine that the German leadership is not sufficiently informed about this crisis. Many people in Russia even suspect that the West, including Germany, provides Yeltsin with unconditional support, because it hopes with its help to finally bring Russia down to the rank of weak states. With a decisive condemnation and the threat of economic sanctions by democratic states, the Yeltsin team would hardly have decided from October to December 1993 to overthrow the Constitution and establish an authoritarian regime, unleash a monstrous war in Chechnya and hold recent anti-democratic elections, that is, to act in such a way that this predetermined the escalation of the crisis in Russia.
The catastrophe is developing in its own way: the only way to characterize the situation in our country now. The economic policies of the caste around Yeltsin and Chernomyrdin turned a thin layer of the old communist nomenklatura and the “new Russians” into the unimaginably rich, plunged the overwhelming part of industry into a state of stagnation, and the majority of the population - into poverty. In property relations, the gap between the class of the rich and the poor is now much deeper than the one that caused the October Revolution in the past. ”
This appeal, like many others, was ignored by the ruling circles of Western European countries. On the one hand, they were under the heel of the United States and did not dare to oppose support for the Yeltsin regime, on the other - in Western Europe there were quite a few supporters of the maximum weakening of Russia. The inertia of the Cold War and the fear that Russia would not again turn into a powerful state and not return to the expansive policy, from which it resolutely dissociated itself during the reforms of the 80-s, acted.
When analyzing the performance of the Yeltsin team over the course of the 90-s, one could unwittingly get the impression that the occupation authorities were operating in Russia. According to economists at the time, it would take from 20 to 30 years to eliminate the disastrous consequences of “shock therapy.” The damage from it was compared to the one that was inflicted on the country during the Second World War.
Many Russian experts still adhere to this opinion. Thus, the director of the Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Academician Nikolai Shmelev, in his article “Common Sense and the Future of Russia: Yes or No?” Wrote: “Today, hardly anyone of realistic-minded people will decide to say that in the foreseeable 15-20 years we will be able to compensate all damage caused by the current "troubled time". Over the past two decades, Russia has lost half of its industrial potential and, unless emergency measures are taken, due to the obsolescence of equipment in the next 7-10 years, the remaining half will be lost. At least one third of the agricultural land was taken out of circulation, about 50% of the cattle population was put under the knife. According to some experts, up to a third of her “brains” left the country during the same period. Science, applied research and development, and a system of professional training are in a dilapidated state. Over the past two decades, not a single large industrial enterprise (with the exception of the Sakhalin project), not a single power station, not a single railroad or highway of serious importance has been built in Russia. ”
It is not surprising that the American billionaire Soros, speaking at the international forum in Davos 27 in January 2013, drew attention to the deplorable state of the Russian economy. But he did not name those who contributed to this. This was told by a prominent American researcher Stephen Cohen in his book "America and the Tragedy of Post-Communist Russia." He wrote about the catastrophic consequences of the American policy of the destruction of Russia. With his assessment of this policy, he introduced a wide circle of Russian readers in the article “The United States is pursuing an unreasonable policy towards Russia”: “The American state has been participating in the internal affairs of Russia since the end of the Cold War, and this has not brought anything good. The United States should just shut up, go home and go about its own business ... These are bad times for Russia, bad times for Russian-American relations, and I don’t see anything improving. ”
In 1996, a group of prominent Russian and American economists, preoccupied with the economic situation in Russia, addressed the Russian president condemning the policy of “shock therapy” and proposed a new economic program capable of leading the country out of a crisis fraught with dire consequences. On the Russian side, the appeal was signed by Academicians L.Abalkin, O. Bogomolov, V.Makarov, S.Shatalin, Y.Yaremenko and D.Lvov, on the American side - Nobel Prize winners in economics L.Klein, V.Leontiev, J. Tobin , M.Ingrilligeitor, M.Pomer. The appeal, in particular, suggested the following:
- The Russian government should play a much more important role in the transition to a market economy. The policy of non-interference of the state, which is part of the "shock therapy", has not justified itself. The government should replace it with a program in which the state assumes the main role in the economy, as it happens in the modern mixed economies of the USA, Sweden, and Germany.
- “Shock therapy” had terrifying social consequences, including a huge increase in the number of absolutely poor people, poor health and longevity, and the destruction of the middle class. The government should be active in restructuring the industry.
- Serious government measures must be taken to prevent the criminalization of the economy. Taking advantage of government non-interference, criminal elements fill the void. There was a transition not to a market, but to a criminalized economy. The state is obliged to reverse this and eliminate the cancer tumor of crime in order to create a stable business climate and encourage investment in production.
- The state should revive consumer demand by increasing pensions and wages, promote the formation of sufficient funds for social needs and provide support for the health care system, education, ecology, science, which in general could protect Russia's two great assets - its human capital and natural resources.
“It would be expedient for the government to use the revenues received from foreign trade in gas and oil, not for the import of products and luxury goods, but for the modernization of obsolete factories. It is necessary to ensure that the rent from the exploitation of natural resources turns into state revenues.
- When conducting a new policy, patience is necessary. The transition of the economy to a system of market relations takes time, otherwise it is impossible to avoid a catastrophe. The architects of the “shock therapy” did not recognize this; the results, as expected, caused a deep crisis.
These were the main aspects of the reform adjustment for Russia, developed by world-famous economists. But the Yeltsin regime did not pay any attention to the recommendations of "economic sages." Unfortunately, his followers completely ignored them. By the way, we note that the Pope also condemned the supporters of "capitalist neoliberalism" in one of the speeches he made during his trip to Cuba in January 1998.
In this regard, one episode is very indicative. Chubais, having familiarized himself with the “economic wise men” program, hurried to Washington, visited the State Department and protested in connection with the program, which could put an end to the entire policy of the Yeltsin team. The US State Department reacted positively to the intervention of Chubais, condemned the program and the participation of American scientists in its development.
Gaidar, Chubais, and others like them tried to justify themselves by saying that they, in one fell swoop, wanted to put an end to the communist regime and prevent its return. In fact, they did everything to destroy and plunder Russia in one fell swoop, just as the Clinton administration planned. Strobe Talbott, who developed Clinton’s policy toward Russia, wrote: “With the wholehearted approval of most Western experts, they (Gaidar and his team. - Note by the author) believed that such tough measures were necessary for two reasons: first, to create conditions for sooner or later the inevitable solvency of the Russian state, and secondly, to break the back of the Soviet Leviathan. " As the saying goes, “they were going to the Soviet Union, and they got to Russia”.
The greatest historical paradox of the end of the twentieth century is that in less than one decade, one superpower - the United States - cracked down on another superpower - Russia, without firing a shot and spilling a single drop of blood from its soldiers. This has not yet been known to history.
Leaving the presidency of Russia, Boris Yeltsin asked in his farewell speech forgiveness from the Russian people, but he did not say for exactly what sins. For the fact that in December 1991 signed a declaration on the dissolution of the Soviet Union in Belovezha, thereby violating the will of the people, expressed for preserving the country in a referendum in March of 1991? Or for the fact that 10 years of his reign led Russia to the brink of disaster? Or for having seized power in the Russian state, began to serve the American "backstage"? There is no forgiveness for this. Such could Herostratus, what else did not know the story.
- Vyacheslav Dashichev