True, the concern is the intention of Russian officials to resolve ethnic conflicts by the same methods as in the USSR. In Russia, as once in the Union, to overcome ethnic strife is mainly assumed by measures that can easily be reported to higher authorities ...
At the same time, unsuccessful attempts continue to convince the Russians that ethnic conflicts in the Russian Federation are not national, but domestic in nature. This is a vicious practice that has discredited itself in Soviet times.
It is no secret that today separatist sentiments are observed in a number of regions of the Russian Federation. In many cases, they are aggravated by religious extremism, which even some clergymen, especially the muftis, carry. I will give just one example.
An interview of Honored Artist of Russia Elena Bezborodova recently published in “Century” “I visited the Patriotic War in Syria”, it is said that at present muftis for Russia are being prepared in anti-Russian Saudi Arabia. Naturally, the mufti, who received a charge of Russophobia there, will spread it among the Muslim believers of the Russian Federation.
It is clear that to transfer the training of muftis to Damascus, as it was before, due to military operations in Syria is unrealistic. But to consider measures to remedy this situation is essential.
Recall the sad Soviet experience. As is known, a number of Gorbachev perestroika, whose actions led to the collapse of the USSR, were trained in the United States under the program of Senator Fulbright. In 1958, Alexander Yakovlev, a post-graduate student of the Academy of Social Sciences under the Central Committee of the CPSU, and the senior lieutenant of the KGB, legend philologist, Oleg Kalugin. The result of the internship Yakovlev and Kalugin known ...
In total, during the Soviet period, nearly one and a half hundred young promising Soviet scientists underwent retraining in the United States. This is not much, but it should be borne in mind that we are talking about people who are visible and influential in their fields and professions. Among them are historians, academicians of the Russian Academy of Sciences Nikolai Bolkhovitinov and Alexander Fursenko, philologists Mikhail Gasparov and Vladimir Kataev, dean of the faculty of journalism of Moscow State University Yasen Zasursky and others.
The following facts speak about the degree of influence of the Soviet preachers of the American way of life prepared according to the Fulbright program. Yakovlev was the member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the CPSU, which, hiding behind the defense of communist ideas, did everything so that they would go into oblivion.
Andrei Fursenko, son of the aforementioned Alexander Fursenko, becoming the Russian Minister of Education, was able to introduce into the Russian school the vicious American slogan “Educate a literate consumer!”, The consequences of which Russia is already reaping.
Undoubtedly, the anti-Russian muftis in the regions of Russia who profess Islam are not less significant in social terms than the aforementioned “Fulbright” people. If you continue to ignore their influence, then the country may face serious conflicts.
In connection with the above, it is necessary to tell about those ethnic conflicts that reminded the Union of the smoldering fire of ethnic hatred and separatism.
In March, 1956, in Georgia, a week after the Twentieth Congress of the CPSU, mass nationalist demonstrations took place. This was related to the report of Khrushchev on the personality cult of Stalin at this congress. In Georgia, respectively, banned to celebrate the anniversary of the death of the Soviet leader.
In Tbilisi, this caused protests of students. She began to lay flowers and wreaths en masse to the monument of Stalin. The Central Committee of the Communist Party of Georgia gave the command to stop the production and sale of wreaths. This further inflamed passions and multiplied the ranks of the defenders of the memory of the leader.
On March 5, thousands of Tbilisi gathered at the Stalin monument and began a multi-day rally, which soon became nationalistic. Not only Moscow and Khrushchev were criticized at the rally, but also called for the independence of Georgia. This was to be expected, since Georgian nationalists believed that in February 1925, Georgia was allegedly "occupied by the Bolshevik forces of Russia."
Troops were brought into Tbilisi. But the rally did not stop. 9 March there appeared a group of violent extremists. They began to call for the seizure of the House of Communications in order to radio to the world powers for the support of the protesters. As a result, a crowd of thousands of people broke into the House of Communication, crushing the posts of soldiers of the Soviet Army who were on duty at the entrance.
The protesters failed to break through above the ground floor of the building, but the intensity of the passions was indescribable. This led to casualties. An angry mob pressed the soldiers against the wall, and one of the extremists, trying to seize weapons, pressed a fork on the throat of a soldier. He instinctively pulled the trigger machine. The result is a 21 victim. So tragically ended the events in Tbilisi. 10 March rally stopped. The city seemed to have moved to the usual rhythm of life. Until 1988 year.
The Tbilisi situation in the Soviet media was presented as hooliganism. Because of this, proper conclusions were not drawn. The controversial issues of establishing Soviet power in Georgia remained under a ban. As a result, by 1988, nationalist sentiments in the republic gained new supporters.
Special mention should be made of protest sentiments in Lithuania. They continued in the 1944-1956 years, when the so-called "partisans" or "miškiniai" (forest) acted in Lithuanian forests. True, it is difficult to call them partisans, as they fought not against the “Soviet occupiers”, but against the Lithuanians who decided to start a new life.
Over the 12 years, the "forest" of Lithuania failed to make a single serious sabotage, did not destroy a single major party or Soviet official, did not beat off a single train with Lithuanians, who were deported to Siberia. Is it possible to compare them with the partisans of Belarus, Ukraine or France?
At the same time, it should be recognized that protest moods in Lithuania, especially among young people, have always been. On the days of the holidays of the pre-war bourgeois Republic of Lithuania, tricolor flags regularly appeared on the streets.
A surge of nationalist sentiment occurred in 1972. 13 of May of that year in Kaunas near the fountain near the Musical Theater on the main street - Laisves Alley (Liberty Alley), Romas Kalanta, an evening school student, burned himself.
He left a note: "I ask you to blame only the political system for my death." Kalanta died the next day. His death caused the two-day unrest of the Kaunas youth. She took to the streets shouting slogans: “Freedom to Lithuania! Russians, get out! ”
Again, the Soviet authorities and the media presented these unrest as hooliganism. Neither Moscow nor Vilnius ever bothered to clarify the controversial pages of the Soviet-Lithuanian stories. The formation of the worldview of the younger generation was still provided to the Lithuanian family.
Meanwhile, every third family in Soviet Lithuania had relatives abroad: in the USA, Canada, England, Germany, Brazil. At the beginning of the 1960-s in Lithuania, parcels from foreign relatives went to the sea. They had fashionable clothes, records, etc. For Lithuanian youth, this was the calling card of an attractive and supposedly carefree western way of life. Accordingly, it caused a negative attitude to the everyday life of Soviet life.
The Gorbachev perestroika, which removed all the prohibitions, brought massive public appearances on national grounds. The first in this regard, declared itself Kazakhstan. In December, 1986, in Almaty, mass riots of student youth occurred, which grew into national unrest.
The dissatisfaction of the youth was caused by the appointment of the Russian Kolbin Gennady Vasilyevich Koland as the first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan instead of the dismissed Kazakh Kunaev Dinmukhamed Akhmedovich. But in reality they had a deeper nature.
In the Soviet period, in the Kazakh SSR, two main ethnic groups developed in parallel: the Kazakhs and the Russians. The Russian-speaking population, which is quite numerous and at one time created the entire industrial infrastructure of Kazakhstan, was concentrated in large cities. Kazakhs mostly lived in small towns and villages.
The Central Committee of the CPSU, pursuing personnel policy in Kazakhstan, made a bet on the Russian-speaking. It was considered normal to appoint the Russians to leadership positions who had no relation to the republic and did not know the language and history of Kazakhstan. The Kazakhs perceived it as the Russification of the republic. The young national elite did not want to put up with this situation. The last straw that broke the patience was Kolbin's appointment.
The performances began a small group of Kazakh youth, which 16 December took to the streets of Alma-Ata with the demands of the resignation of Kolbin. Moscow ordered to disperse the demonstrators. In December, 17 responded to the Brezhnev Square in front of the building of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan already crowds of young people headed by active national patriots.
The posters of the protesters said: “We demand self-determination!”, “Every nation has its own leader!”, “Put an end to the great-power madness!”.
Further, for two days, riots continued in Almaty and Karaganda, which were crushed by army forces. The following figures speak about the scope of the unrest: law enforcement officers detained 8500 people, more than 1700 people suffered serious injuries. Three people died, and 99 were convicted and sentenced to different terms.
At the beginning of 1987, the CPSU Central Committee adopted a resolution in which the incident was qualified as a manifestation of Kazakh nationalism. However, in the future, under the influence of the political situation, the position of the central authorities changed. The Kremlin did not draw appropriate conclusions from the events in Almaty. This was shown by the tragedy of Sumgait.
Mass riots on a national basis in the city of Sumgayit of the Azerbaijan SSR (25 km from Baku) occurred 27 — 29 in February 1988 of the year. In fact, it was an anti-Armenian pogrom. The occasion was the statement of the deputies of the Nagorno-Karabakh autonomous region from 20 February 1988 of the region’s withdrawal from Azerbaijan and its joining to Armenia.
The statement has generated rumors in Azerbaijan that Armenians are mass killing and driving out Azerbaijanis in Nagorno-Karabakh. It was established that provocateurs were involved in the dissemination of these rumors. But Gorbachev in this explosive situation confined himself to only a duty appeal to the peoples of Azerbaijan and Armenia,
In response to this appeal, a rally of Azerbaijanis began in Sumgait, at which calls for revenge against the Armenians were heard. By the evening of February 27, performances from the stands turned into action. Hundreds of protesters, warmed up with appeals and spirits distributed free of charge from trucks, began to smash the apartments of Armenians and kill their owners, whose addresses they had in a strange way.
Moscow kept silence. Finally, the February 29 regiment of the internal troops of the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs and the cadets of the Baku General Military School managed to stop the bacchanal of the killings in Sumgait. However, the situation in the city was completely under control only after the introduction of marines and paratroopers there. The seriousness of the situation is evidenced by the fact that 270 military personnel were injured during the establishment of order.
In total, during the three days of unrest in Sumgayit, hundreds of Armenian apartments were destroyed, dozens of people were killed, a significant part of them were burned alive after beatings and torture, hundreds were injured. The real numbers of the victims are still unknown.
29 February 1988, the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union recognized that mass pogroms and killings in Sumgait were carried out on a national basis. However, 18 of July of the same year, at a meeting of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, Gorbachev excluded the topic of interethnic dissension from his speech.
Along the way, the Secretary General declined responsibility for the Sumgait tragedy, saying that it would not exist if the troops had not been three hours late. In a word, the army is to blame, not Gorbachev, who for almost two days preferred not to notice the development of the situation in Sumgait. Like this!
Accordingly, the investigative group of the USSR Prosecutor’s Office identified the main motive for the crimes in Sumgayit is not interethnic strife, but “hooligan motives.”
Investigators also rejected evidence of preparations for the pogrom. Sumgait events were presented to the Soviet public as a violation of public order.
Such an approach by the investigation ruled out the possibility of identifying the true organizers of the Sumgayit tragedy. There was no single common trial for these events. The case was divided into 80 episodes and was considered in the courts of various cities of the Union. The real culprits of the bloody events remained unpunished.
This gave rise to the confidence of the nationalists of all kinds that violence is an effective means of resolving inter-ethnic issues. As shown by the further development of the situation in the Union.
The transnational situation in the Union worsened when in 1987-1988. the Yakovlev-Gorbachev plan to create so-called popular movements in support of perestroika in the national republics was implemented. These movements were designed to move the social and political field of the CPSU. However, in reality, they became a refuge for all sorts of nationalists and separatists, who, speculating on the ideas of national revival, quickly captured leading positions there.
In 1987-1988 In Georgia, a number of informal public associations were created. Their organizers were 3. Gamsakhurdia, M. Kostava, I. Tsereteli, G. Chanturia, and others. These associations proclaimed as their main goals: the overthrow of the Soviet government in Georgia, the withdrawal of the Georgian SSR from the USSR, and the promotion of the processes of the breakup of the Union.
In 1988, Georgian separatists intensified. They organized and held 30 unauthorized rallies, demonstrations and political strikes. In this regard, in February 1989, some of them were arrested. But from Moscow an order came to release the “fighters for independence”. Having received such a blank check, the separatists turned to mass public actions.
5 April 1989, they organized a rally at the Government House in Tbilisi. A day later, there were already rally over 5 thousands of people.
At the rally, an appeal was made to the President and the US Congress, to the NATO countries, in which it was proposed to consider the issue of Georgia at the UN, to recognize the Soviet occupation of Georgia and assist it in leaving the USSR.
On April 6, slogans appeared on the square: “Down with the communist regime!”, “Down with Russian imperialism!”, “Down with Soviet power!”. The protesters also formed detachments of former "Afghan" soldiers and athletes armed with metal rods and chains.
There was a real threat of capture by protesters of the House of Government and power in the republic. On April 7, the leadership of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Georgia appealed to the Central Committee of the CPSU with a request to send to Tbilisi additional forces of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Defense of the USSR. Arriving late at night on April 7, General Secretary Gorbachev from an overseas trip directly at Vnukovo-2 airport instructed the former first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Georgia, and at that time USSR Foreign Minister E. Shevardnadze and Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee G. Razumovsky to fly to Tbilisi.
However, according to the testimony of Viktor Mikhailovich Chebrikov, the former head of the KGB of the USSR, and later the secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU, the secretary general simultaneously invited Shevardnadze and Razumovsky to think about when to fly? A very strange advice, considering that the situation in Tbilisi was already extremely explosive.
Realizing the danger of the situation, on the evening of April 8, Patriarch Iliya addressed the rally participants with a request: “Brothers and sisters, leave the square, do not bring the matter to the use of force.” But the future president of independent Georgia, Zviad Gamsakhurdia, tore the microphone out of his hands and shouted: "Let the blood be shed!" The crowd replied: "Let the blood spill!"
In the evening of April 8, the commander of the troops of the Transcaucasian Military District I.N. Rodionov received an order from the Minister of Defense D.T. Yazova, by the morning of April 9, clean up the rally Rustaveli Avenue from the demonstrators and take state objects under protection.
After the events, Gorbachev claimed that Yazov had ordered the use of military force in Tbilisi on his own initiative. But in the 1999 year, shortly before his death, V. Chebrikov revealed the secret. In his last interview with the correspondent E. Zhirnov, Viktor Mikhailovich said that he personally "reported to Gorbachev on the situation and requested sanction for the use of troops in Tbilisi." Gorbachev gave the go-ahead, and then played the holy ignorance. " (“Tribune”, 27.07.2001).
By the evening of April 8, the situation in Tbilisi became critical. And the leaders of the rally constantly received secret information about what measures Moscow plans to take against them. Having learned that a force action was being prepared, they blocked all approaches and entrances to Rustaveli Avenue with KamAZ trucks laden with rubble and lowered tires.
As a result, when the troops attempted to oust the protesters from Rustaveli Avenue in 4 on April 9, 1989 people, of whom 18 were women, died from mechanical asphyxiation (forensic examination). The situation was aggravated by the militants of Gamsakhurdia, armed with batons and fittings, which aggravated this crush by arranging hand-to-hand combat with soldiers everywhere.
However, guilty for the death of people made the Soviet paratroopers, who allegedly chopped down women with deminers. With such a “diagnosis” on 10 in the morning of April 9, the previously mentioned Shevardnadze and Razumovsky appeared in Tbilisi. Where they were for almost 1,5 days until then, remained a mystery.
First Deputy Chairman of the KGB of the USSR F.D. Bobkov objected to the approval of Shevardnadze, referring to the film, shot by KGB operators on the square outside the Government House.
Documentary shots testified that the soldiers simply defended their heads from stones and bottles flying from a crowd with demining shovels.
I should add that, regarding the film and the shovels of the shovel, Bobkov personally called Anatoly Alexandrovich Sobchak, the chairman of the commission of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, who dealt with the Tbilisi tragedy. He assured Bobkov that the commission’s conclusions about the shoulder blades are out of the question. But at the meeting of the USSR Armed Forces of the USSR and the I Congress of People's Deputies of the USSR the topic of sapper blades sounded like truth. The Soviet Army, the KGB and the Soviet authorities were dealt their first fatal blow. No doubt, the truth about Tbilisi events was known to Gorbachev. Moreover, he received an exhaustive certificate from the USSR Prosecutor General N. Trubin.
Gorbachev's silence at the moment when the Army and the KGB defamed, meant one thing. He deliberately sought to undermine the authority of the Soviet government, the army and the KGB. And in his entourage there was no man who would make public the treacherous position of the head of the party.
Well, the fact that the death of people in Tbilisi was a consequence of Gorbachev’s position, which allowed the situation to develop to a critical one, is beyond doubt.
After the Sumgait pogrom, relations between Azerbaijanis and Armenians became extremely tense. 12 January 1990 of the year on Baku television sounded a statement by representatives of the Popular Front of Azerbaijan that Baku was filled with homeless Azerbaijani refugees from Karabakh, and thousands of Armenians live in comfortable apartments.
The next day, a rally of thousands of people gathered on Lenin Square in Baku, and slogans “Glory to the heroes of Sumgayit”, “Long live Baku without Armenians” sounded on it. By evening, some of the protesters began a seven-day anti-Armenian pogrom. As in Sumgayit, the mobsters purposefully walked around the city, perfectly guided by what apartments the Armenians lived in.
The actions of the mob were distinguished by sophisticated cruelty. However, troops stationed in the city of the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs and part of the Soviet Army received instructions from Moscow not to intervene in what was happening, limited only to the protection of government facilities.
On January 17, supporters of the Popular Front of Azerbaijan began a continuous rally in front of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Republic, blocking all approaches to it. By this time, the Popular Front controlled a number of regions of Azerbaijan. An anti-Soviet uprising was going on in the republic.
19 January 1990, a state of emergency was introduced by decree of the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet in Baku. On the night of 19 on 20 in January, Gorbachev agreed to the deployment of units of the army and the KGB of the USSR in Baku. 134 was killed and more than 700 residents of Baku were wounded during the street battles of servicemen with militants of the Popular Front.
A few words about the statements about the disproportion of power actions of the Soviet military in Baku. Good to talk about this topic, sitting in the office. Now imagine the young guys entering the unfamiliar city at night, in which they are trying to take away their weapons or set fire to equipment? Their reaction is quite predictable.
For comparison, let me remind you that in April of this year, the American authorities brought several thousand policemen, special forces and armored vehicles to the capture of the two Tsarnaev brothers. The whole city resembled a military camp, living under martial law.
The streets of the city were empty. Residents of Boston during the period of power actions were strictly ordered not to leave their homes. Knowing the logic of the behavior of the American police and soldiers "first shoot, then understand", there is no doubt that any city that appeared on the streets could be destroyed.
But back to Baku. The introduction of troops into the city dealt a severe blow to the positions of the Soviet government and the Communist Party in Azerbaijan. Tens of thousands of Azerbaijani communists publicly burned their membership cards. 22 January, the population of Baku buried the victims of the tragedy. They were buried as heroes of the struggle for independence in the park to them. CM. Kirov, later renamed the Shahid Alley.
The military operation was a tragedy for the Russians who lived in Azerbaijan. Baku in January 1990 was seething with hatred for "Russians". The inscriptions “Russians are occupiers!”, “Russians are pigs!” Appeared on many houses. Over the course of 1990, Russians began to be evicted from their flats without a break. The courts did not respond to their requests.
And what about our Secretary General? He again stood aside, saying that the troops entered Baku by order of Yazov and Kryuchkov, as if forgetting that the decree on imposing a state of emergency in Baku was signed by him.
Let me also recall the Politburo meeting on the Tbilisi tragedy, which took place on April 24 on 1989. Then Gorbachev strictly forbade the Minister of Defense of the USSR D. Yazov and the Chairman of the KGB of the USSR V. Kryuchkov without the decision of the Politburo to use the army and special forces in civil matters.
However, after Baku there were no organizational conclusions regarding the “self-producers”. Moreover, on April 28 of 1990, President Gorbachev awarded Yazov with the title of Marshal of the Soviet Union by decree! It is absolutely clear that Yazov and Kryuchkov in Baku followed Gorbachev’s instructions.
Then the bloody wheel of ethnic violence rolled across the Union: Dushanbe (February 1990), Osh (June 1990).
But the Kremlin and Gorbachev preferred to hide the truth about the above-mentioned inter-ethnic clashes. They did not become the subject of a serious discussion at the XVIII Congress of the CPSU, held in June-July 1990.
Criminal cases on this topic, as a rule, "let down on the brakes." As a result, the nationalists believed in their impunity. This was most clearly manifested in the Lithuanian SSR.
Having created the Lithuanian Movement for Perestroika (“Sajudis”) in June 1988 of the year with the filing of the Kremlin and the KGB, the Lithuanian separatists literally trampled under their control all the power structures of the republic. The reporting and election fall campaign of 1988 of the year in primary, city and district party organizations was mainly won by the representatives of Sajudis.
After that, the Communist Party became an instrument of “Sajudis” in solving the issues of gaining independence for Lithuania. From October 1988 on the 90%, the communist Supreme Council of the Lithuanian SSR began to obediently adopt the declarations and laws that formed the legal framework for Lithuania to secede from the USSR.
The Central Committee of the CPSU and Gorbachev impassively watched the processes of strengthening the position of the separatists in Lithuania. There is a clear analogy with the development of the situation in Georgia and Azerbaijan, which testifies to the deliberate tactics of Gorbachev and his entourage.
Finally, having won the elections to the Supreme Soviet of the Lithuanian SSR in February-March 1990, at the very first meeting, the syuydis proclaimed the restoration of an independent Lithuanian state. Meanwhile, Landsbergis, while giving an interview to the English newspaper The Daily Mail (07.04.1990), said: “The West must understand that Gorbachev himself has allowed this situation to happen. For two years he observed the growth of our independence movement. He could stop him at any time. Maybe he wanted it or wants it now. But he did not stop him. ”
Having gained power, the sajudists relied on inciting ethnic hatred in the republic, since this contributed to the consolidation of the Lithuanian nation. By January 1991, the inter-ethnic situation in the multinational Vilnius became critical. Then in Moscow they decided to take control of the Press House, as well as the republican radio and television, which inflamed interethnic strife.
The plans of Moscow, as it was in Georgia and Azerbaijan, became instantly known to Lithuanian separatists. In Lithuania, the Center, or rather Gorbachev, again allowed the situation to be critical.
Only on the night of 12 on 13 in January of 1991, when strategic sites in Vilnius were surrounded by thousands of protesters, a force action was ordered from Moscow.
And that is characteristic. After the events, representatives of the President of the USSR E. Shevardnadze and G. Razumovsky arrived in Tbilisi, with the 1,5-daily delay. And in Vilnius, to which 1 hour 20 min. flight from Moscow, the commission of the USSR Supreme Council, headed by the deputy. Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR Nikolai Ivanovich Dementey flew 20 hours. A strange repetition, suggestive of sad reflections.
It is also strange that during the military action in Vilnius, the sad experience of Tbilisi and Baku was ignored. The separatists prepared perfectly. The arrows located on the roofs of the houses surrounding the TV tower and on the TV tower itself, after the appearance of a military column with paratroopers, opened fire on a crowd of protesters and military personnel. In addition, victims of arrivals tanks people who died in city car accidents were represented.
As a result, the soldiers of the Soviet Army and the special group of the KGB of the USSR "A" early in the morning of January 13 1991 were accused of killing 13 and injuring 48 residents of the republic. It soon became clear that the Vilnius tragedy dealt a crushing blow to the authority of the Soviet Army and the KGB.
The foregoing makes it possible to confidently believe that separatism and ethnic strife in the USSR could be stopped if this happened in a timely manner, relying on the force of the USSR Laws, supported by skillful propaganda work, revealing the essence of controversial historical issues of interethnic relations, and, of course, without camouflaging nationalism hooliganism.
However, when nationalist separatism in the Union broke out like a forest fire, it was impossible to stop the process.
The blame for this development of the situation in the USSR, lies entirely on the Secretary General and President Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev, who deliberately led the case to the collapse of the USSR.