"TOMORROW". Nikolai Sergeevich, how could you comment on the statement made to me in the interview for the newspaper “Podmoskovie” by the chairman of the USSR KGB V. A Kryuchkov: “Regardless of whether or not 1991 was signed in August in the form in which it was needed the then USSR President M.Gorbachev, the Allied but renewed treaty between the socialist republics, still the USSR was waiting for the end! ”
Nikolai Leonov. I think that the problem of the end of the superpower, which, of course, was the USSR, does not lie in the reason for signing or not signing the Union Treaty! All the trends of these events, which we will discuss in this interview, from 1988 to 1991 years, indicate that it was a matter of the collapse of a great power, regardless of the options that might be introduced in this process! I personally happened to be in 1989 year in the countries that are now called Baltic. Then, on the instructions of the chairman of the USSR State Security Committee Viktor Mikhailovich Chebrikov, I traveled to all the Baltic republics of the USSR.
On this trip, I was accompanied then by another general from the intelligence department of the KGB of the USSR, whose name I will not name, because he himself was from the Baltic states, and who now continues to live in one of these republics! And during this trip to all the then Baltic republics of the USSR, I had the opportunity to talk, both with the party leadership of these republics and with the government representation, and with my colleagues, who, as you understand, headed the KGB offices of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.
Arriving in Moscow, I wrote a note to the Central Committee of the Communist Party, having previously reported my conclusions about what was happening at that time, in these republics of the USSR, to Chebrikov, chairman of the USSR State Security Committee, that it was about to split them off from the USSR . Since all the established trends and organizations, such as “Sajudis” in Lithuania, and in other republics of the USSR in the Baltic States, led the business of splitting off their republics and leaving the USSR!
"TOMORROW". And you, as one of the leaders and members of the Board of the USSR State Security Committee, suggested any measures to counter these nationalist trends? As I was told by your colleagues from the counterintelligence directorates of the KGB of the USSR, these trends were supported and now supported by Western intelligence agencies and the US State Department.
Nikolai Leonov. On the question of what could then have been undertaken to prevent these processes, I then formulated a proposal that could slow down this process. It was called “To hold the Balticization of Finland”. The meaning of the plan I proposed was to provide the Baltic republics of the USSR with full cost accounting, to stop taking excessive taxes from them, to give them the opportunity to make excess profits, since they were the most industrially developed in scientific and technical terms. And it may even be, within certain limits, to provide political freedom. Since it was during the existence of Tsarist Russia with its constituent Finland, which then had, for example, its own parliament, and we, then did not have it. Here, something similar we then proposed to create for the Baltic republics of the USSR.
"TOMORROW". And how was the opposition of the democratic forces of Russia fed by the West going to your plans and proposals of the specialists of the Analytical Division of the KGB of the USSR?
Nikolai Leonov. Literally, a few months after our trip to the Baltic republics of the USSR, Alexander Nikolayevich Yakovlev, Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU, made his voyage on them. I remember very well that he wrote a note to the CPSU Central Committee and Politburo, a completely opposite character to what I stated in my note.
In his opinion, all the processes of a political nature that took place in the Baltic States did not carry a threat to the USSR. There just went a normal process of democratization. And, in his opinion, organizations such as Saoudis and popular fronts that began their formation in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia did not pose any danger to the integrity of the country.
"TOMORROW". It turns out that even then representatives of the Central Committee of the Party, who fell under the influence of the West and first of all the United States, becoming reincarnates, allowed the local nationalist elite, who fell into the executive power of these republics, to do what they wanted. And also to make any laws they need, which led to the collapse of the USSR in December 1991?
Nikolai Leonov. In the days we are talking about, the processes were simply separatist. The CPSU Central Committee stayed inactive for too long, did not take any measures, including those I mentioned above, because, as I know, my proposals for the Finlandisation of the Baltic republics were read by the top leadership of the USSR, but none of them turned to them, unfortunately no attention.
So far the matter did not come at a later stage to open speeches of all the nationalists of these republics, who had to be suppressed by force, and which could not be suppressed even with the help of the USSR army!
And here we are talking about the fact that the central government did not cope with the situation, and the State Security Committee informed the Central Committee of the Party in full what situation and what nationalists of all colors in the republics of the USSR are planning!
"TOMORROW". And what was the nature of the information coming from the KGB of the USSR to the Central Committee of the CPSU and the Politburo? And also, did it talk about the wrecking activity of A. N. Yakovlev, who, with his memoranda to the Central Committee, covers the nationalists of the Baltic states and thereby threatens the integrity of the USSR?
Nikolai Leonov. If it would be possible to declassify the documents of that time, the period of the collapse of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, anyone could easily see that all the information that came from the KGB of the USSR to the Party Central Committee was clearly proactive. The information said that the case is already going to the collapse of the USSR. And if the leadership of that time of our country did not take any political measures, then we can already interpret this either by the helplessness of the people in power or by their brainlessness and lack of understanding of the measure of danger. And the fact that all warning systems then worked properly, here I have no doubt!
"TOMORROW". It turns out that the former president of the USSR, M. Gorbachev, could not understand what he was driving his country, which he so ineptly controls, and most importantly, that the coming collapse of the USSR will lead to its own political collapse as a leader? And what role in these events played A. N. Yakovlev, whom he blindly believed?
Nikolai Leonov. Gorbachev was stupid, like a “gray gelding”, as one Gogol's hero of the comedy “The Inspector General” said about the mayor. What he was doing, I will not find another word for his actions, he did not understand what consequences his actions would lead to. He could not even understand how to manage the processes of his own actions, which he carried out, so now ask from Gorbachev, this is also what to ask from the goat's milk, which the goat simply does not have!
Therefore, I repeat once again that he never understood, and what he does when leading a superpower. He could not explain, or decipher, but what is the meaning of the word perestroika he loves, for which he called on the people of the USSR. It was just his complete improvisation, until the case entered the destructive stage!
And the processes that you recalled in your question, in Nagorno-Karabakh, in Kazakhstan, are all links in one chain. After all, he removed the first secretary of the Central Committee of Kazakhstan Kunaev and put him in his place, completely reckless that the Russian man did not need to be done in that political situation. What immediately led to street performances that led to bloodshed and the subsequent development of the nationalist spiral already in the republics of Central Asia
"TOMORROW". And as for the issues of combating nationalism in different republics, in your opinion, Nikolai Sergeevich, it was possible and necessary to solve without using army units and special groups of the USSR KGB, like "Alpha", during the assault on the territory of Central Asia, the Transcaucasus and the Baltic republics. Vilnius TV Tower? And were there any cases in the history of our country when the former leadership of the USSR by the hands of the KGB of their country without a clang tank caterpillars solved possible outbreaks of terrorism in different parts of the USSR?
Nikolai Leonov. Even when Andropov was the first secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU, he said that the nationalism that we inherited from the royal order, we were able to win. But during the Soviet era, nationalism mimicked, acquiring completely different forms and forms, and other characteristics, and with this nationalism it is necessary to act very carefully. In my opinion, not the way it was done by the President of the USSR Gorbachev in Kazakhstan, in Nagorno-Karabakh, where everything went into a dressing, and where his actions led to a lot of blood. In order not to be unfounded, I will give one example, because I remember how Andropov received the report of the KGB Chairman on Uzbekistan Levon Melkumov, who reported Yuriy Vladimirovich about the greatest mess and nationalistic orgy that was going on in Uzbekistan over forty pages. And I remember very well that, after reading this report, Andropov said that this report is true, but now he’s breaking the first secretary of the Central Committee of Uzbekistan Rashidov as suggested by the Chairman of the KGB Office for Uzbekistan Melkumov, and could flow out of this document time. Therefore, he didn’t remove Rashidov from there, which would surely lead to an explosion of the nationalist spiral, as in Kazakhstan, but preferred to send the chairman of the KGB of this republic to another post, on a foreign trip, so that those who were involved in the bacchanal would not settle accounts with him , and knew about the drafting of this document.
Nationalism must be treated extremely subtly, so I can say that Gorbachev, of course, did not understand the whole danger of the nationalist threat, ignored it, until it finally smashed the entire state led by it.
"TOMORROW". Well, we dealt with the first and the last president of the USSR, but Alexander Yakovlev could not help but understand what and how he creates, destroying a great power?
Nikolai Leonov. When I had to work as the head of the Analytical Directorate of the KGB of the USSR and deal with the internal processes taking place in the USSR, and I was appointed to this post in February 1991 of the year, some eight, ten months before the death of the USSR, I wrote on the basis of the intelligence data, a note to Gorbachev personally, which was naturally signed by the then chairman of the KGB of the USSR, Kryuchkov, about Alexander Nikolayevich Yakovlev. The note said in black and white that this person is an enemy of the Communist Party, leads to the death of the CPSU, the socialist system and only a matter of time when he announces his withdrawal from the party, and in fact will provoke its split.
And this document was reported to Kryuchkov Gorbachev, and he did not find anything better and clever how to show this note to Yakovlev himself, which caused an attack of rage and hatred towards the USSR State Security Committee. But life has shown that his behavior in all matters, from the Baltic to the GDR, was treacherous. Although in the same GDR everything went to the break of the Berlin Wall and to those terrible events that they began to call the era of velvet revolutions.
Yakovlev all the time lied to Gorbachev, and he, like any super-fool, swallowed Yakovlev nonsense because, being a weak man, he fell under the absolute influence of Yakovlev and Shevardnadze and became a weak-willed puppet in their hands.
All events, with the death of the USSR and the arrival of B. Yeltsin to power in Russia, were associated primarily with the loss of control over the media by the party. Yakovlev, being the secretary of the Central Committee and a member of the Politburo in charge of this industry, was able to quietly pass with consent and without resistance from the President of the USSR Gorbachev all the media to people whom we can consider ardent enemies of socialism. Judge for yourself, by the summer of 1991, practically only one “Soviet Russia” remained in the hands of the party.
“Spark” was led by V. Korotich - at the time of the August events of the State Emergency Committee he understood that the KGB of the USSR knew a lot about his work to undermine the country and tried to stay in the United States. Izvestia belonged to Golimbiovsky, one of the most important Zionist democrats. And so, what to talk about such an edition as “Moscow news, Whose editor-in-chief was not only a namesake, but also one of A.N. Yakovlev.
It is no coincidence after the August events of 1991, Yegor Yakovlev, with the suggestion of the same A.N. Yakovlev, began to manage the most important of the influence on the masses of television, making it not just commercial, but even more anti-Soviet. He gave all the time to those politicians who had a hand in the destruction of the USSR, and to the journalists who served them.
All that we are talking about was subordinated to a single conductor's stick, it was not for nothing that all the Western media asserted that A. Yakovlev was the foreman of restructuring, that he was the main intellectual brain of restructuring. Of course, Gorbachev, even being the leader of the country, was just a slug in front of him, giving each question to Yakovlev!
Oleg Kalugin and Alexander Yakovlev, and two more people whose names I’m just sorry to, will not be mentioned in this interview - one group of young people who were studying in the United States of America at Columbia University in the late fifties. We, the workers of the First Main Directorate of the KGB of the USSR, have deep convictions that all of them were then recruited by the American special services.
"TOMORROW". Please tell us, how did the intelligence community in the person of the CIA of the United States reward the actions of their kept women whose names you named A. Yakovlev and O. Kalugin?
Nikolai Leonov. As for the first person involved in your question, A. Yakovlev, he was paid, first of all, by exorbitant swelling of his personality, his intellectual, theoretical abilities. He received for his activities against the USSR, for his performances in the period of perestroika, the highest fees in the United States. All his books, no matter how shit they are, about which none of the Russian people remember, were published in the United States of America and Western Europe. He received huge fees and all sorts of prizes, in a word, his masters from the American special services and state authorities fanned him like village boys, sticking straws into a toad.
So the Americans do in relation to each of their agents of influence, whoever he is, Yakovlev, Politkovskaya, or a State Duma deputy. They make large figures of world scale and level.
From the same Kalugin at one time blinded the "fighter for democracy." Where is he now? He works as a vulgar guide to the places where the PSU of the KGB of the USSR worked in Washington. He was granted the right to engage in any kind of activity in the United States, in fact, the guarantee status of the hostages in the master's house.
"TOMORROW". The introduction of a state of emergency in our country in August 1991, in your opinion, could or not save the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics from death?
Nikolai Leonov. The history of that time showed us two historical examples. In 1989, a similar situation occurred in China in Tiananmen Square. By the way, at that very moment President of the USSR Gorbachev was there on a state visit. Chinese leader Deng Xia Opin, who will go down in history as the creator of great China, without hesitation, suggested using his army and secret police force to disperse the opposition rally, realizing that it might be necessary to shed some blood for the future of the great Chinese state and his people!
Gorbachev tried to tweet there that he needed to search for ways of reconciliation to the fighting parties - consensus, as he liked to say, and the Chinese authorities, telling him, Mikhail Sergeyevich, go back to your own country and go back to your own affairs, after which they quietly sent him to the homeland.
Themselves brought tanks onto the streets and quietly suppressed the opposition. Yes, blood has been shed, but the struggle for power is always connected with the shedding of blood. Justified these actions? Fully. After all, before our eyes, China is turning into a great economically developed power, and the Chinese people are only grateful to the people for having made such a decision.
And our degenerate leadership, when two years later attempting to do something similar, no longer had the will, the decisiveness, or the firmness of character.
And when the crowd gathered around the White House, the bewildered leaders, together with the leadership of the KGB of the USSR, preferred to surrender power, sit in the Matrosskaya Silence, and not take measures to save the system, the Motherland and the people.
"TOMORROW". It turns out that V. Kryuchkov, Chairman of the KGB of the USSR, was also guilty of the failure of the State Emergency Committee. Having all the information about the enemy’s plans, and seeing that Gorbachev was doing a couple with Yeltsin, he didn’t even try to declare the President of the People’s Deputies The USSR once again tells a lie. And he did not offer more stringent measures to the fate of the leaders of the collapse of the country, having all the power of his special services?
Nikolai Leonov. History, in my opinion, does not remove guilt and historical responsibility from the Chairman of the KGB of the USSR, Vladimir Kryuchkov. Vladimir Alexandrovich grew up under the leadership of the KGB of the USSR Andropov, under the Andropov wing, and while Yury Vladimirovich was alive, all decisions of Kryuchkov were, as a rule, verified and were accurate. But as soon as Gorbachev appointed Kryuchkov as an independent political figure, when Vladimir Alexandrovich became the chairman of the KGB of the USSR, a member of the Politburo, when he was responsible for making crucial decisions and measures to strengthen the state, his shortcomings showed up, especially hesitancy. Therefore, no matter how hard he tried, he didn’t justify himself in his books, but I must say that his character was not strong enough. This is evident from the fact that in the Emergency Committee, assembled on his initiative, for a long time they could not even elect a chairman.
"TOMORROW". It turns out that when Gorbachev came to power in the USSR, another terrible thing happened, like the degeneration of the party itself? And just before him, as I was told by your colleagues in the KGB of the USSR, even when N. Khrushchev came to power in the USSR, was the spirit of independence out of the special services?
Nikolai Leonov. Of course, there was a degeneration of the party top, and, completely. Indeed, in those days, the party did not call for anyone to take to the streets to support the State Emergency Committee. After all, if, say, half a year earlier, at the beginning of 1991, the Communist Party of the USSR would appeal to all members of the CPSU, explain the situation and bring them to the streets, then the Communists would crush all this democratic punks. The Communist Party was a huge force, but not claimed and untapped by the Emergency Committee.
The State Emergency Committee was a coward and thought, somehow to top things up. Their endless backstage talks with Yeltsin and their indecisiveness led to their being, as they say, in the dustbin of history.
"TOMORROW". Sorry for clarifying my question, do you want to say, Nikolay Sergeevich, that the State Emergency Committee led secret negotiations with the enemies of the USSR?
Nikolai Leonov. The members of the State Emergency Committee negotiated with Yeltsin, if you call him an enemy of our country. Kryuchkov, for example, told us members of the KGB of the USSR collegiate, 19 in the morning of that August 1991, said that a state of emergency had been declared in our country that Nazarbayev called, who fully supported the introduction of the Emergency Committee and his documents, that we would agree with Yeltsin. After these words, all the members of the collegium of the KGB of the USSR decided that everything was thought out and coordinated.
When there was a question about the creation of the State Security Committee of the RSFR, I traveled with Kryuchkov to negotiate - to persuade Yeltsin not to create a Russian KGB, so as not to split the special services of the USSR. But I was not allowed to negotiate: Kryuchkov and Yeltsin were talking privately, I was sitting in the waiting room and I was entertained by conversations with Burbulis. What Kryuchkov and Yeltsin said was a mystery to me, Vladimir Alexandrovich said that they could not reach an agreement.
"TOMORROW". As a professional, as an analyst, you did not try to tell the Chairman of the KGB of the USSR that you need to act in relation to the opponents of the Soviet government more rigidly, as stated in V. Lenin's postulate “If the enemy does not surrender, will he be destroyed?”
Nikolai Leonov. Vladimir Alexandrovich, I said things more seditious for those times. We, employees of the special services of the KGB of the SSR, understood that the country was falling apart, and that the people included in the State Emergency Committee had no opportunity to regain control in the party and in law enforcement. Kryuchkov, going with him in the car, I said, Vladimir Alexandrovich, you will now be talking with Yeltsin - ask him to become the president of the USSR instead of Gorbachev, in order to save the USSR. While Yeltsin and Gorbachev are fighting among themselves, it is pointless to talk about saving the state, because whatever Yeltsin is healthy, he will soon leave anyway, and we will save the USSR.
Then the authority of Yeltsin in the eyes of the people was very great, unlike Gorbachev. I advised Kryuchkov to suggest that Yeltsin hold an election for the president of the USSR, after all, Gorbachev was elected by the Congress of People’s Deputies, and this was no longer completely legitimate.
My idea was: let Yeltsin be for some time, the main thing is not to chop the Soviet Union, just as Solomon did not chop the child up, but gave it to the one who, in the name of life, refused him. Whether Kryuchkov told Yeltsin about this, or didn’t say, I don’t know, they were talking behind closed doors.
And about the backstage side of the Emergency Committee, none of its members have written the whole truth in their memoirs to the end.
"TOMORROW". It turns out that you, who served in the most informed organization that knew what was happening all over the world, did not know what was happening in the leadership of the USSR? Apparently, in those days you were given the order - to sit and wait?
Nikolai Leonov. We didn’t even say that in those days of August. We sat in the Lubyanka and, receiving information from all sides, did not know to whom to send it, who in the country now leads. Kryuchkovu we reported all the information we had.
And the situation in those days was such that if the State Emergency Committee did not listen to Swan Lake and did not hold a press conference with shaking hands, but would appeal to the people, the party, the law enforcement agencies, would call them to defend the USSR and socialism , I think that the balance of forces would change in favor of the Emergency Committee. And if its members decided on what the Chinese authorities decided in 1989, their activities would now be given a different assessment.