The phrase attributed to Socrates that “all secret things sooner or later become clear” has never been fully historically justified. Looking back, not even on the last couple of hundred years, but at least on the last decades, it is obvious that not everything secret becomes obvious and not always. We will hardly ever know the secret of Rudolf Hess's flight, the riddle of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, or how, in fact, the “attack on America” of 11 of September of 2001 was organized.
When we read about the secrets in interstate relations, this also, as a rule, concerns the days long past. However, the bloody events in Moscow 1993 of the year and the role of the USA in the constitutional coup in Russia remain equally unexplored.
According to official data, in the bloody events of October 1993, two US citizens suffered. 26-year-old American lawyer Terry Michael Duncan was killed in Ostankino around October 21 on October 3 while assisting the wounded. Friends say about him: “He has always been like that, and politics has nothing to do with it. People just died. ” The last one to whom Terry Duncan tried to help get out of the fire was the wounded New York Times photo correspondent Paul Otto. Another US citizen, Julia Brooks, was wounded in the stomach and thigh. (Recognized as a victim in the criminal case No.18 / 123669-93 about the riots in Moscow 3-4 October 1993 of the year).
But what to do with numerous eyewitness accounts of shooting by the US Embassy? What, in particular, should be done with this statement made during the meeting of the special committee of the State Duma 8 September 1998 of the year, General Viktor Sorokin, who in October 1993 was the deputy commander of the Airborne Forces, whose units participated in the execution of the Russian parliament: "Where around 8 hours, the units moved to the walls of the White House ... During the nomination of the unit to the regiment, 5 people died and 18 were injured. Shot from behind. I watched it myself. The shooting was carried out from the building of the American embassy ... All the dead and wounded were shot from behind ... "
And here we see the memoirs of Wayne Merry, employee of the political department of the US Embassy in Moscow (2013-1991) published in 94 on the private website of the American Association of Diplomatic Studies and Training (4-1993) about a gunshot wound to a Marine, Corporal Bell 20. XNUMX th. What did Corporal Bell do on the roof of the American Embassy during the storming of the House of Soviets? Was he there alone or with other marines? What exactly did they do there: did they launch pigeons into the Moscow sky? Did Bell get a bullet in his neck in a shootout - in response to the shelling of the House of Soviets and the Russian military? Why was the injury of Corporal Bell not officially documented, like the death of Duncan and the injury of Brooks, and kept secret for XNUMX years? Diplomat Merry, for obvious reasons, does not answer either these or many other questions ...
"We support democracy and reform, and Yeltsin is the leader of the reform movement."
(Briefing at the White House 21.03.1993)
“Cursed days” of 1993 fall caught me in America. In the fall semester of 1993, I was a Fulbright scholar and did research at Harvard Law School, gave lectures at several other universities, and prepared for teaching at Cornell University in the spring of 1994. Many of the materials I used in this article were collected at that time.
It seems very symbolic that the President of the Russian Federation B.N. Yeltsin made the first open coup attempt exactly two months after the inauguration and taking office of Bill Clinton - 20 March 1993. The appearance of Yeltsin on Russian television (also retransmitted on CNN's American channel) with a decree on “special procedure for governing the country” (OPUS), which called for the dissolution of the Congress of People's Deputies and the Supreme Council of the Russian Federation "The first real crisis" for the new American administration.
Clinton and his team faced a dilemma, the solution of which largely depended on the further development of not only Russian-American relations, but also purely internal events in Russia. The following point of view prevailed. According to Stephanopoulos, “maybe Yeltsin acted outside the framework of the new constitution [Stephanopoulos is mistaken: before the adoption of the“ new ”constitution, 9 months remained in Russia. “A.D.], but he seemed to be doing this in the name of democratic reforms.” Clinton's fellow on probation at Oxford in 1969-1970. Strobe Talbott, "insisted" that "Yeltsin was the only horse of the reformist forces" in Russia.
The meeting resulted in the following ugly formula, officially voiced by Stephanopoulos at the March 21 1993 briefing: “We support democracy and reform, and Yeltsin is the leader of the reform movement.” In other words, there is no god but the “reform movement”, and Yeltsin is his prophet. Thus, the US administration fully agreed with Yeltsin and gave him a sanction on the coup d'état. It did not work out in March - it will turn out in six months.
"The confrontation in Moscow: the United States supports the actions of the Russian leader to overcome the crisis"
(New York Times, 22.09.1993)
The coup of 1993 and the execution of the Supreme Council of the Russian Federation were widely covered by the American media. Between September 22 and October 5, only the New York Times published about fifty articles and materials, ranging from 600 to 2500 words each.
About the same number of publications were devoted to events in Russia in all other leading print media. So, if the 22 of September, the newspaper of the American business community Wall Street Journal published only one article about what is happening in Moscow, then the next day there were already six of them.
The first article in the New York Times (of the six published in that newspaper that day, including the editorial), published on September 22, 1993, entitled “Confrontation in Moscow: US Supports Russian Leader in Overcoming the Crisis,” contains a detail that does not coincide with formulated later (and, in particular, reflected in the memoirs of Strobe Talbott) an official picture of events. According to a newspaper reporter Elaine Sciolino, citing a statement by then Secretary of State Warren Christopher, Decree No.1400 in the White House was not learned from Newsand “an hour before” Yeltsin’s television appearance on September 21, 1993.
Bill Clinton himself writes in his memoirs that he watched Yeltsin talk about the introduction of OPUS on one of the televisions installed in the Oval Office of the White House. In a different way, at the same time, a basketball game was broadcast between university teams from New York and Arkansas, Clinton's home state. “In both cases,” the ex-president writes, “there were teams for which I was a fan.” A very figurative comparison ...
Yeltsin's reforms are "an investment in US national security."
(US Secretary of State Warren Christopher 22.09.1993)
On September 22, the president of the United States and "other White House officials" called on European leaders to make similar statements in support of Yeltsin. Clinton personally contacted German Chancellor Helmut Kohl to retell the content of his conversation with Yeltsin.
According to Clinton, he “almost with a sigh of relief” took Yeltsin’s promise to hold new “free and fair” elections in December “in the name of democracy” and “to ensure peace, stability and an open political process this fall”. Refusing to recognize the publication of Decree No.1400 as a constitutional coup, Clinton said that, on the contrary, Yeltsin’s actions "underscore the complexity of the reform process he is conducting" and are themselves caused by a "constitutional crisis that has reached critical urgency and paralyzed the political process" in Russia. In the eyes of Clinton and the members of his administration, Yeltsin appeared to be "the best hope for democracy" in Russia, "a kind of Russian Charles de Gaulle, resorting to authoritarian powers to save the country from chaos."
Clinton was echoed by his party colleagues. The leader of the Democrats in the Senate, elected in November 2008 th US Vice President, Joseph Biden, with all the cowboy straightforwardness, called the President of Russia "the only horse that [we] can ride".
21 September 1993 anonymous source made an exceptionally curious confession, actually being the answer to the question of whether the US administration knew about the upcoming constitutional coup in Russia. According to him, even 13 of September, that is, 8 days before Yeltsin promulgated the notorious decree No.1400, who was in Washington at the signing of the Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement "Dear Andrew" Kozyrev recalled to his American counterpart Secretary of State Warren Christopher and warned him about “Dramatic events” that were to “happen” soon. "It is clear" that "Kozyrev tried to give the Secretary of State a signal," wrote the New York Times.
The Wall Street Journal made an important clarification: Kozyrev not only informed the Americans about the plans of the President of the Russian Federation, but also called on the US government to provide him with the necessary support. Kozyrev’s confidence message was undoubtedly communicated to Clinton, and a sanction was obtained.
“Yeltsin’s retention of Russia in the pro-Western course” is “an imperative ... for our own interests.”
(From a speech in the House of Representatives by Congressman Steny Hoyer 22.09.1993)
The constitutional coup in Russia was warmly supported not only by the President of the United States, but by an overwhelming majority in both houses of Congress.
22 September 1993, that is, the day after the decree No.1400 was issued, a congressman from Maryland, Steny Hoyer, who held the fourth most important position among Democratic congressmen at that time, delivered an exemplary speech in the House of Representatives. Acknowledging that the decree dissolving the Russian parliament was "technically ... illegal", Hoyer argued that Yeltsin "acted in accordance with the spirit of democracy, breaking the letter of the law." However, “the main reason for the continuing Western support for Yeltsin” in his opposition to the legislature, according to the congressman, was not even the supposedly democratic nature of the Yeltsin regime, but that “Yeltsin is a frankly pro-American, pro-Western, pro-market politician, while the Supreme Council "Accuses the West of seeking to undermine and weaken Russia" and "opposes the Yeltsin privatization program." Thus, Hoyer summed up, “carrying out the necessary reforms” by the Yeltsin government and “keeping Russia on the pro-Western course” is “an imperative ... for our own interests” [highlighted by me. - A.D.].
Congress Congressman from California and one of the main Russophobes on Capitol Hill Tom Lantos announced his desire to "wish good luck to Boris Yeltsin." Why? Because "the first for 1000 Russian years stories the democratically elected president is now fighting against the forces of darkness, evil, and totalitarianism, seeking to turn back the clock of history. ”
The circumstances of accepting the “aid” package to Yeltsin give reasonable grounds to doubt the sincerity of the assurances of US senior officials that after the end of the Cold War, the priority goals of American foreign policy included “supporting Russia in transforming its political, economic and social institutions” [ . - A.D.], unless “transformation” in this case means decomposition and destruction. Who could seriously take the characteristics of Russian-American relations (in particular, reflected in the Moscow Declaration of Clinton and Yeltsin, signed in 14 on January 1994) as “a new stage of a mature strategic partnership based on each other’s national interests”? In fact, in 1990-s, the fundamental principle of US foreign policy was not support for Russia as such, but assistance to “reforms” in Russia, which, according to the US General Control and Financial Department, are “critical for US purposes” [highlighted by me. - A.D.], not the promotion of the democratization of Russia and its movement towards a rule-of-law state, but specifically “assistance to Russian reformers,” which is by no means the same thing.
The American CNN channel defined the purpose of 12-15’s January 1994 Clinton’s visit to Moscow: “To demonstrate support for Yeltsin and reformers who suffered a shock as a result of the victory of ultra-nationalists and communists in the December parliamentary elections.”
The visit of the president of one state to support a group of persons in another country (even when this group is in power) loses the character of a “state” visit, acquires the character of collusion and interferes in the internal affairs of such a country.
"Communist fascists disguised as parliamentarians."
(“Boston Globe” about the Supreme Council of the Russian Federation 06.10.1993)
The very first article in the New York Times set the tone for US attitudes toward the legislative branch of power in Russia. The Supreme Soviet and the Congress of People’s Deputies were called nothing less than the “parliament of the Soviet period” [read: the “communist” period; for Americans, these words are synonymous. A.D.], “elected by the electoral rules of the Communist Party and generally hostile to Mr. Yeltsin’s reforms.” In the second article (of Serge Schmemann in the same issue of the newspaper), the Russian parliament was already called "a conservative, mainly consisting of Communists, legislators, who had moved from political struggle to a total battle for the fate of Russia."
In general, in the coverage of events in Russia, the American media either consciously or not from general ignorance made many factual mistakes. So, the same Serge Schmemann in the second article in the New York Times on September 22 referred to the election of Yeltsin as the first "democratically elected" President of the Russian Federation to 1990 year (instead of 1991), and the election of the Russian parliament to 1989, or "the era of Mikhail S. Gorbachev, when the Communist Party was still the supreme ruler." According to Schmemann, the election "rules established by the party guaranteed the election of many communists and extreme nationalists who, at every opportunity, blocked Mr. Yeltsin's legislation." That is, in 1990, when allegedly the election of President Yeltsin took place, according to Schmemann’s statement, it was already possible to hold “democratic” elections in Russia? Indeed, it was possible! So after all, it was then that the elections of deputies of Russia took place - in March 1990! And a year before they were elected deputies of the Union ... As the American saying goes, Schmemann himself "shot in the foot."
“Parliament was elected before the collapse of the USSR,” the Wall Street Journal correspondent echoes Schmemannu. Yes, before the crash. And the president - in June, 1991 - no?
In some regional editions of the newspaper from 22 September, the number of the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Federation was given as 25 (!) Deputies. A typo or another attempt to make naive readers feel that these 25 villains should be removed from power and the “progressive” Yeltsin reforms will continue their course?
October 11 1993 was an editorial in the Boston Herald newspaper that called the Supreme Soviet of Russia “the anti-democratic bastion of the old regime” created by Gorbachev [???] and “elected as a result of fraudulent [or tampered” rigged. - A.D.] elections.
The coordinated position of the American media and the overwhelming majority of Sovietologists at that time acted as ideological support for the constitutional coup and the subsequent execution of representative government in Russia.
The first democratically elected Russian parliament was called nothing less than an “anti-democratic, anti-Western, anti-market, anti-Semitic” “red-brown coalition” (CRS Report for Congress, 93-884 F, 06.10.1993), a “nationalist-communist bloc” (The Boston Globe, 23.09.1993), the “nationalist, crypto-Soviet opposition” (The New York Times, 24.10.1993), the “gang of communist apparatchiks” (The New York Times, 30.09.1993), the “gang of communists and fascists” (The Boston Globe, 30.09.1993) and even “ communist fascists [exactly like this: "communist fascists". - A.D.], disguised as parliamentarians ”(The Boston Globe, 06.10.1993).
The previous Constitution of Russia was characterized as a “farcical document” (Portland Press Herald, 06.12.1993) and as a “fundamental problem of Russia until December 1993 of the year” (Foreign Affairs, No. 5, 1994). Defenders of the Constitution, respectively, were declared “a strange alliance of old communists, nationalists, monarchists and anti-Semites” (The Spectator, No. 8622, 09.10.1993).
The very standoff between the Yeltsin regime and his opponents was served only as a conflict between “democracy” and “demons”, as the headline of the editorial article published in the Boston Globe on the day of parliamentary elections in Russia 12 December 1993 of the year.
I remember such a case. At the end of his diplomatic career at the end of Clinton’s second presidential term, and apparently not believing in the victory of Democrat Gore in the 2000 presidential election, Strobovich traveled around leading US academic centers in search of a soft landing after retirement. In February, 2000 Talbott was enthusiastically accepted at the law faculty of New York University, where I was teaching at the time. Presented to Talbott by the dean of the Law School (now the president of the entire university) John Sexton, as the first visiting law professor from Russia in the history of the faculty, I could not help myself and not pay attention of the undersecretary of state to the fact that in 1990-1993. worked as a leading and then chief specialist of the Committee on International Affairs of the Supreme Soviet of Russia. “If you believe that the first Russian parliament was really“ a gang of communists and fascists, ”then I am one of them.” “I never talked about the fascists in the Supreme Soviet,” Talbott said coldly and pointedly turned away, letting his whole mind understand the dean of the faculty that his choice of a Russian visiting professor was not the best.
I confess that the first thing I did after the release of Talbott's memoirs was to open the pages dedicated to the Supreme Soviet. And what do we see? Numerous references to the "red" and "brown" in the Supreme Council, which blocked Yeltsin's "reforms" at the beginning of the 1990-s according to the recipes of the American advisers and the IMF. How so, Mr. Talbott? That the "fascists", that the "brown" - no difference! Even Clinton in his memoirs does not allow this, and in the worst case calls Yeltsin’s opponents (for some reason in the Duma, the Russian parliament) “reactionary elements” or “old communists and other reactionaries”. (And, by the way, I was no longer invited to teach at New York University).
In the fall of 1993, the State Department considered the possibility of a US military contingent to support Yeltsin.
(From the book of Assistant Ex-President Nixon "Nixon in Winter").
In the book “Nixon in the Winter”, the assistant to the ex-President Nixon in the last years of his life Monika Crowley reveals a detail that is not known not only to the Russian reader, but also to most Western observers. On the days of confrontation between the President and the Supreme Council of the Russian Federation, Richard Nixon was invited to the US State Department to participate in the discussion of Washington’s official response options and returned completely depressed from this discussion, as one of the options suggested ... sending a US military contingent to Moscow to support Yeltsin.
Nixon spoke out strongly against this idea. “What are these assholes from the State Department thinking about?” - Crowley recalls the emotional words of Nixon. - You can not send troops to Russia ... When we did it to fight the Bolsheviks [meaning the US participation in the intervention of the "allies" 1918 of the year and the landing of American troops in Vladivostok and Arkhangelsk - A.D.], this turned out to be a disaster. In addition, we simply cannot interfere in their internal affairs, especially by military means. Oh my God!"
Nixon was not the first time to speak so impartially about American diplomacy in the Russian direction of the Clinton presidency. “These guys are just nuts. They do not understand that by encouraging Yeltsin’s autocratic inclinations, they are playing with fire, ”recalls Mr. Simes Nixon’s reaction to Talbott’s speech at the Appropriations Committee of the 19 House of Representatives April 1993 in support of financial aid to the“ reformers ”in Russia. Triumphantly supporting "President Yeltsin, who threw the glove at the parliament," allegedly "controlled by the reactionaries," Talbott prepared the ground for Yeltsin's dissolution of legislative power in Russia, and for supporting such dissolution in Washington.
An episode from Crowley’s book, firstly, once again underlines how high Washington’s stakes were during the days of the crisis and, secondly, makes it necessary to take a fresh look at the numerous eyewitness accounts of third-party snipers in the Moscow massacre. Perhaps, “assholes from the State Department” at least partially nevertheless realized their plan?
The list of speeches in support of the constitutional coup in Russia that sounded in those truly “damned days” of September-October 1993 in the walls of the Congress and the White House could be continued. But for us in this case, the very fact of the frank confessions of the US leadership is important not just as being permissive, but expedient of using American “help” as an instrument of interference in the internal affairs of Russia. The very “help” that, with the removal of a large part of Yeltsin's reformers from power in 2000-s, was transferred to the sponsorship of the opposition “shaking the foreign embassies” and “agents of change”, as part of the Russian “non-governmental organizations” in Washington is frankly called.
The American support of such anti-democratic and anti-constitutional actions of the Russian president as the shooting of the federal parliament, the dissolution of legislative bodies in the regions and localities, the suspension (for a year and a half) of the work of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation (which, in Senator Pell’s opinion, was apparently the "consolidation of democratic reforms in Russia ”) clearly demonstrated that, despite the official assurances of the US administration in its interest in seeing Russia prosperous, respected and the democratic “partner”, the “Washington Regional Committee” was quite pleased with the transformation of Russia into a client state, controlled by a corrupt authoritarian leader.