Before we deal the main subject of the book, it is necessary to dwell on some causes of the USSR collapse, since that predetermined the development of further events in the former Soviet Union in many ways. Certain events of Gorbachev's perestroika, in their turn, influenced the process of the USSR breakdown.
Most importantly, the analysis of these causes will throw light on some aspects of introduction of troops in Baku on 20 January, 1990. Gorbachev, Ryzhkov, Yazov, Primakov and other members of Gorbachev's team claimed their actions to be aimed at the preservation of the USSR.
So, the USSR collapsed. It was gone on 25 December, 07.00 p.m., when Gorbachev in public signed the decree (N UP-3162) on divesting himself of Supreme Commander-in-Chief authority, which was broadcasted on TV.
"I praise the Motherland I have, and I praise thrice the one that's GONE" . Gone!
About Gorbachev. "While in March 1985, he entered top class politics as the authoritative leader of the world's largest superpower, in August 1991, he ended up sunk in intrigues, entangled in his own incessant lies, serving as a paid agent provocateur of the USSR-hostile western states. A phenomenal career that seems to be unprecedented in the world history of political scoundrelism", says Valery Legostayev, characterizing the initial and terminal points of Gorbachev's political course that ended together with the USSR collapse. The last empire had been existing for over 70 years and seemed solid not long before it fell like a house of cards. Why did that happen, what is the reason? There are many of them.
As early as in the war years, the US ambassador Harriman observed that the society Russia had built was not the one of the future, but the one that belonged to the remote past of the mankind, which made its end inevitable. Later, in 1960, Richard Nixon, the then US vice-president, dared to assert that Khruschev's grandchildren would live in a free society. Nearly at the same time, Nikita Sergeyevich insisted that Communism would bury every kind of capitalism after a while once and for all.
The downfall of the CPSU, еhe core of the Empire, is described by A. Lukyanov in the following way, "The fact remains that the party surrendered almost without a struggle. Was it the whole party, the whole 19 million Communists? Certainly not. As Andropov had warned once, two wings were forming inside the party, the petit bourgeois bureaucratized layer was getting more pronounced; the layer was isolated from the general party mass, from the millions of honest members. Hence the outflow of a considerable number of Communists from the Party organizations in the period of Gorbachev's innovations. Hence the confusion in the bulk of the Party organizations during the fascist attacks (which is surely the right term) on the party committees and the ban on the CPSU in the end of August and beginning of September 1991."
However, such a plain explanation by no means reveals the essence of the complicated processes that were under way in the CPSU, especially in the post-Brezhnev period.
In 1986, the CPSU had 19 million members, which makes a record in the whole history of its existence. Yet that people mass was no longer a dynamic organization but a frozen, breathless one. There were neither centrists nor right or left deviationists, neither Bolsheviks nor Mensheviks, the party being run by a handful of semiliterate persons on the Marxism-Leninism basis, moreover, by means of different resolutions that generally had no realization mechanism and could not have it.
As the stability theory has it, every stable construction has to have certain vibration amplitude, otherwise it is doomed in extreme cases. No one in the CPSU CC wished to be "vibration amplitude" in the broad sense of the word, which showed itself in the election of every new General Secretary.
The academician V. Chelomey was not afraid of contradicting Stalin, Beriya, Malenkov and in the Brezhnev period D. Ustinov, who hated him. He said in 1984, "All that was built not on natural basis is to break!"
Everything was unnatural in the CPSU of those years, from with top officials to the majority of rank-and-file members. The thin layer of committed Communists had already no influence on the events inside the party.
It took Gorbachev and Yeltsin (they were unanimous in this case) little effort to shatter such a construction; party members, with few exceptions, did not complain taking the order to die on the spot.
Taking an interview from a famous dissident writer of the 1960s A. Gladilin, the correspondent remarked that oil reserves depletion was generally mentioned among the causes of the downfall of the Soviet system. Gladilin replied, "I have a different theory. The system crumbled because it was crashed by the only person who could do it, the chief person in the Soviet Union, General Secretary of the CPSU CC, Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev."
This is possible in only one case, in case of a rigidly centred system.
In his book On the Edge of 21st Century, President of Kazakhstan N. Nazarbayev notes that the USSR collapse was inevitable. According to him, one of the main reasons was the lack of national relationship theory basing on scientific concepts. He believes that the ethnic point of development of society and individual states is of a global, not local nature. Among other causes of the USSR collapse, he distinguishes economy inefficiency, back-breaking arms race, science stagnation, bureaucratization, human resources management mistakes, gerontocracy, concurrency of an administrative elite crisis and a general crisis of the socialist system. However, when Nazarbayev was ideology secretary of the Central Committee of Kazakhstan Communist Party, he would say quite the contrary.
THE COMMUNIST IDEOLOGY WAS FARFETCHED AND ITS CHIEF HERALDS WERE INSINCERE, WHICH IS ALSO CONFIRMED BY THE FACT THAT KRAVCHUK IN UKRAINE AND NAZARBAYEV IN KAZAKHSTAN AND GORBUNOV IN LATVIA WERE ALL COMMUNIST IDEOLOGY SECRETARIES OF THE CENTRAL COMMITTEES OF THEIR REPUBLICS COMMUNIST PARTIES AND LATER CAME TO SUPPORT THE BREAKDOWN OF COMMUNISM.
Honest Soviet scientists also realized that the USSR, and especially its core, the Communist Russia, was on the verge of falling apart. "No one is going to fight us," scientists of Novosibirsk wrote then to the CPSU CC, "all the talk about Pershings and tense relationship is bluff. Why should anyone fight us if our sovereign state will collapse by itself in 12 or 15 years? A state, more than half population of which consists of alcoholics and drunkards, is disabled and incapable of defence in principle." V. Astafyev said the same, "Look around you and you will see an impress of degeneration on every second child. Russian men live 50 years on average, and even less in the North, only 30-35. What kind of nation is this?! What can it give?! What gene pool can we talk about?! This is the problem our politicians should deal instead of arguing which one of them is more significant in history. Russia should live, gather strength, recover, give birth to children and not look for guilty ones!"
And that was not a fault but a disaster of Russia!
President of Turkmenistan S. Niyazov says, "The Russian people is not to blame for what is going on today. It was brought to this point by the system. I visited Russian villages when I worked in the CPSU CC, supervising Kursk and Belgorod regions. Peasants were ruining themselves by drinking even then. And that was in Black Earth Belt! The area has not become rich in the USSR, has not made profit at anyone's expense. Who was there to profit from, though? Khruschev was building a 100,000 capacity stadium in Indonesia, while we did not have even an ordinary playground for our children. Heavy dump trucks were sent to Congo, while we were transporting oil by donkeys and camels. We have common past and take no offence at anyone, especially at Russia."
Discussing the USSR downfall, S. Zabelin and A. Shubin observe, "The events that led to the collapse of the USSR social political and social economic structures can be considered as a combination of several crises of growth limit in a system, relatively isolated from the world economy, which was our country.
First, it was a crisis of growth limit of the price a society can pay for extraction of natural resources. Such a crisis was described as early as in 1972, in the Club of Rome Growth Limits report. The simulation demonstrated that when deposits start to peter out "the use of ever growing capital investments in resource branches becomes necessary, as a result of which the share of investment in other branches decreases. In the end, investment is so small that it is incapable of covering even capital depreciation, and industrial production base crisis occurs". The above-mentioned was characteristic of the Soviet economy in the 1980s. Production cost rising, the means received from the resources exploitation was spent by the government not on modernization of the economy at all. The myth of inexhaustibility of resources stipulated the lack of demand for engineering proposals capable of increasing production efficiency. That led to the technologic fragility of the system. As long as resources were in abundance, technology update process was slow, with extensive development prevailing. When difficulties increased in resources extraction there were no means left for the necessary technology update. The USSR came to perestroika with outdated technology and exhausted basic production facilities (the degree of exhaustion made up 70-80% in some fields)…
Second, the USSR economy was ruined by the crisis of monetary growth limit, crisis of hidden inflation rate in a closed system of finance. In 1992, when the money bubble burst the country ended up in debt and its every citizen lost their accumulated savings. As the financial crisis of the late 1997 in Pacific Region shows, financial obligations volume in the world considerably exceeds real output. So, the world financial market can burst any moment, as well as most stable currency systems.
Third, the crisis of environment pollution growth with respect to human ability to bear it. The crisis manifested itself in a disastrous decrease of human immunological status, increased delicacy among new-born children, life expectancy and population size reduction, death rate growth. Despite local successes in ecology related to removing some unhealthy and hazardous industries from developed countries, the world industry increases its devastating effect on humans.
And finally, it was the crisis of growth limits of the controlled system with respect to the controlling one, the crisis of bureaucratic and managerial principles of administration against self-administration and self-organization. Socialist system was a strictly hierarchical system of public administration, in which the final decision eventually depends on the ability of one man to choose the optimum alternative from the available variety. When interests or administration of actions of a hundred or a thousand subjects (facilities, battalions, organizations) are concerned, this is still possible if the decision-maker is intelligent and experienced and his assistants at least do not seek self-profit while suggesting alternatives. When subjects number millions and billions, no brain is capable of making an objectively weighted decision. He can guess it, but the more complicated the situation is, the less successful guesswork gets."
A book by P. Schweizer appeared in the West, titled Victory: The Reagan Administration's Secret Strategy that Hastened the Collapse of the Soviet Union. The book gives a thorough and well-reasoned analysis of the victory of the West in the cold war. The author distinguishes the following factors among basic ones.
"Fatal" defects of the Soviet system that became pronounced by the 1980s.
Reagan's strategy of aggressive tactics of crashing Soviet forces in Afghanistan, in whole Eastern Europe and within the Soviet territory, instead of defensive doctrine of containment. The Soviet Union was forced to spend more than half its budget to maintain the balance.
To make the USSR spend vast amounts on quelling resistance, the Reagan's administration showed considerable financial assistance to Polish "Solidarity" and Afghani Mujahidins.
Soviet oil supplies to Western Europe were blocked.
Undercutting in the world markets."
ACCORDING TO SCHWEIZER, THE LATTER WAS THE MOST EFFECTIVE, DEPRIVING THE USSR OF VAST CURRENCY SUPPLY.
AFTER REAGAN SUCCEEDED IN PERSUADING SAUDI ARABIA TO SUPPORT THE USA IN THAT MATTER, THE USSR ECONOMY SUFFERED A POWERFUL BLOW (highlighted by the author).
Does not the influence of a large oil-producing country on the superpower seem strange? It does not if we remember that THE USSR UNHEALTHY ECONOMY LIVED ON A UNIQUE DRUG, THE DIFFERENCE IN DOMESTIC AND EXTERNAL OIL AND OIL PRODUCTS PRICES. That economic drug, alongside with subsidies invented by the Communist regime, and low oil and oil products prices allowed feeding the country, keeping it warm and underselling the manufactured production. When the drug ran out, even more sophisticated measures were introduced, such as dumping oil prices in the world market. Such a policy harmed oil producing republics in the first place.
Planned economy managed to transform such valuable product as oil, often referred to as "black gold", into an amazing economic drug. IN MANY OIL RPODUCING REGIONS, THIS BUSINESS YIELDED TWENTY-FIVE-FOLD BUDGET SURPLUS, THE PROFIT BEING INVESTED IN THE SAME FIELD AGAIN, AS THE MOST EFFICIENT. As other industries could not rise from ashes like a Phoenix (equipment exhaustion being almost extreme in most facilities), they could not enter foreign markets and had to stew in their own juice.
Economic efficiency of oil and gas deposits exploration was considerably decreased due to the socialist methods of management. Deposits in hard-to-reach areas (northern regions, marshland, shelf zone) are known to be explored in two ways, in rotating scheme and by housing infrastructure development. The rest of the civilization would choose the former, while the USSR chose mainly the latter, which entailed sharp price rise in this field. Later, rotating scheme was used in the USSR as well (repair crews were even sent from Baku to Siberia). However, that was at the advanced stage of exploitation when oil in those regions reached the limit of profitability.
The USSR increased production, trying to satisfy the sharp need of currency, as a result of which oil prices started to drop intensively. The Arabs suffered considerable losses and the USSR budget got 50 billion dollars worth "hole".
The USSR debts to some countries are bewildering: Hungary, Czechia, Slovakia, Poland. Yet these debts are due to… the oil wealth of the USSR. The scheme of incurring of debt was simple. Oil was sold to those countries at ridiculous prices and their light and food industries products were purchased practically at world prices. We were fraternal peoples, weren't we?! The scheme cost the USSR 50 billion dollars annually for twenty years. "Druzhba" oil pipeline made its contribution to the USSR collapse. PARADOXICAL AS IT IS, CHEAP OIL BANGED OTHER INDUSTRIES OF THE USSR ECONOMY, THE PHENOMENON TO BE CALLED "DUTCH DISEASE" AFTERWARDS.
One of the most informative characteristics of economy of one or another country is gold production and the volume of its state reserve.
According to Elmar Guseynov, the Russian Empire applied the classic form of absolute liquidity of gold, gold standard, when the volume of gold reserve was fully correspondent to the volume of paper currency in circulation. That ruled out the necessity of gold export and encouraged the accumulation of precious metal in the country's gold reserve. In the period from 1918 to 1991, the Soviet Union produced 11,000 tons of gold and sold 8,191 tons. The USSR entered the world gold market in 2953, after Stalin's death. The considerable amount of gold was spent on grain purchase.
The agriculture of the country never recovered after collectivization. In the period of collectivization, from 1929 to 1933, 25 million head of cattle was eliminated, including 10 million cows, 17.7 million horses, over 10 million pigs and sheep.
"Grain is the most important currency", Stalin used to say. Understanding that well, the Communist regime still failed to solve the problem in the whole 70 years. The state reserves now increased a little, then was eaten away slightly. The grain situation never reached the sound level fit for a great power; in the early 1960s the USSR had to start purchasing wheat for convertible currency regularly.
N.S. Leonov, General, a historian and analyst intelligence agent, writes, "In 1965-1979, we imported 15 million tons of grain from abroad. Russia put on the needle of imported food drug for the first time in history. The ruling lazybones considered this solution of food problem the most plain and pleasant. Injection after injection, the habit turned into an incurable disease… In 1981-1985 it made up already 170 million tons followed by ever chaotic purchases. We, the intelligence, saw clearly the USA enjoying the open wound in the USSR body, through which living juices of the people were flowing out. Refusing to sell us complex technologies, they easily continued supplies of grain and food stuffs in general… The USA exchanged crop excess for our exhaustible resources, such as gold, oil stolen from our grandchildren and great-grandchildren… We kept on financing abundantly the flourishing West, turning the purchased grain into some kind of fertilizer."
Here are the lines from the book by the famous polar explorer Fridtjof Nansen, Russia and the World. "If we take four basic cereals, wheat, rye, barley and oats, we will see that before the war, in 1903-1913, the cultivated area in the European Russia alone was 81.7 million hectare, thus making up a little more than one third (34%) of the world cultivated area that covered nearly 240 million hectare.
The annual production in the European Russia both in the same period and with respect to the considered four cereals equalled to 65 million tons, that is made up more than a quarter (27%) of the grain production in the whole world. …That concerns only the European region of Russia, the entire Russia producing 72 million tons. By comparison, the annual crop of cereals in Canada, the USA and Argentina reaches just 67 million tons in general. The annual export of grain from Russia reached 8.7 million tons, thus exceeding the general export of Canada, the USA and Argentina. …The export of those three countries taken together made up merely 7.7 million tons per year."
According to the estimates of independent experts, the USSR could both provide grain for itself and export it. The whole point was in labour efficiency, in collective farms in particular. That can be demonstrated perfectly with the example of Azerbaijan. In 1913, when there were no collective farms or doctored records, 29.7 million pood of grain was produced. In 1953, when there were both collective farms and doctored records, the figure was 27.7 million. In 1963, it reached 31.7 million.
Increase in grain consumption in the USSR was explained by the ideologists of that time by the fat that considerable amounts of it were used for feeding livestock. "Our grain is known to have been the cheapest in the world," the ex-director of the USSR KGB V. Kryuchkov writes, "About seven million tons of ready bakery products were annually disposed not accidentally at all. 10-12 million ton of grain was fed to livestock. At the same time, there were years when grain import made up 40-45 million tons. What a country could allow that? Can that be tolerable?"
We should say that there is a certain element of truth in that. But this truth is secondary, which was as usually hushed by the official propaganda. Due to the ludicrous fuel and equipment prices, grain was sold considerably below its cost. The latter made it profitable to feed grain to livestock and sell meat at higher prices, i.e. the main reason was absurd price regulation.
The USSR collapse and Mikhail Gorbachev are some kind of Siamese twins that cannot be separated by any surgery.
THE MODEL OF THE USSR COLLAPSE IMAGINED AS GLOBAL AND LOCAL ELEMENT, GORBACHEV'S CONTRIBUTION TO THE LOCAL ONE IS RATHER SIGNIFICANT. HE SPED UP THE PROCESS BY MEANS OF BLOOD AND, AS HE WOULD SAY, "THE PROCESS BECAME IRREVERSIBLE".
"Caucasus is a special region of the Russian Empire. According to a historical theory, Kievan Russia was preceded by a state situated in Tmutarakan (the present-day Taman). This state is associated with the fairyland of Tsar Dodon described by A. Pushkin in his Tale of the Golden Cockerel. In the 19th century, Caucasus became the area where valour or infidelity of the Russian nobility was checked. But the Mountains took cruel revenge upon the Empire. It was the Caucasian depths that gave birth to the one who turned the empire into its antipode, "evil empire". Another one came to Moscow from the Northern Caucasian outskirts at the end of the century to lay the foundation of its downfall. SUMGAYIT, KARABAKH, TBILISI, BAKU (highlighted by the author) virtually launched the chain reaction of the USSR breakdown," writes Anatoly Gutsal in his article Caucasian Knot.
That ANOTHER is to be the curse for ages, and not only for the Azerbaijan people!
The most dreadful thing is that the process of the collapse was going on the wave of mutual hate among the republics, hate of autonomous republics towards republics, hate of the "free republics brought together by the great Russia", as the Soviet hymn had it, towards the Centre, mutual hate of yesterday's forever "brothers". That was furthered by total political uncertainty, many political faces of Gorbachev, which irritated everyone and caused general nervousness and loathing. All speeches made by Gorbachev reminded a well-known expression often used in Odessa, "You are right in the way you speak."
In 1986, at the rise of perestroika, A. Zinovyev supposed that the launched reforms could lead to the collapse of the USSR. He wrote, "Gorbachev's supporters intend to realize a drastic revision of the Soviet history. The future will show what it can look like in practice. What we have now is convincing examples of methods of revising a farther past."
An article was published in 1987, in the 12th issue of Communist magazine, devoted to the baptism of Russia by Prince Vladimir. It is apparent from the article that the present-day reformer of the Soviet Russia, Gorbachev, had a predecessor as far back as in the 10th century, Kievan Prince Vladimir. The author asserted that the baptism of Russia was merely an exterior form of the events of that time, their essence having been reformist activity of the leadership of Kievan Russia headed by Prince Vladimir. As it happens, "a breakthrough and mastering top achievements of progressive countries of the time were necessary in the country's development" as far back as 1,000 years ago, just like they are today.
Mark that a breakthrough in the country's development was necessary! Accelerated development, we could add. Not a prince, but kind of General Secretary of the Communist Party of Kievan Russian. What was the mentioned breakthrough needed for? For "mastering top achievements of progressive countries of the time" and "reaching the international standards level", it appears. This is exactly how Gorbachev called the Soviet people to rise up to the level of top world achievements.
The Soviet Russia was facing the task of rising to the level of the leading capitalist countries. In the 10th century, according to Communist, Kievan Russia was to be "abreast with developed feudal monarchies". At that time, the most progressive social system was feudalism, you see. We wonder if there was a slogan on the palace of Prince Vladimir, saying "Long live feudalism, the bright future of the mankind!"
By the way, Gorbachev was not the first to introduce the term "perestroika" in political sense. Ribbentrop used it in the distant 1941. "I want to restructure relations with Moscow," he wrote in a coded telegram to Molotov. We know well from history how that "restructuring" ended.
In the process of perestroika, Gorbachev's blatant economic ignorance led to the downfall of the entire commodity-money system of the USSR. The political analyst S. Kara-Murza is right, observing that "the Soviet industry was an extension of farming, the political economy of which was worked out by A.V. Chayanov. Work collectives of plants were a variant of community. Production and life of such kind of social organism are not regulated by money, the economy being non-monetarist in principle. In the USSR, product exchange inside the industry was regulated by means of conventional, fictitious money, "non-cash" (there were different kinds of them). They circulated through a strictly closed system and could not turn into real money to be used in the consumer market. That is why there was no inflation, no "non-payment crisis". When Gorbachev's team "opened the veins" of economy and allowed turning that fictitious money into real one, the consumer market and financial system were ruined. Goods were swept away from shelves, inflation began, treasure emptied."
Gorbachev began with anti-alcohol campaign that banged the USSR finances and caused animosity in the society.
In his memoirs The Fate of an Intelligence Officer, the ex-deputy director of the USSR KGB, Colonel General V.F. Grushko summarized the anti-alcohol campaign in the following way. "We got a whole bunch of problems, including an astronomical surge of shadow income and accumulation of initial private capital, riot growth of corruption, disappearance of sugar out of sale for the purposes of homebrew manufacture… In brief, the results proved to be quite the contrary to the prospects and the treasury was short of vast budget sums with nothing to refund them."
The law on state enterprises and cooperatives passed in 1987 opened the valve, through which non-cash funds were turned into cash, not secured with goods in the consumer market. At the same time, the programme of "mechanic engineering recovery" was launched, which resulted in the empty inflating of the economy with non-cash funds.
These two steps finished the financial system of Russia and the shadow sector took hold of huge "official" funds.
The latter resulted in the unprecedented corruption in the USSR. Everyone received bribes from everyone. The country became a giant market, like in Odessa, where one could buy nearly anything, from modern weapons to any high public office.
The task of taking "test samples" was given to Komsomol functionaries, who began the "construction of capitalism" in 1987. The first type of "high-ranking business" was conversion of money into cash. Special organizations were established for this kind of financial activity, centres of technological creative work for youth that became the driving force of "Komsomol economy" (and inflation as well). Many of those Komsomol functionaries became rather dubious businessmen and bankers afterwards and inflicted enormous damage on the Russian economy.
We by no means say that the "non-cash rouble" situation was normal at the Soviet time. But Gorbachev's "credit" was that he made the already poor economic situation even worse. First millionaires appeared after dubious banking operations had turned billions of bubble non-cash means into cash which had been in no time used for purchasing something. Later, those billionaires made a tangible contribution to the cause of breaking down the USSR.
The German Die Zeit wrote, "Gorbachev finally managed to lose Stalin's inheritance, and the majority of the Russians mock him today, like a fool from Russian fairytales, for he has got down the world power the Russians have been building for centuries and even its safety belt…"
The USSR was historically doomed, and the blame for its collapse is not to be laid on Gorbachev. Western experts once found 79 flash points in the disputable areas of the borders between various republics and national districts of the USSR. The question is different. Instead of attempting to find some ways of stabilization (like Antropov did) or at least make the process of collapse more civilized, Gorbachev cared about only one thing, wishing to look like a historic person against this background, receive various prizes and please the West.
The Karabakh conflict acted as a catalyst in the process of the USSR collapse.
K. Myalo writes, "Whereas Azerbaijan bears the palm in using criminal terror for the purposes of solving ethnic and territorial conflicts (Sumgayit events speak for themselves), Armenia initiated the transformation of the acute conflict into the weapon of a direct attack on the Union itself and its breakdown…
…Neither Armenia nor Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast participated in the 17 March, 1991 referendum for the preservation of the Soviet Union. On 20 September, 1990, however, Levon Ter-Petrosyan (then the head of Armenian Armed Forces) demanded from Yeltsin that the Soviet troops should be withdrawn from the NKAO, alleging as his reason that the Soviet Armenia was used there as a repressive body by the Centre and by Azerbaijan. That disregard of the Soviet Union itself that was expressed in the choice of addressee (the USSR still existed, Etlsin was the head of the RSFSR) meant much. I heard the word "occupants" addressed to Soviet soldiers and officers from Karabakh children. It was surely put in their mouths by the grown-ups, and the latter outstripped even the Baltic republics in their demand to withdraw the Soviet troops."
We can add that Sumgayit events are mysterious and the answer is to be sought not in Baku. But we will touch on the subject later.
Major General of KGB V. Shironin writes, "We cannot deny the fact that the brewing of carnage in Armenia and Azerbaijan began in 1987, the second year of perestroika. In the beginning of 1987 Literaturnaya Gazeta published an article by I. Belyayev Islam, the gist of which can be reduced to the statement that this confession is evil and dangerous for our state, Muslims being insidious and treacherous people. Let me remind you that battles were still on in Afghanistan at that time and sons of our land were sent back home from there in zinc coffins. The campaign on shattering the public consciousness and disrupting public views in all directions was launched in mass media as far back as then. The campaign pursued two basic aims, to sow doubts in everything and everyone and to make people quarrel with one another. Belyayev's article corresponded the spirit of this campaign.
Nevertheless, I support the opinion of Y. Pompeyev who wrote in his book Bloody Whirlpool of Karabakh that "the worst was yet to come. The worst was in the "Armenian issue" that had always been the West's trial balloon for intervention in internal affairs not only of Transcaucasia." In other words, we cannot totally ignore the fact that being an expert on the Middle East and a skilled journalist, I. Belyayev was well aware of the real objective of his article that attracted public attention. Especially as it was kind of synchronized with some other remarkable events.
Numerous political analysts appeared, including Russian State Duma member S. Baburin, who think that the USSR collapse and all negative consequences were caused by the events in Nagorno-Karabakh. Those events had adverse effect both on the USSR and Russia, both on partocrates and democrats. Ceausescu said to his wife before he died, "Goddamn Karabakh, everything started there!" These words were often repeated in the houses of those killed in the Karabakh war, regardless of nationality.
G. Shakhnazarov, the aid of Gorbachev, wrote about the latter, "Why did not he show his cards at once?.. A system is like a solid brick house and has not to be shattered with a heavy cannon ball but pulled down block by block, even brick by brick if necessary."
Gorbachev chose Karabakh as such a "brick".
Even the devoted supporter of the Armenians, the former chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers N. Ryzhkov had to admit, "That was a stab in the back of the state (Nagorno-Karabakh - Author) and he (Gorbachev - Author) stabbed himself."
Anatoly Chekhoyev, Russian State Duma member, said that the Karabakh conflict was worked out and prepared by Moscow and after the test was accepted as the universal model for other regions.
Heydar Aliyev observed that the Karabakh conflict had been organized with the purpose of preserving the USSR but it had become the beginning of its end.
With total connivance of the USSR authorities, criminals from the entire West rushed to Karabakh. Economically inexplicable route Beirut - Yerevan became he axis between Karabakh and soldiers of fortune all over the world. Diena newspaper reports that "even Lebanese sentenced to death for terrorism in thirteen countries fight in Nagorno-Karabakh."
Speaking of terrorist brigades of separatists, a defender of Karabakh separatists, Victor Sheinis admits without realizing it that terrorism was an element of the Karabakh separatism, "bands are formed mainly of local population, NOT OF NEWCOMER TERRORISTS (highlighted by the author), and the Armenians see them as their only protectors…" he writes in Novoe Vremya, N 33, August 1991.
Different forces were dealing different problems. Whereas Armenia had the annexation of Nagorno-Karabakh as its single and main purpose, other, more powerful forces contemplated the breakdown of the USSR.
Ruslan Khasbulatov believes that the Chechen events also furthered the USSR collapse, "Let me stress it once again that these events cannot be regarded as the consequence of the USSR collapse. Quite the contrary, they caused this collapse. Just like Karabakh, Baltic republics, Dudayev supporters dealt a powerful blow on the Soviet Union and paved the way for Belavezha Accords using even psychological aspects of the charismatic leader."
The political analyst S. Kurghinyan went even further, "Chechnya is the Russian Karabakh. Many believed that the small Karabakh would not be able to blow up the superpower. But it did. Russia broke its back not in Chechnya but through Chechnya."
In another case, S. Kurghinyan wrote meaning the possible breakdown of Russia in connection with what he thought inadequate reaction to the Chechen events of the autumn 1991, "The start of this breakdown was almost symbolic - a visit to Nagorno-Karabakh, the point that laid the foundation of the USSR breakdown. Now, the leader of Russia goes there and fails, which is obvious to everyone. The point is not why he failed to solve the problem of Nagorno-Karabakh… The one who dares to undertake this task will inevitably acquire a political "rupture"."
When asked how he could explain the fact that all security agencies and special services of the USSR could not withstand the country's downfall, the former KGB director of the Armenian SSR Usik Arutyunyan answered, "It is very difficult to give a brief answer to this question, since the Soviet Union was broken down in a day but systematically and gradually, by means of huge efforts made by the West. It is not secret that CIA and other intelligence agencies planned and implemented appropriate operations. I attended High school of KGB when I got acquainted with some documents and understood that the USSR was on the way to its imminent failure. It was the question of actual immunity of party, Soviet, Komsomol workers even if they accidentally came in sight of the KGB. The point was when the breakdown will begin. Now we can probably disclose that copies of the Politburo draft decisions were brought from the CIA safes and shown to M. Gorbachev. Only members and candidate members of the Politburo had those draft decisions, that is 14-15 persons. And some of them fed the CIA with this information. The seeds sown in 1990 began yielding fruit.
Let us remember who headed the country in the so-called stagnation years. Take Brezhnev alone in the last years of his rule or the aged Chernenko! What existence of the state could be in question if the country was run by half-wits?
The state ruled by half-wits was doomed. The Soviet Empire fell as any other does in the period when power belongs to people that do not protect state interests or even do not understand them." Such a naive and superficial approach to such a complicated matter, blaming two half-wits for everything! However, it is characteristic that the list of those half-wits who ruined the USSR does not include the main "hero", the windbag Mikhail Gorbachev, and such an affection of Usik Arutyunyan towards Gorbachev is understandable enough. NKAO events are not mentioned in these terms either.
But Arutyunyan's answer includes an interesting point of classified information leakage from the higher echelons of authorities. Who were the people surrounding Gorbachev and possessing all the important information concerned with various aspects of the USSR affairs? They are well-known, and Shakhnazarov, Aganbegyan, Sitaryan, Brutents were among them. As Komsomolskaya Pravda wrote, Aganbegyan established "KEPS" and sold important state economic information through "East-West-Project" joint venture. As for the source of information from the higher echelons of authorities, the USSR KGB director Kryuchkov made hints about Shakhnazarov.
When the events in Karabakh, Sumgayit, Baku, Vilnius, Osh, Ferghana, Tbilisi, Tskhinvali occurred, Gorbachev would invariably say that he was unaware of them and was nearly the last to hear. That was something new in history of empires. All emperors, Alexander the Great, Napoleon, Peter I, Stalin etc., even if they tried to pass the desirable for reality, always emphasized that they were on top of issues in the whole empire. Certainly, Gorbachev knew about those events much more than others but denied that in public and very cynically. Such an attitude meant nothing but "do as you wish, and I sort of will know later, latest of all". During the February plenary session Y. Ligachev said that Gorbachev, Yakovlev and Shevardnadze had attended the Politburo meeting on 7 April, 1989, at which the decision had been taken on the introduction of troops in Tbilisi. According to the journalist A. Zhilin, "had General I. Rodionov told the whole truth at the meeting and demonstrated the documents on the tragedy in the capital of Georgia, M. Gorbachev would not probably have become the first president of the USSR."
The USSR ambassador to England L.M. Zamyatin wrote about the Vilnius events, "Clearly, Gorbachev did not like the note on which his British companion (British Foreign Secretary D. Hurd - Author's remark) ended the conversation. All of a sudden, he said sarcastically, "To solve such a problem at the time of Zamyatin took only 24 hours. Fist on the table and everything is in the right order! But how long can we live in this way? Now, we should not slam fist on the table but remain cool facing pressure and seek political solution of the issue. If that goes wrong, we will have to send for Zamyatin for him to set things right in a week like they do it in Ulster."
…Several weeks later, he himself demonstrated the way he intended to "solve problems". On 13 January, "emergency forces" ploughed Vilnius streets with tank tracks, battles were on around the television broadcasting centre.
…Did Gorbachev know that this could happen? I assert that he did. When street fighting in Vilnius began, Gorbachev called to the Ministry of Defence in the presence of his aids and asked, "What is going on there in Vilnius? Where are your reports?" His interlocutor at the other end of the wire dropped his jaw, "Mikhail Sergeyevich, but we had a detailed conversation on this matter yesterday…"
Cutting himself off the bloody events, Gorbachev did not see or did not wish to see that though such behaviour he openly admitted that THE STATE WAS LOSING CONTROL AND HE HIMSELF DID NOT POSSESS FULL INFORMATION ON THE EVENTS IN THE COUNTRY.
Did Gorbachev realize that those processes were leading to the USSR collapse? He certainly did. But we have an impression that Gorbachev believed the main thing was to avoid problems in Russia, Ukraine and Byelorussia, that is Slavic countries, and the rest would be there any time!
It seems that considering the attitude of the West, he had doubts as to what he should do with the Baltic countries that had never been regarded as the USSR territory by the USA?
At the same time, it would be unfair to speak of the role of Gorbachev in the global component of the USSR collapse model, like Communists never get tired to say, for the eventual collapse was laid in the USSR at the moment of its formation.
Let us quote Doctor of Economy, the observer of Izvestiya Otto Latsis, "In the long chain of anniversaries and recently celebrated dates, a round date remained forgotten that would not be avoided by any newspaper of a different time. The fifth anniversary of the 28th CPSU Congress. That was a fair chance for the country to walk the way of changes at minimum cost. Gorbachev could have divide the CPSU in the civilized way into the two parties that had been always hidden within it, thus leaving the reactionary part of his administration.
Similarly forgotten was the fifth anniversary of the constitutional convention of the Russian Communist Party at which (long before Elsin) weeping about sovereignty began… not sovereignty of Russia, the party bureaucracy was little concerned about the fate of the latter, but about their own party sovereignty. Gorbachev did not dare to loose that knot, take the side of democrats during the 28th Congress, split the party thereby saving it. That alone could give a chance of preserving the Soviet Union as well. The chance was missed.
Another cause of the breakdown of the country was the failure of the national economy where Gorbachev made more mistakes than anyone else. He did nothing to strengthen the belief that it would be a different Union, a democratic, not a Stalinist one. Then, he did not see the danger of strengthening national elites, moreover, he relied on many of them.
And finally, nothing was done to oppose the quite obvious plan of the Soviet special services that organized the bloodshed in Vilnius and tried to provoke it in Riga. That correlated perfectly to the so-called law on secession, with separate (for some reason) consideration of opinion in the regions of national minorities communities. In practice, that would mean that Estonia, for instance, could withdraw only without Narva, Latvia without Riga, Georgia without Abkhazia etc. It should be pointed out that some of those plans were realized, though in somewhat different form.
However, in August 1991 there still were chances of a weak, limited "Novo-Ogaryovo"confederation. In these terms, Gorbachev's attempts were not hopeless. But the putsch did away with them for good. Seeing this… no, not face but muzzle of Moscow, republics reacted immediately. In Belavezhskaya Pushcha, just the act of divorce was formalized (and not in its best form but rather rudely, using the situation against Gorbachev personally)."
The causes of the USSR collapse mentioned by the observer analyst are certainly informative but have little weight in comparison with other factors, in our opinion. However, there is one interesting fact in that statement. Readers can easily notice that Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh were not included in the list of the blackmailed republics. This is not without a reason. At the dawn of the Karabakh events, in his interview to the West German television O. Latsis characterized them as "national liberation movement". When the west-German journalist reasonable remarked that this could be the beginning of the USSR collapse, Latsis said, "No, these events are of local nature and can by no means influence the USSR in general." With such an approach, Mr Latsis can enter the list of co-authors of double standard "democracy".
Some causes of the USSR collapse are pointed out by the former CIS executive secretary B. Berezovsky. In particular, he writes, "Alongside with working out the optimum model of interaction, the CIS members need to answer some other questions.
1. What other reasons beside the main one, the insolubility of national issue, furthered the USSR collapse?
2. What exactly has been done wrong in the last seven years, why did the model of united integration fail to be determined?"
The answer to the first question is of exceptional relevancy, for many proposals on the improvement of the CIS are subconsciously dictated by our past Soviet experience. We mechanically compare all losses and gains since 1991. Estimating advantages of integration, we also count from the time of the USSR. However the point is that the restoration of the USSR in its old form is impossible not only for political reasons but also for economic ones.
In 1991, it was not just the USSR that collapsed, but also the Russian Empire another form of which was the Soviet Union. Why did not the empire fall apart in 1917? Why did not it collapse in 1941 when Hitler hoped it would? It was transition to a market economy that pushed the Soviet Union to the collapse.
In 1917, economic system was changing in the entire territory of the Russian Empire mainly in one direction, as the war and devastation had led to the domination of the levelling ideas of military Communism. In 1941, there was no question of changing economic system at all.
The situation was different in 1991. An intensive process of searching for a new model of economy for the country had begun in 1985. By 1991, several of such models had appeared. Let us say two, for convenience, the liberal model of "shock therapy" and the model of "smooth" transition.
"The CIA report on the economic and domestic political situation in the USSR. Analytical account for President, Government and the US Congress. 1978" is very significant.
"…At the present time, a clear tendency shows itself towards the split in the central body of the CPSU and in the leadership of Communist parties of the Soviet republics. The main reason of that is the graceful degradation of economic situation in the country. Stagnation of all industries, sustained decline in production, catastrophic loss of labour efficiency, persistent crop failure were even aggravated with the drop in world prices for traditional Soviet export goods, such as oil, gas and raw timber. Voluminous and totally unbalanced military production is expanded annually, ruining all other industries and subjecting the country to the import of wide range of essential goods, including food stuffs. Meanwhile, the aged leadership of the USSR does not see the fatality of this course and moreover draws the country into further global expenses that it cannot sustain either in theory or in practice. …To maintain trade relations with the West at least on some level, the USSR is forced to explore unprofitable mines, which requires billions-worth state subsidies, produce low-quality oil in remote and hard-to-reach regions of the country where its prime cost is very high, driving itself into some kind of economic vicious circle with no exit in sight… Brezhnev visited India and signed an agreement on issuing a loan of 820 million dollars for the government of Gandhi. Besides, he promised to decrease oil supplies to India by 1 million tons. He also signed a secret agreement on weapon supplies, including 25 MIG-25 aircrafts totalling 1.6 billion dollars. The preferential credit for weapon supplies has been as usual drawn in the way that it makes one doubt if India is going to call it in at all… There is only evaluation data available how much those raw materials and finished products supplies to the satellite countries cost the USSR annually. However, the USSR annually spends convertible currency on the above-mentioned countries increasing its own debt to the West that makes up 17 billion 900 million dollars at the moment. Apart from that, Kremlin undertook obligations of Western loans guarantor for Eastern Europe countries, potentially shouldering another 60 billion dollars debt.
There is accurate data on annual dollar subsidies to the satellite countries (Table 1.27).
During the last 10 years, the USSR has spent 85.8 billion dollars distributing the means in the following way. Kuba - 15.4906 billion dollars; Vietnam - 9.1312; Syria - 7.426; Iraq - 3.7656; Ethiopia - 2.8605; North Korea - 2.2341; Mongolia - 9.5427; India - 8.9075; Poland - 4.955; Afghanistan - 3.055; Algeria - 2.5193; Angola - 2.0289 billion dollars.
…Furthermore, Kremlin makes investments in the capitals of well-known firms and companies that not only have nothing to do with the international Communist movement but quite the contrary are officially stigmatized by Moscow as ones constituting the military industrial complex of the West. Paradoxically enough, Moscow invests in our defence system instead of spending those funds on its own ailing economy. …In the course of the recent contacts between the Soviet leaders and the leaders of the USA and Western European countries (visits of Brezhnev and Gromyko) repeatedly declared the acute need in receiving Western loans for modernization of the entire primary sector of economy as the basic purpose of these contacts. However, the proposals of the Western countries on the appropriate equipment supplies were rejected and a desire was expressed to receive purely money loans, since the Soviet party had not chosen the vendors yet and intended to organize a competition for firms. The received loans almost fully accumulated on the Western bank accounts and are actually redistributed to personal accounts of high party officials… One can have the impression that some part of the CPSU leaders has seen the imminent disaster in the country much more clearly from inside than we have from outside and prepared to escape to the West by building up material resources for that. The latter fact obviously defines all the USSR home and foreign policy that has no other explanation. Such a policy led to the threefold gold reserves reduction in the last 30 years, and the gold reserves continue to decrease rapidly. The continually advancing industrial decline threatens to go out of control and entail a total economic chaos, which will create a perfect opportunity to eliminate the USSR as a great world power without resorting to military means. …We regard it efficient to attempt to expand the list of the client countries of the USSR in the nearest future thereby increasing its prohibitive expenses (a better way is its direct involvement in some large regional conflict) and widening the split in the Kremlin leadership by means of the elaborate loan policy…"
To receive the Soviet aid, it was sufficient merely to declare war on "American imperialism" or accept Marxism as good for the people. There was a time when even the notorious cannibal emperor Bokassa received support from the USSR for abusing American imperialism.
The incompatibility of the USSR economy and the world economy also contributed to the collapse. According to the American scientist R. Keohane, "once the world capitalist system is established it is subject to favouring capitalist governments and damaging socialist ones."
We can add here the destructive power of the USSR military doctrine. Right after the end of the Second World War, without even having its wounds healed, the USSR entered the "cold war" against the West, the war that lasted for decades. The economic powers were unequal in this war, for the US economy exceeded the Soviet one two or three times. In addition, if we take into account the confrontation of the USSR and the Warsaw Treaty countries on the one side, and the USA, NATO and SEATO on the other side, the economic power of the latter will exceed that of the former four or five times. Geopolitics of the USSR generated the corresponding geo-economy that broke down as well. The colossus with feet of clay crumbled.
As far back as in 1968, General de Gaulle said that no country could be considered completely independent without nuclear weapon. Picture 1 gives the available data on nuclear tests in the USSR and the USA from 1945 to 1989. Politburo members at different times could not even suspect that every nuclear explosion they set off produced an economic explosion as well. The picture of air and underground nuclear tests conducted by these powers in the above-mentioned years is as follows. 512 air explosions and 1,525 underground explosions were carried out in total. The underground (815) and air (215) explosions leader is the USA followed by the USSR, France, Great Britain, China and India.
Picture 1 reflects the data on the number of explosions in per cents from the totality of nuclear explosions in the world alongside with the US GDP income in percentage terms. It is obvious that the correlation between the total number of tests in the world and GDP income of the USA is within due limits both in the developed countries (the USA, France and Great Britain) and in the developing countries.
The USSR is a phenomenon in this respect, as the considered correlation is different here. GDP of the USSR amounting to 38% from that of the USA, the USSR carried out 35.1% of the totality of nuclear explosions in the world. Such a destructive strategy can be understandable if a country prepares for a nu-clear attack or expects it. In any other case this is economic insanity that was to and did lead to the break-down of the USSR.
There is a model of the relation of the number of nuclear explosions to the economy of a country built up for the world nuclear powers. Picture 1 demonstrates that two nuclear strategies existed in the world in the period under review, one was nuclear sufficiency to repel aggression, which France, India, China, Great Britain stood by, the other being the achievement of nuclear power balance with the USA. The USSR stood by the latter strategy. Had the USSR chosen nuclear sufficiency strategy, it would have been enough to carry out three times less explosions.
Henry Kissinger wrote, "The paranoid feeling of insecurity made Russia produce 20,000 nuclear warheads." Only a country with a powerful free economy can afford such a programme, which was con-firmed later by the historical events.
But the most dreadful thing was that the arms race could not provide the USSR full safety. The American professor Alexander Yanov said that in the beginning of the 1980s the Americans made a con-siderable breakthrough in the antimissile system technology. Had such systems been produced in full measure, the number of missiles and missile-carriers possessed by one or another country would have be-come of no significance at all. The "petrodollars - military-industrial complex" model proved to be unten-able. By the way, according to Yanov, it was this fact that prompted Gorbachev to launch perestroika, for (and we agree) the USSR was incapable of constructing such systems and the nuclear pistol would be put to the country's head. Few people could be convinced then by the ardent speeches of Academician Velik-hov on Central Television Channel, who tried to assure everyone that such antimissile systems were im-possible to construct.
The Swedish economist Aslund calculated that the Soviet GDP made up only one fifth of the Ameri-can one on average. Clearly, a nuclear competition with the entire world was to lead to the economic col-lapse of a country with such capabilities.
The mentioned data shows that the USSR thoughtless nuclear strategy that did not provide the coun-try security was one of the causes of the USSR economic collapse. There were favourable conditions for a military industrial complex in the command and administration System. However, the balance between economy of the country and nuclear safety was not and could not be found.
The state leaders disclosed the USSR military strategy quite explicitly and clearly. L.M. Zamyatin writes in this connection, "Khruschev, who was far from diplomatic refinement, bullied the West declar-ing in public that missiles come off the assembly line at the USSR plants "like sausages." The discreet Brezhnev usually tried to avoid public statements but I happened to witness him expressing his "creed" to the minister of defence, "The Americans and NATO may have a certain number missiles, we will have as much plus 50%!"
This approach suited the US military industrial complex well, as it received huge military orders. To maintain the USSR on the rails of the destructive arms race, the US military industrial complex, that has a strong influence on the higher echelons of authorities of the country, kept the USSR leaders in constant fear. This campaign was particularly successful with the coward Gorbachev. "Sometimes, we would send our bomber aircrafts to the North Pole for the Soviet radars to locate them. Sometimes, we sent a bomber to the airspace of the border areas in Asia and Europe," remembers General Cheney, the head of the American strategic air forces in the 1980s, as Schweizer writes in his book Victory.
These actions recurred with frightening regularity. "Speaking at the Princeton University conference in May 1993, the last foreign minister of the USSR Alexander Bessmertnikh admitted that. Schweizer quotes him triumphantly, "…All the information leakage and reports from our intelligence service in the USA… demonstrated that Washington seriously thought about eliminating the Soviet Union at first at-tempt," Kalashnikov writes.
Considerable means were spent on the war against the Western anti-Soviet propaganda. For instance, the "voice" of the West has been jammed all over the USSR since 15 April, 1949. "Jamming stations " appeared in all the USSR cities and towns. The one in Baku, for instance, was a vast carefully guarded area packed with the most up-to-date equipment. According to expert estimations, this large-scale cam-paign required as much energy as the Dnieper hydroelectric power station produced.
Nonetheless, low-frequency waves were impossible to jam and the Soviet people could still listen to Western voices by means of the then popular radio receiver "Spidola". The West was well aware of the fact that its radio broadcasting was jammed and yet continued broadcasting understanding the volume of funds the USSR spent on jamming.
Another important cause of the USSR collapse was the fact that there were actually two scientific and technical and industrial bases in the USSR, civil and military ones. Best brains and most considerable funds were used in the military sphere. No elaborate system of interaction between those two monsters existed, each developing on its own. It was amazing that any technological innovation introduced in mili-tary industry was immediately secured and remained in such state many years until it got out-of-date. So, best brains and most considerable funds invested in the military industrial complex were going waste. Their designation was to protect Motherland against enemies. Meanwhile, the "enemies" exhibited their achievements, except the classified, strictly military ones, seizing more and more markets.
G. Tabachnik writes, the Soviet reality can be summarized in six points.
1) There is no unemployment in the Soviet Union but no one works either.
2) No one works but production grows.
3) Production grows but store shelves are empty.
4) Store shelves are empty but tables groan with food at family celebrations.
5) Tables groan but everyone is discontent.
6) Everyone is discontent but everyone votes affirmatively.
If labour efficiency does not grow but aggregate income increases (such things can be observed in Russia as well), the reason can be only the sale of raw material resources. Clearly, such a perverse economy was unable to exist without currency inflow, which were petrodollars gained by means of setting speculative prices both at home and abroad.
The sociologist P.P Maslov, in his book Statistics in sociology published in the 1970s, discovered that the population distribution according to incomes was subject to Gauss's law that differs fundamentally from Pareto law functioning in Western capitalist countries. Let us remark without going into detail that those laws are the eventual result of command and market economy. Whereas Gauss's distribution distinctly reflects levelling (the modal value virtually reproducing cost of living), Pareto law says that… each gets income according his labour and abilities.
But the basic cause of the USSR collapse is undoubtedly planned economy. Plan is, geometrically said, when a straight line is drawn between two points with thousands of obstacles present and no economic lever functioning in proper way. By assigning certain values of obstacles, one can demonstrate through simple mathematic calculations that tin such conditions plan is the beginning of chaos. Chiefs of different ranks tried a variety of tricks to fulfil the plan, since fulfilment of the plan meant high posts, material and moral remuneration, peace of mind etc., while non-fulfilment of the plan meant the reverse, often redoubled with initiation of criminal case. Planned economy led to giant economic perversion and eventually caused the downfall of the system. N. Khruschev once said, "If people could stop stealing just for one day we would have reached Communism a long ago." However, Khruschev, who believed that he would be able to live till Communism, did not or did not want to understand that the political and economic mechanism of planned economy itself was thievish and had to be halted for good.
Turin University professor Roberto Ponizzi noted that "planned economy implies a great battle between the Soviet people and the State Planning Committee and ministries. This contradiction digs into the system sooner or later. That is why planned economy is incapable of developing and can be only extensive, stagnating and historically doomed."
Throughout the entire period of the existence of the Soviet power, Communists have been standing by a tragicomic model, hoping to improve the state of affairs by making some new efforts and patching up something somewhere. Nariman Narimanov wrote to his son on 28 January, 1925 in his letter of will, "Perhaps, you will read these lines when Bolsheviks are already gone. However, that does not mean Bolshevism was no good but that we failed to maintain it, that we underestimated it, did not work hard. To be quite honest about it, that power made us so arrogant that we missed the basic plunging in trifles and squabbles. Power spoils many. And that is the case already; power eventually spoiled many quite good, even outstanding workers who had dared to take the fate of a great state into their hands and become dictators without control… That was necessary in the beginning but to follow this course further would mean to bring Bolsheviks close to failure." These words show the heartache of the outstanding Azerbaijan Bolshevik who was unable to rise above the system and thought of improving it from within.
At the well-known State Emergency Committee conference, Yanayev said that the first thing they wanted to do was to revise material and technical and other resources available in the USSR and redistribute them fairly. With the nineties coming, Communist methods still remained the same, to take away and redistribute.
The perversity of planned economy is demonstrated by means of the following example. In the stagnation period, an economic experiment was conducted under the guidance of Melnikov, the deputy head of the CPSU CC construction department. The experiment was widely covered on Central Television Channel. The point of that "Rzhev" experiment was that equipment, workers, engineers etc. were drawn up from the entire USSR to speed up the construction of new objects. As a result, objects were delivered turnkey before the scheduled date. Optimality of the process was of no importance, the necessary amount of equipment was not defined, no one estimated what happened to the object, where the machinery was taken from etc. The amount of equipment available for the experiment exceeded the necessary amount several times. This example is characteristic of the command-and-control method.
We live, as the economist N. Shmelev fairly noted, in a false mirrors kingdom, where everyone says one thing but does another. This is the lot of all rigidly determined models imposed on the probabilistic diverse world, in which everyone has his own peculiarities. Hoare's law of big problem says, "Inside any big problem there is a smaller one trying to break through." In the case of free liberal entrepreneurship and market economy this law gets full scale. In the case of command and administration system not a single smaller problem can break through if it contradicts the main line drawn by the party.
We cannot say that the leaders of the country did not take some measures from time to time in attempts to change the situation drastically. There were periods, especially in the beginning, when Bolsheviks realized that administrative planned system was gradually ruining the country's economy. That is why Lenin launched New Economic Policy and his loyal supporter F. Dzerzhinsky noted the weakness of the situation when "foreign trade monopoly belonged to only one organization… incredible abuse and stagnation… occurred owing to that fact."
Another attempt was planned after Stalin's death. S. Beria writes in his book that his father, L. Beria, prepared new economic strategy. To be impartial, we should point out that the recently declassified documents confirm that. Isaac Deitscher wrote in 1953 in Reporter magazine that Beria was killed right at the moment when drastic reforms were being carried out, the ultimate purpose of the latter being decentralization of management of the country and establishment of autonomous formations.
A third attempt was made by N. Khruschev who set up two party bureaus managing agriculture and industry, introduced councils of national economy that functioned alongside with the Council of Ministers, etc.
A fourth attempt was made by A. Kosyghin in the late 1960s who declared self-support the basic factor of economy.
The next was Y. Andropov who believed that the situation could be profoundly improved by corruption control and establishment of order all over the country.
And the final attempt was made by M. Gorbachev.
Even one of the most active members of State Emergency Committee V. Kryuchkov understood that a powerful destruction process was on the run in the country, "Policy fully built on ideology and devoid of sound pragmatism was not optimal and had to be changed sooner or later," he observes. What hampered those changes? "Those changes were hampered by our closed-minded world outlook that immediately rejected any ideas going beyond the rigid frames of the extremely ideologized official doctrine."
It is obvious that al those attempts were doomed to fail, since "socialism with human face" remained the foundation of the society. A number of the suggested measures were naive. How could self-support be in question in the case of rigid price regulation? Or what could Khruschev's management system yield in the administrative command system? And surely, M. Gorbachev miscalculated his undertakings. "We did not expect such a collapse," he confessed to his associates.
But Bolsheviks could not give up administrative command system and monopoly, as those were the core of their existence in power.
The total price regulation, which was the basis of planned economy, hit currency-consuming products worst (oil, cotton etc.). It follows from Le Chatelier-Samuelson principle that change in price of a certain product accepted as money measure of another product is the maximal in case if all prices can change freely.
As a system, the USSR could not exist for the reason that it could not exist as a system!
The second law of thermodynamics formulated by Carnot says that every self-contained system, i.e. fully isolated and connected with others in no way, approaches its most probable state, which is total chaos. In accordance with this principle, all self-contained systems disintegrate eventually, become disorganized and die. This process is called amortization in engineering, ageing in biology, destruction in chemistry and breakdown in history. The degree of uncertainty is measured by entropy. Applying the notion of entropy, we can express the second law of thermodynamics in the following way. Entropy of a self-contained system does not decrease. In other words, a self-contained system cannot be regulated by itself.
Living behind the iron curtain and then building the image of enemy in the face of the entire civilization, the USSR actually existed in closed space, the end of which is historical collapse, according to S. Carnot. The second law of thermodynamics does not rule out the possibility of local entropy decrease even in closed systems, that is it allows local organization but at the expense of more intensive destruction of the rest. Local adjustment of a certain part of a self-contained system is only possible if the remaining part will be more disorganized. The summary order will not increase.
POURING CONSIDERABLE AMOUNT OF ENTROPY INTO MILITARY INDUSTRY (ACTUALLY BUILDING A STATE IN THE STATE), KGB, GLOBAL WORLD STRATEGY, THE USSR ESTABLISHED A POWERFUL MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX ON ACCOUNT OF OTHER EXPENSE ITMES. THAT LED TO THE ACCELERATION OF ECONOMIC COLLAPSE AND CONSEQUENLY TO THE USSR COLLAPSE.
Ashby says, "When a system grows big and the difference in size between a part and the whole becomes considerable, it often happens that properties of the whole differ a lot from properties of parts." Such a process generates emergent properties that seem to contradict properties of elementary phenomena constituting a complex one. For instance, all stones fall down but it is not improbable that a group of stones can be found in an avalanche that lift up exactly due to the complex system of collisions in the process of falling down.
WITH ECONOMY DYING, DISCOVERY AND BARBAROUS EXPLORATION OF LARGE OIL DEPOSITS AND CURRENCY RECEIVED FROM THE SALE OF THIS OIL BY NO MEANS RESULTED IN THE IMPROVEMENT OF ECONOMIC SITUATION IN GENERAL.
The USSR collapse can also be explained in terms of physics. As we know, the transition from laminar (organized) flow to turbulent (disorderly) one is expressed through Reynolds number that has the following form.
Re = -----------------------
where: V - is the fluid velocity,
d - is the diameter of the pipe
b - is t he density of the fluid,
m - is the fluid viscosity.
Overwhelmingly, planned economy is similar to this model, i.e. the planned work turns into chaos at a certain stage. If we take that transition to chaos is expressed through Reynolds number, then fluid veloc-ity and the diameter of the pipe is the plan execution time and its absolute value, viscosity is the team play of all units of facilities, density is equipment, machinery, material etc. SINCE ALL CONTROL PA-RAMETERS ARE IMPOSSIBLE TO MAINTAIN ON ONE CERTAIN LEVEL, THE TRANSITION TO CHAOS IS INEVITABLE.
Cyberneticists mention inefficient management system and considerable "background noises" in the course of information transmission bottom-upwards among main causes of the downfall of the Roman Empire. The most important thing in control systems is the closure of control process proceeding from the feedback principle.
Control exists only where connection exists that begins at the control object and ends at it as well. The function of this connection, according to Norbert Wiener, "is to control the mechanical tendency for disorganization, in other words, to cause a change of the usual direction of entropy in time and space." There is always a closed relation loop. If it cannot be observed directly, there is delay, probably a very long-term one. But it is to continue, to close, otherwise control loses its meaning, otherwise there is no control.
The above-mentioned is illustrated by the following data demonstrating a sheer incomprehension of the root of the Communist regime control in the last years of the USSR. "48 Politburo meetings and 42 meetings of the CC Secretariat were held in 1984, with 3,760 Politburo resolutions passed, 529 of them at the meetings and 3,231 by absent voting. The CC Secretariat passed 5,452 resolutions, including 980 at the meetings, and 4,471 by absent voting. Committee worked on the Party Programme, fuel and energy complex, Food Programme, secondary schools reform, on Poland, China, Afghanistan, foreign policy propaganda, consumer goods etc.
…During the year 225,000 copies of various office mail were received by the CC. The number of letters reached more than 600,000."
Here are extracts from Politburo resolutions passed in 1985.
"On the celebration march, 1 May, 1985 (4 April, 1985 ).
On preparation and progress of spring sowing (11 April, 1985).
On technical upgrading of Gorky motor works (6 May, 1985).
On increasing demand in grain use (6 May, 1985).
On uniform, food and weapon supplies for the Sandinista army (6 May, 1985).
On the results of the meeting of the CC secretaries of fraternal countries - Council for Mutual Eco-nomic Assistance members (23 May, 1985).
On retail prices of fruit juices and bakery yeast (1 August, 1985).
On the plan of economic and social development of the USSR for 1986 and 12th five-year-plan (29 August, 1985)…
…in 1985, Politburo passed 4,112 resolutions, …241 joint resolutions of the CPSU Central Commit-tee and the USSR Council of Ministers. In addition, 5,512 resolutions were passed by the CPSU CC Se-cretariat."
We can easily see that both the content and unsystematic character of those resolutions were to lead the country to a dead-end. NOT A SINGLE CIVILIZED COUNTRY DOES NOT AND CANNOT HAVE SUCH A BUNCH OF GOOD-FOR-NOTHING CONTROL ACTIONS ON THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF HIERARCHY SYSTEM, FOR IT CONTRADICTS COMMON SENSE. Gazing at these crazy figures, one involuntarily remembers the words of N. Khruschev, "We built a system allowing any fool rule the country." However, he meant quite the contrary by saying so.
Despite the rigidity and centrality of the USSR management system, in the last decades, it has been inadequate to the numerous large- and small-scale processes in the country. One of the basic cybernetic laws formulated by Ashby was broken, "The variety of control actions corresponds to the diversity of the controlled object."
THE RESOLUTIONS OF VARIOUS LEVELS LIVED A LIFE OF THEIR OWN, DIFFERENT FROM THAT OF THE COUNTRY. A number of reputable scientists assert that the main source of the situation was the absence of a mechanism of realization of different resolutions. IN OUR OPINION, THIS IS A DELUSION, AS THERE COULD BE NO SUCH MECHANISM, GIVEN THAT SITUATION WITH CONTROL OBJECT AND CONTROL ACTIONS. The determined control system come into obvious conflict with the practically probabilistic control object, which entailed a deep system conflict (remember a traditional cybernetic example, Grey's "turtle" or Calbratson's "car").
Active interference of the party in the scientific sphere led to the regress in the big science. Large scientific institutions with centuries-old traditions were headed not by the leading scientists but by functionaries loyal to Lenin's cause. Party bodies interfered actively in the election in the academies of sciences of the USSR and republics. All this led to the gradual but inevitable decline in the prestige of science.
The USSR "big brother" model began to fail. Whereas there were 83% of Russians in the state, they made up merely 52% by 1985, which resulted in more and more frequent grudges against the "big brother".
Intellectuals of science and technology and art also made their contribution to the process of the USSR collapse. The famous playwright V. Rozov remarked that "intellectuals play a suspicious part sometimes." Here is the viewpoint of the editor-in-chief of Nezavisimaya Gazeta V. Tretyakov, 1999.
"First. In 1991, the Russian intellectuals betrayed their country that was called the Soviet Union then, as well as all its peoples, by not qualifying the December overthrow of the rightful president of the USSR as an overthrow and the USSR liquidation as a coup d'etat.
Second. In 1993, the Russian intellectuals betrayed the idea of democracy by not qualifying the illegal disbanding and shooting of the duly elected parliament of the country as a coup d'etat.
Third. In 1996, the Russian intellectuals again betrayed the idea of democracy as self-determination of the people and the idea of liberalism as availability of alternatives, by marching under the banner of the absence of alternatives to the candidate that clearly embodied economic and political dead end.
Fourth. Every day, in the period from the beginning of cooperative movement and to 17 August, 1998 the Russian intellectuals betrayed themselves, intellectually serving the authorities in all its bends including the most lascivious ones for a recompense that was small by the measures of the authorities but enormous compared to the living standard of the people. That way the way the Russian intellectuals sold freedom of thought for a piece of bread and involvement in the power.
Fifth. The Russian intellectuals betrayed the great Russian idea, the idea of social justice (its utopianism is obvious, its idealism is quintessence of mentality of noble, common and Soviet intellectuals), the left idea. Roughly speaking, the Russian intellectuals betrayed their people by separating their own satiety from that of the people, moreover turning a blind eye to the people's poverty.
The sixth betrayal also took place, though "inside the circle", when the intellectuals of the highest ranks betrayed many millions of intellectuals, such as teachers, librarians, college professors and scientists, by separating themselves as "the cultural elite" from their fellows through property."
The author deems it his duty to add to the words of Tretyakov the attitude of the intellectuals in question towards the Armenian-Azerbaijan conflict. In a few words, it was unrestrained and unreserved support they showed to Armenian separatists against the insults directed at the Azerbaijan people! They thirsted after blood, moreover, Azerbaijan blood. Sometimes we felt dread for Russia that had such intellectuals and remembered the well-known Stalin's intellectuals that had been, according to Khruschev, "bribed by Stalin".
The trifle the Armenians gave them could not even be called a bribe, as the Armenians believed they did not deserve more!
A quite amazing and original interpretation of the USSR collapse was suggested by Regis Debray, one of the most outstanding representatives of the world culture phenomenon called "Paris intellectuals". Here is his interview.
"'In your book Empires Against Europe, the downfall of the Soviet Union.'
'Yes, because it seems to me that the USSR lost its competitiveness in the sphere of production of symbols. The point is that the USSR stopped producing a sufficient amount of songs, films, music, film and fashion stars… thereby losing the opportunity to form symbolic imagination of the people.'
'What is the exact reverse of the first years of the Bolshevist revolution?'
'Nearly the entire world imagination in the 1920s depended on revolution. The whole Bolshevist agitation and propaganda was uncommonly dynamic. Just remember Eisenstein, Mayakovsky.'
'Even political practice of the Bolsheviks was extremely symbolic.'
'I think that exactly was the reason why America won the competition with the USSR without increasing either missile production or number of divisions. The Soviet leaders failed to understand that the nature of relations between strength and power itself had changed. Roughly speaking, a tank division cannot rival rock-n-roll. The latter is stronger. The USSR politicians did not see that because Marx had not either. Marx believed that ideology is the reflection of basis, which is quite wrong. Ideology is a creative and dynamic force. People in dreams and so they need films, songs, music and so one, in short, they need elements of culture which the USSR produced no longer. I wrote in 1984 that Communism was gone and the USSR would fall apart. I saw that the material forces of the USSR are those of the 19th century.'
'The period of industrial revolution?'
'Exactly. Of the first one, not third, computer revolution. Therefore, it was clear that the USSR would be over and done soon.'"
And here, Debray is undoubtedly right.
Art, especially motion pictures, used to inspire the Soviet people in the thirties. Such films as Jolly Fellows, Volga-Volga, Tractor Drivers, A Rich Bride, Hearts of Four, Musical Story and many others were truly phenomenal. People would go to watch them as if to a feast. Those films were like drugs. People thought of the future happiness and on the whole took little interest in camps. Meetings with famous actors were remarkable events to be remembered till the end of one's life. Such film actors as M. Zharov, I. Ilyinsky, L. Orlova, M. Ladynina, L. Tselikovskaya, L. Smirnova, P. Aleynikov, I. Pereverzev, Y. Samoylov and others, were idols of the public. Charming songs of love and friendship were spreading all over the country, hummed by millions of Soviet people. We thought we were flying towards the bright future but ended up nowhere. However, it became evident much later!
Angelina Stepanova, the People's Artist of the USSR, wrote, "I had two beloveds killed by the Soviet power, Fadeyev for loving it too much, and Erdman for hating it."
"It was not in 1991 that the USSR broke down. Not even in 1985. The collapse of the Empire began when we forgot our heroes and turned them into nothing. Those supermen that did prodigies of valour in the hottest furnace for human persons, in the war.
Let us ask the first young passer-by we meet in the street, like ten or fifteen years ago, "What do you know about those who fought in Formosa in 1951? About those who sank Japanese ships in the Yangtze mouth in 1938? Or those who set American Supersabres on fire in the sky over North Korea? Or those who knocked down Israeli Skyhawks and Phantoms in the haze heat of Sinai in 1973?" If you are fortunate, silent amazement will be an answer.
By 1985, thousands of unknown heroes lived in the Soviet Union, and each example could become a torch firing millions of hearts with pride for the Empire. Could become a light, an example for youth. A source of indomitable martial spirit. Those were the heroes we lost so foolishly and uselessly," Kalashnikov writes. Kalashnokov's style provokes objections, being too defiant, but shows the eye of the problem quite right. The USSR lost its inspiring heroes it had had in the thirties, like Papanin, Chkalov, Serov, Stakhanov, Schmidt etc. Several generations of the Soviet people heartily tried to be like them. Those lights went out in the time of Gorbachev! Furthermore, files were opened on each of them, funny stories were told about them! A spiritual vacuum formed that began filling with some surrogate, in accordance with the "nature abhors a vacuum" principle.
Alexander Goryanin is quite convincing in his interpretation of the USSR collapse without going deep into underground processes (that rather concern ideology). The unshakeable USSR was gone all of a sudden. We did not draw a lesson from the rapid downfall of the Soviet system. This downfall had neither economic nor foreign policy foundation, as many may assert. The reason was that the system had suddenly become boring for the majority of the USSR active population and lost its supporters at the crucial moment. The system had overlooked the latent processes of separation of the society from the power. Being dull-witted, it could not take into account that fact that the share of brainworkers (together with their families) reached one third of the USSR population. That the eroding skepticism tends to penetrate rapidly into all social and educational groups. That nationalism had not disappear, moreover, the closed lid of ideology does not let it escape in the natural way. And so on. It had become a sign of dullness by the mid-eighties in any social layer without exception not to express contempt for everything Soviet, even the positive that undoubtedly existed in the USSR in the sphere of science, industry, social sphere, education, the positive being too closely intertwined with Soviet oddities and falsehood. The people had never been too trustful towards officials and this distrust had become total by the 1980s. Quite veracious statements of the Soviet propaganda were interpreted as common lies. Even the CPSU members were telling anti-Soviet anecdotes, listening to foreign radio channels and believing them whole-heartedly. Such attitude came into fashion, and fashion is an almost irresistible power. Those sentiments rarely broke to the surface, being still controlled by inertial fear. In the conditions of remaining strict censorship, passive oppositionists did not suspect that they had actually turned into majority. Intoxicated by their rare far-sightedness, they were certain that the society would remain stagnant and Communist and therefore it was pointless to stock their necks out, you can't break down walls by beating your head against them. The abolition of censorship by Gorbachev equaled to the elimination of the fear factor. Gaining their liberty, the mass media hurried to help the society realize the degree of it unanimity and desire of getting rid of everything Soviet. The rest is well-known. The Communist power had nothing to oppose many millions of democratic marchers in Moscow and many thousands of them in provinces. The rest was finished during the first free election against the background of emptying shop counters. The USSR lost its legitimacy in the eyes of its own population and as a consequence crumbled with almost total public indifference.
An indirectly, but rather effective way of destruction of Russia and therefore the USSR as well was alcohol.
According to G. Tabachnik, in 1986, a group of members of Novosibirsk department of the USSR Academy of Sciences sent the following letter to the West, "A public opinion poll was conducted in 1913 in the provinces of Central Russia, which showed that 43% of men in those provinces were total abstainers. The poll was re-conducted in the same regions in 1979 and showed 0.9% of total abstainers. 99.4% of our men drink. 90% of women were total abstainers in 1943, in 1979 there were 2.4% of them. 97.6% of our women drink. Female alcoholism is the shortest way to our end.
In 1913, the number of total abstainers among underage young men and women made up 95%. In 1979, they made up already less than 5%."
Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf concerning the policy in the territories of East Slavs, "No hygiene, no vaccination for them (Slavs), just vodka and tobacco." It appears that the USSR carried out this recommendation of Hitler; it was difficult to deal serious problems the system created for them and they did for the system in their turn. A VICIOUS CIRCLE APPEARED.
The actions Yeltsin and his both public and shadow team took also furthered the USSR collapse. By eliminating Gorbachev as a politician, Yeltsin eliminated everything that concerned him, including the USSR, which could not but affect the general process of the destruction of the USSR.
A. Agafyan writes in his article Cutthroats with Epaulets published in Duel newspaper, "In the period of Gorbachev, Barannikov, the head of the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs GUBKhSS where Yerin had come as well, was appointed the first deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Azerbaijan, and Yerin became his counterpart in Armenia. Earthquakes and ruins in Transcaucasia, corpses in Spitak and Leninakan. Then Karabakh - Baku, the escape of Azerbaijanis from Armenia and Armenians from Azerbaijan. A BUREAUCRATIC TANDEM OF BARANNIKOV AND YERIN WAS FORMED (highlighted by the author)…
Barannikov was sick on 19 August, 1991. His first deputy Yerin reigned in the Ministry of Internal Affairs. He was called by B. Pugo, the USSR Minister of Internal Affairs and asked if he knew about State Emergency Committee and how the RSFSR Ministry of Internal Affairs intended to carry out its decisions. Yerin answered that the Ministry was subordinate to the Russian government and would follow its line. Pugo softly hinted on the liability for disobedience to a Soviet ministry and when Yerin asked for permission to leave, said after him thoughtfully, "Maybe you are right…" (instead of arresting him on spot!). AS WE CAN SEE THEY DID NOT TALK ABOUT THEIR OATHS AND MOTHERLAND, JUST THE LEADERSHIP (highlighted by the author). It is no surprise that in a phone conversation with the first deputy of B. Pugo, V. Trushin, "Yerin was rude, though he had always expressed pointed outward regard and servility. THE MINISTRY OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS OF RUSSIA HAD ACTUALLY GONE OUT OF CONTROL OF THE USSR MINISTRY OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS AND OBEYED THE ORDERS OF THE FIRST LEADERS OF RUSSIA (highlighted by the author). "The army had long come over to Yeltsin, and after losing the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Gorbachev remained alone. All that accumulated and led to the Belavezha Accords," Trushin declines the responsibility. Ex-minister Kulikov explains that by the example of 1993 events as "a very complex psychological factor due to which even the best trained general cannot withstand the situation. Dozens of general and officers were at a loss and hesitated as to whether to execute (illegitimate) commands or not." What a turn-up!
Yerin managed to pay off his debt to Pugo. Ivanchenko, Yerin and Yavlinsky went to arrest him. (Anyone including Yerin could not answer what Yavlinsky needed that for). Being an operative agent, Yerin suggested that he go to the negotiations on his own, since Pugo would not resist, taking into consideration their normal relations. And then he could say to him calmly, in a matter-of-fact way, "I am sorry, Boris Karlovich, but it is time for you to go (to prison)." Here are an extract concerning Yerin from B. Yeltsin's President's Notes. "Victor Yerin. I believed him like myself. Later I happened to get to know him better and I found a serious, clever and contrite man. I do not even mention his respect in militia, his professional skills. He is a remarkable man…" Yerin himself thinks so. "I chanced to work under the guidance of Y.M. Primakov. We had had good relationship before, both having worked in the Security Council of Russia, and everything remained the same after my transfer to that service. We had a conversation once with the new head of foreign intelligence service V.I. Turbnikov, as to whether I was appropriate there. He replied, "Do not worry and work, you are our man now".
A curious company, isn't it? Let us observe that all of them were "Caucasian"! And something more. Fatekh Vergasov writes, "In the summer of 1991, Arkady Volsky together with Vadim Bakatin, Gavriil Popov, Anatoly Sobchak, Nikolay Travkin, Eduard Shevardnadze, Alexander and Yegor Yakovlev were establishing the organizing committee of the United Democratic Party. The conspirators, most of which were still the CPSU members, prepared the documents secretly suggesting that those curious should inquire of Kryuchkov." Volsky dealt the Karabakh issue in a similar or slightly different company, in the same secret way, the author has no doubts in that.
Before the USSR collapse
After the USSR collapse
Yerin – Minister of Internal Affairs of the Armenian SSR
Minister of Internal Affairs of Russia
Lobov – second secretary of the Armenian CPSU CC
Secretary of Security Council of Russia
Primakov – head of the Council of Nationalities of the USSR, the main South Caucasus ideologist of Gorbachev
Head of Russian intelligence service, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia, Prime Minister of Russia etc.
Mikhaylov – deputy head of the CPSU CC Department, Gorbachev’s representative in Baku in January 1990
Minister of Nationalities of Russia
Kulikov – commander of the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs Armed Forces in Transcaucasia and Northern Caucasia
Minister of Internal Affairs of Russia
Barannikov - deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Azerbaijan
Head of the Federal Security Service of Russia
Polyanichko – second secretary of the Azerbaijan CPSU CC, head of the republican organizing committee on NKAO of Azerbaijan
Deputy Prime Minister of Russia
Volsky – head of the Committee of Special Administration of Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast
Head of Industrialists Council of Russia
As we can see, all the "Caucasians" took high official posts after the collapse of the USSR. A question suggests itself, why? Had they put out the flame of separatism with their activity in hot points or made a considerable contribution to the preservation of the USSR? As a matter of fact, everything was quite the reverse; they all can be ranged on the principle of Mendeleyev's table, according to their "specific contribution" to the destabilization of the situation in the region and the breakdown of the USSR. So why did those former comrades, then gentlemen, receive so much attention? Because they appeased Yeltsin in every possible way, explicitly or implicitly, to the detriment of the USSR!
Certainly, the West contributed to the USSR collapse as well. Nuclear explosions in Japan, military preparations and the notorious speech of Churchill in Fulton on 11 March, 1946 with the appeal for a crusade against the Soviet Union were the beginning of the cold war.
American Congress passed Public Law 86-90 as early as in 1959, according to which the USA were to split the "Soviet monster" into 22 states.
One thing is interesting. The USSR did collapse, yet Public Law 89-90 was not abolished, which, according to Alexander Drozdov, allows to draw the only possible conclusion that Washington plots further disintegration of Russia.
In June 1982, the US President R. Reagan said to his colleagues at an unofficial meeting in Versailles that "…the main enemy we are combating is Kremlin…" In 1995, B. Clinton declared at the meeting of Joint Chiefs of Staff, "…there will be only one empire, the USA…"
E.A. Tarasov, Ph. D, a people's deputy of the RSFSR, convocation of1990-1995, suggests his view of true causes and consequences of the USSR collapse in Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 13 March, 1999
"The loss of old ideological and geopolitical guidelines and the gradual transformation of the party, state and intellectual elite into a conglomerate of greedy consumers wishing to turn power into the source of their enrichment on account of redistribution of people's property in their own favour;
the emergence of dozens of thousands of new-born businessmen due to the "restructuring reforms" carried out from above, who were offensively dubbed as "new Russians" and formed a special clan of so-called oligarchs. The activity of those "mutants", in whose hands huge sums of money concentrated, presents entails the destruction of production and control of the country, placing it into total dependence on Western transnational companies and financial structures;
antinational propaganda in mass media, especially on TV, financed by the new class of proprietors and Western organizations;
integration of largest countries led by the USA in a single block of "seven" in the beginning of the 1970s, this block concentrating basic financial power of the world and aimed against the USSR as the main obstacle on the way to the unrestricted world control in the form of "new world order";
mass recruiting of pro-Western "influence agents" inside the country and understatement of the imminent threat of unleashing a new kind of war against our Motherland, financial, psychotropic, or demographic one."
Here is an extract from Postwar Military Doctrine of America by head of the CIA Allen Dulles.
The former head of the CIA Allen Dulles wrote in 1945, "…The war will be over and everything will settle, come right somehow. And we will give everything we have, all gold, all material power to make fools of people! Human brain, human conscience are changeable and by planting chaos there, we will imperceptibly substitute their values for false ones and make them believe in those false values. How? We will find supporters and allies in Russia itself. Episode by episode, the large-scale tragedy of the most unruly people on earth will unfold, the final irreversible extinction of its self-consciousness. In literature and art, for instance, we will erase their social essence, discourage artists from creating images… from studying the processes going deep in people masses. Literature, theaters, cinema, all this will depict and praise the meanest human feelings. We will support and raise the so-called "artists" that will inculcate and ram into human conscience the cult of sex, violence, sadism, treachery, in a word, every kind of immorality. We will create chaos and disorder in state control. We will imperceptibly but actively and continuously favour petty tyranny of officials, bribery and unscrupulousness. Bureaucracy and red-tape will be made virtues. Honesty and decency will be mocked and become an unwanted survival of times past. Rudeness and impudence, lies and deceit, inebriety and drug addiction, animal fear of one another and shamelessness, betrayal, nationalism and enmity between peoples, first of all enmity and hatred towards the Russian people, all this will be skillfully and imperceptibly cultivated to flourish like double. And few, very few will guess or realize the situation. But we will make such people helpless and object of mockery, we will find a way to smear them and mark them as scum of society. We will take spiritual roots out, debase and destroy the basis of national morality. We will undermine generation after generation. We will start working at people from childhood, from youth, biggest stakes will always be placed on the youth; we will demoralize, corrupt, deprave them. We will make them cynic, vulgar and cosmopolitan."
It is amazing how this plan was one-for-one put into practice! It is hard to find such an incident in the history of the mankind, when one side confronting the other managed to realize its destructive plan so seamlessly, without a single shot! The CIA chief Allen Dulles was undoubtedly talented.
In the beginning of the 1990s, the cold war, the last great confrontation of the century ended, the Soviet Union collapsed. What was the part of the USA, the main rival of the USSR in the cold war, in those events? This matter is concerned in the memoirs of President George Bush and Brent Scowcroft, his national security adviser modestly titled A World Transformed. Having devoted their whole conscious life to the struggle against the USSR, they mastered to the full extent the strategy and tactics of "Communism containment". The entire US policy has been built around this objective for many decades. The authors sincerely admit that coming to rule the administration in 1989, they did not even dream of the total and final victory in the cold war. And there it was, that victory. The memoirs are quite frank about how amazed and stunned Washington was, watching the self-destruction of the USSR after the August 1991 events.
Surely, the US leader were not mere spectators of a historical drama. Skilled professionals rigorously and confidently used every small chance to gain points in the global competition. The USSR perestroika, according to the authors, offered a possibility of step-by-step weakening of the enemy of America. Bush speaks quite warmly about Gorbachev, however the policy of the US president was guided not by his emotions but by good judgement. Every initiative of Gorbachev was interpreted by Washington as merely another pretext for pressure increase and demand of new concessions from his part. The administration of Bush and Scowcroft did not hurry to make response concessions, trying to impose American rules of the game on the USSR. That was the reason they denied Gorbachev large-scale economic assistance that (who knows?) could help stop the wave of disintegration in the spring and summer of 1991. Such a strictly pragmatic approach of the West played a significant part in the failure of Gorbachev's attempt of reforming the USSR by evolution. Officially, the US administration supported Gorbachev but at was playing a double game. Bush and Scowcroft make no secret that they did not mind Yeltsin, who was propelled by the urge to get rid rather of Gorbachev than of the USSR, dismantling the Soviet Union "brick by brick". Anything different was unlikely to be expected from the politicians whose entire career was associated with American-Soviet confrontation.
Was that outcome inevitable? Washington had undoubtedly done its best to weaken and exhaust Moscow but, as the memoirs demonstrate, it was not Americans but we ourselves that broke the USSR down. We think that Bush rather sincerely defined his role as follows, "I was extremely lucky to be given the honour of being President at that time."
So, the end of August 1991, Gorbachev has just returned from Foros. Scowcroft described the whole situation in his peculiar laconic, almost epigrammatic manner as follows.
"The unsuccessful coup d'etat sped up the process of disintegration of the Soviet power in the centre, particularly the power of the CPSU that had been discredited even more, end eventually the power of Gorbachev himself. It also became a sign for the growth of influence of the Soviet republics and for Yeltsin's rise to the political Olympus. How much the unsuccessful coup had affected the relationship of Gorbachev and Yeltsin, became clear after Yeltsin banned Gorbachev from the meeting of the Russian Federation Supreme Council on 23 August. Yeltsin used every opportunity to humiliate Gorbachev and made it clear who was at the helm then. The meaning was obvious. The era of Gorbachev was over."
Bush writes about it in a different way, he is anxious and distressed, "Although Yeltsin called to return Gorbachev to power, as he was required to do, he was acting too tough after the attempted coup, in my opinion. I know that they were not particularly warm to each other, however sometimes Yeltsin was downright scornful to Gorbachev who was weaker politically. He could be a bit milder and kinder, since Gorbachev was receding to the background."
The events started that led to the total collapse of the USSR, as we know. There were moments when the US president had to literally clutch at the arms of his chair, as the process was too rapid. The Baltic republics were the first to split off. Bush says, "Gorbachev kept on refusing to recognize the Baltic countries, insisting that it was the mission of the People's Deputies Congress, but the situation was already disadvantageous. Russia had recognized them, and Yeltsin made a request for us to do the same.
For the sake of saving Gorbachev as politician and developing Soviet-American relations, I hoped that he would grant independence to the Baltic republics before the West did it. The more he waited, the stronger the impression grew that new tension would emerge. I wanted to avoid both international and domestic political pressure on Gorbachev, which was bound to follow the recognition of independence of the Baltic countries by the US. Nor did I want to make the impression that he and his supporters had been influenced by any one. I believed that it had to be said (and understood) in the Soviet Union and, whatever happened, we would give them enough time for them to free the Baltic countries. I intended to use our backstage influence in order to work easily at the procedure of reforms that we and the whole world wanted to see there."
Further, Bush writes, "In the following months, the main subject of discussion inside the administration remained the question about what we wanted to see in Russia and in the former USSR republics and the best way to use the considerably increased influence of the reformers there, while we could do that. What is better, a number of independent republics or economically weak centre with some kind of federation? Personally, I believed the perfect alternative would be division of the USSR into different states, none of them possessing the dreadful power of the USSR."
Brent Scowcroft writes, "Though I did not touch on that question directly at the meeting of the National Security Council, I reckoned that it would be better for us if the USSR collapsed. That was not the perfect decision economically, however the collapse would be beneficial to us in the settlement of our high-priority security issues, since the military threat we are facing now would be divided. At the same time, I do not think that this should be the official policy of America. Such a position would almost guarantee a long-time hostile attitude of majority of Russians citizens that constitute the majority population in the Soviet Union."
The problem of the USA was to maintain the independence of Ukraine and at the same time not to spoil relations with Gorbachev thus making themselves additional troubles. Here is an incident described by the US president.
"Mikhail was obviously anything but pleased with the reports on our tendency to recognize Ukraine, which had unfortunately leaked to the press already after my meeting with some Ukraine-born Americans. He complained that "The USA seem not just to be trying to influence the course of events but also to interfere in it." He pointed out that even if most republics declared their independence that would not stop them from participating in the formation of the Union.
He pointed out that if Ukraine withdrew from the Union, then Russians living there and other non-Ukrainians would be made citizens of the foreign country. Besides, the Crimea (that had been a part of Russia until Brezhnev returned it to Ukraine) threatened to "revise its status" as a part of Ukraine if the republic gained independence. Yeltsin supported the return of all territories to Russia, including those in Kazakhstan, Ukraine and other republics. "If the process is launched," he warned, "it will be catastrophic for Russia, Ukraine and the rest of the world." I assured Mikhail that we intended to cooperate but welcomed independence as a shield against radicalism in Russia and Ukraine. I never tried to puzzle him or Yeltsin or interfered in their internal affairs."
Brent Scowcroft specifies, "After the CIS formation agreement reached on 8 December, Yeltsin zealously worked at the completion of the USSR disintegration. He actually started that process when he appeared together with Gorbachev at the meeting of the USSR Supreme Council after the unsuccessful coup. The aim of his attacks was rather Gorbachev than the USSR. Was it a long-standing challenge of Yeltsin, as many consider, or was he just using the unexpected opportunity due to the weakened positions of Gorbachev and the attempted coup?
It was hard to watch Yeltsin taking the Soviet Union away from Gorbachev stone by stone and giving most of them to Russia. Finally, Gorbachev controlled merely a bit more than General Shaposhnikov, the commander of the Soviet Army, whose forces were rapidly distributed among the former republics. The time of Gorbachev was over; however he did not deserve such a shameful end."
Here is the end. On 21 December, Bush remembers, "in Alma Ata, all republics except the Baltic ones and Georgia signed the declaration on participation in the Commonwealth of Independent States. There was nothing left of the Soviet Union."
It seems that what the US president remembered best was Gorbachev's phone call to Camp David on Christmas to congratulate George and Barbara, Gorbachev told that the USSR president had his own resignation lying on the table in front of him, that there must not be any cataclysms in the former USSR, that Gorbachev was passing power and the "nuclear case" with dignity and that Bush (and America) can celebrate Christmas without worry.
"…You are going to have a very quiet Christmas night. As for Russia again… Let me tell you that we are to do our best to support it. I will try my best to support it. But our partners should do the same and make their contribution to supporting and assisting it."
Those were the final words of Gorbachev in that conversation. Bush comments, "That was the voice of a good friend, the voice of a man that will be rewarded by history in full measure.
There was something very important in that call. That was the voice of history. During the conversation, I actually felt as a part of historical process. It was a significant event, a kind of fundamental turning point. Lord, we are so lucky in our country, we have been blessed to have Your grace."
And here is Brent Scowcroft's view of the events. "So, everything was over. Actually, I could never guess that something like that would happen in my life. It petrifies me, it is so hard to believe. Not that I did not see what was going on. I had already got used and kind of stopped noticing Gorbachev constantly defending himself but the signs of a rapid breakdown after the unsuccessful coup were obvious/ The events themselves defined a clear trend; the point is rather impossibility for one to realize immediately that such a epoch-making can really happen.
My first reaction to the final descent of the flag over Kremlin was sense of pride for the part we had played to achieve this. We had been working hard to move the USSR in this direction, moreover so that it would not cause an explosion in Moscow all the more a global disaster, which is not very unexpected in history at the time of agony of great empires. We contributed to the search of the most favourable way out of this great drama, but the key figure of final scenes was rather Gorbachev himself."
Mr. Bush should not have to distinguish himself in the work at Gorbachev, since it made no difference to Gorbachev which US president to lie under. He had had eleven meetings with US presidents, five with Reagan and six with G. Bush.
During the division of the postwar Europe, Stalin met the US presidents, Roosevelt and Truman, twice.
We know today that at one time CIA intentionally caused vacuum situation in certain developing countries, where KGB agents were sent and afterwards, considerable gratuitous financial aid was rendered to those countries for their "loyalty to socialism", which adversely affected the USSR economy. A dispute began once at the debate in the US Congress concerning new grain supplies to the USSR. Where is logic? Why should we feed the USSR if it spends all its money on tanks against America? The then US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger answered sagely, "They better sit in their tanks satiated. That would be safer. Otherwise shooting can hamper the dollar attack."
The influential newspaper Christian Science Monitor wrote in August 1989, "The great dollar attack on the USSR is developing successfully. 30,000 nuclear warheads and the biggest army of the world equipped with up-to-date weapon proved incapable to shield the territory of the country against the pervasive dollar that had already eliminated half the Russian industry, finished off the Communist ideology and corrupted the Soviet society. The USSR is incapable of resisting any longer, and experts predict its downfall in the nearest two or three years… We should do justice to the great plan worked out in a draft form by President Taft, polished by President Roosevelt and consistently carried out by all American president in merely 50 years instead of the scheduled 100 years."
We can say today that the forecast made by Christian Science Monitor in August 1989 was brilliant; at the present time, Russia is so stuck in dollar that it is afraid of its downing, as it immediately affects its economy.
And of course, the CIA was watchful.
The memoirs of the ex-head of the CIA Robert Gates From the Shadows were published in the West. Gates worked in Langley as five presidents replaced one another, from Nixon to Bush. Gates makes it no secret that the CIA furthered the USSR collapse directly and indirectly. At the same time, Gates is self-critical to admit that the CIA "overlooked the signs of the near breakdown of Communism in the early eighties and turned out to be unprepared for the problems that followed, such as separatism, nationalism and terrorism in the republics, ethnic conflicts and lack of control over the nuclear potential of the former Communists."
According to the journalist D. Radyshevsky, "many political analysts and researchers of the cold war argue that in the 1970s and in the beginning of the 1980s, the CIA continued intentionally (or unintentionally, as Gates says) to exaggerate the potential of the Soviet Army in its reports to the White House (that reminds us of the CIA report made thirty years later on the presence of mass destruction weapon in Iraq that actually was not there). It was the exaggerated idea of the Soviet military threat that made the Americans to boost the arms race and work out the programme of "star wars", which resulted in the economic crash of the USSR that had overstrained itself in the attempt to keep up with the USA."
Sometimes it was awkward actions of the Soviet leaders that provoked new rounds of arms race. The journalist I. Martynov writes, "In 1955 an infinite number of long-range bombers flew over the American military advisers at the aviation parade in Tushino. In reality, those were the same few bombers that just turned around over Moscow and returned to Tushino several times. As a result, the US Congress urgently allocated huge funds to "fill the deficiency in heavy bombers". Similarly, the elite intelligence officers swallowed the "satellite" bait. After launching the first satellite, Khruschev convinced the Americans that the USSR was able to easily produce intercontinental missiles in any amount."
The author has certain doubts concerning American intelligence officers swallowing the bait. It is well-known that both the CIA and the military industrial complex of the USA have always tried to exaggerate the military power of the USSR to get as many military orders as possible. So, that is a big question as to who it was that swallowed the bait!
According to the recent discoveries, Pope John Paul II contributed to the USSR collapse in his own way. Pope John Paul II and the US president Reagan concluded a secret agreement aimed at the overthrow of Communism. Besides, a regular exchange of exclusive information was arranged between Vatican and the CIA. This sensation can be found in the book by Bernstein and Politi His Holiness: John Paul II & the History of Our Time published by the American "Doubleday" publishing company.
…It was not accidental that in the spring of 1981 American secret services succeeded, as the authors of the book believe, in establishing the fixed connection between Pope and White House. In the following six years, Pope personally met the then head of the CIA Casey and his deputy Vernon Walters. Pope John Paul II regularly received classified data of the American intelligence and materials prepared by the analysts of that department. The Americans, in their turn, received valuable information from Pope concerning the processes in the socialist countries.
Major General of KGB V. Shironin writes, "In the beginning of the eighties, Z. Brzezinski submitted to the Department of State "The plan of the game. Geostrategic structure of warfare between the USA and the USSR". Brzezinski wrote, "to decentralize the Soviet empire is to cause its collapse… Any considerable decentralization, even just in the sphere of economy, will strengthen potential separatist sentiments among the USSR citizens of non-Russian nationality. Economic decentralization will inevitable entail political one."
What were the foundation of Brzezinski's conclusions? First of all, demographic trends demonstrating weakening of the commanding situation of the Russians. In the seventies statistics showed that the Russians no longer made up the majority of the Soviet people. The further decrease of the share of the Russians was inevitable, according to Brzezinski. By 1980, the Russians numbered 48% among eighteen-year-olds, other Slavs making up 19%, Muslims 13% and other 20%. According to his forecast for 1990, the number of the Russians would drop to 43%.
…"Where is the actual dividing line between the Russians and other nations, given the intensive merging of nations of the recent decades?" Brzezinski asked the US Department of State Policy Planning Council. And he answered it himself, directly indicating the USSR regions to become the field of the future ethnic conflicts, "Real conflicts can first of all break out in the Baltic republics densely populated by the unwelcome Russians, in Byelorussia and Ukraine culturally kindred to Russia, and especially in the Caucasus and Central Asia."
The famous "Heritage Foundation" research centre (established in 1973 on the initiative of large-scale business representatives) worked out the so-called "liberation doctrine" specially for Reagan. It considered the USSR as an empire formed by "four concentric circles spreading from the centre to periphery". It was suggested that the US president should formulate the strategic aim of the doctrine as the final disintegration of the Soviet empire."
There are other documents confirming the strategy of the White House that aimed at removing the main geopolitical rival of the USA from the globe. They demonstrate the secret aggression against the USSR, the direct intervention in the domestic affairs of our country. In particular, it became known that in the beginning of 1982 President Reagan together with the group of closest advisers started developing the offensive strategy on the disintegration of the "Soviet empire". The aims and means of that global offensive were determined in the series of classified National Security Decision Directives (NSDD) signed by the president. What did those directives say? Here is the main point of some of them.
- in March 1982 NSDD-32 demanded "neutralization" of the Soviet influence in the Eastern Europe and taking secret measures and other methods of supporting anti-Soviet organizations in that region;
- in May 1982 Reagan signed he directive in eight pages that defined the US economic strategy towards the USSR. It contained guidelines for certain departments of the president administration and the emphasis was laid on "using" weak sides of the Soviet economy. The aim was to undermine it by means of the forced involvement of Moscow in technology race;
- in November 1982 NSDD-66 declared that the aim of the US policy was to undermine the Soviet economy by attacking its "strategic triad", i.e. basic industries that form the foundation of the Soviet economy;
- finally, in January 1983 Reagan signed NSDD-75 setting the aim of "fundamental changes in the Soviet system."
The new NSDD-75 prepared for the US president Reagan by the Harvard historian Richard Pipes suggested escalation of hostile actions against Russia. "The directive made it clear", the American political analyst Peter Schweizer writes, "that our new goal was no longer coexistence with the USSR but changing the Soviet system. The directive was based on the conviction that we have enough power to change the Soviet system by means of external pressure."
The former US president Reagan admitted once that only after Pope had approved the new "crusade against the USSR" in the beginning of the eighties, the grand global campaign had become possible which ended with the defeat of Moscow. Further revelations of Reagan show that the most important landmark of that crusade was October 1986 when his meeting with Gorbachev was held in Reykjavik. Reagan had not revealed details of those conversations but later, French journalists managed to find out something. This is how it happened.
In May 1993, Gorbachev was on a private visit in France and answered questions on the possible "foreign assistance" in the liquidation of the USSR. At first, he said that foreign influence had had its place but as an objective factor, domestic trends prevailing. However finally he let something out, which caused a rather curious headline in Figaro newspaper, "We should do justice to Ronald Reagan."
According to Figaro, in the interview, Gorbachev acknowledges for the first time that at the meeting with Reagan in Reykjavik he had actually thrown the USSR on the mercy of the USA. Here are his words, "Reykjavik was really a tragedy, a great one. You will soon learn why. I think that the process would not have started but for such a strong personality as Ronald Reagan… At that summit meeting, you know, we went so far that there was no turning back already…"
It should be noted that French journalists, while highly estimating the role of Reagan who acted as a mediator in the meetings of Gorbachev and John Paul II, clearly underestimated the role of Pope who had been leading the so-called "eastern policy" in those years.
And moreover, the most ardent opponent of the USSR Brzezinski headed the activity of Columbia University Russian Institute up to 1976. It was the Soviet studies centre A.N. Yakovlev attended, as well as some of the activists that were to become main participants of the events of perestroika.
The Chinese researcher Fan Isin in his article Gorbachev and the USSR Collapse writes that the first and last president of the USSR, complaining of the humiliation he had suffered from Yeltsin, conceals his major humiliation. The US Secretary of State Baker arrived in Moscow immediately after the Belavezha Accords and talked to Yeltsin for four hours, after which deigned to meet the USSR president. Well, the Moor has done his duty, let him go.
In January 1990, Baker said openly, "The circumstances are such that Gorbachev will not survive… The danger facing him is not to be overthrown by means of a palace revolution but the cause of it will be the streets."
According to Richard Ovchinnikov, Bush said to his national security adviser Brent Scowcroft in private, "I can hardly keep myself from declaring, 'Wouldn't it be great if the Soviet empire broke down?' But it is not very pragmatic or smart, isn't it?"
Alexander Drozdov, Foreign Intelligence Service Colonel in retirement and the head of "Namakon" research centre, explains the logic of the US actions in his own way. "I will answer the question with a question in detail. Do you know what the Soviet Union that fell apart in 1991 not because of atmospheric precipitation at all was? I can explain. It was not so much "smithy and recreation" as in our favourite film A Prisoner Girl in the Caucasus, as 22 trillion dollars of mineral reserves explored by the Ministry of Geology of the USSR by 19090. Are you impressed by the price of the issue? And what is the USA? Just 6% of the planet population spending, however, about one third of natural resources. The stable trend of the direct dependence of America on minerals import is evident. Note that those minerals unfortunately lie in other countries, which defined the logic of the American policy towards the rest of the world."
This is surely a simplified approach to the US international policy; however the utmost importance of the above-mentioned factor is beyond any doubts. The US policy towards Baku is another confirmation of the fact. "Friendship is friendship, business is business," Putin said concerning Byelorussia, implying the separation of friendship and economy. "Oil is oil, Karabakh is Karabakh," say the US diplomats in Baku.
Even the above-mentioned information makes it evident that the US contribution to the disintegration of the USSR was considerable. But the most dreadful thing for the USSR was that it could not resist that powerful destructive force; Communist and patriotic slogans were not taken in by the hungry and deceived people, and the economy that had been based on the export of natural resources was crumbling slow but steady.
The US allies also undoubtedly did their best to contribute to the collapse of the USSR. In February 1990 the English Independent reported, "Foreign Ministry of Great Britain decided to deny public access to the fifty-year-old document that contained the plans of the English intelligence service on organizing destabilization in the southern Soviet republics." The secrecy of the document (unlike others that were declassified in accordance with the rules of time limitation) was extended to 2015 by an appropriate resolution. The matter concerned a document of 1940. According to the same newspaper, this document suggested using hostile sentiments among Muslims and other non-Russian nations towards the Russians with the assistance of the English intelligence in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan," A. Drozdov writes.
The head of the KGB V. Kryuchkov testifies that the competent authorities of the USSR knew about the US plans. "We were flooded with the information on profoundly alerting plans of some countries, especially the USA, concerning our state. For instance, some of them alleged that the population of the Soviet Union was too large and should be reduced in different ways. Even appropriate calculations were given, according to which it was efficient to reduce the Soviet population to 150-160 million people. The period of 25-30 years was set. The territory of our country, its bowels and other wealth were to become the common property of certain world countries as "universal values", that is we were sort of share these "universal values."
Even opponents of Putin admit the fact that he managed to "assemble" the country after Yeltsin's lawlessness when, following Yeltsin's suggestion, the regions of Russia "had been swallowing as much sovereignty each as they could" and close friends of the Family could steal as much as they could. Today, the regions of Russia can "swallow as much sovereignty" as Constitution allows, and oligarchs are asked to "share". However, this undoubtedly health-improving activity does not mean at all that the question on the disintegration of Russia has been closed for all times. Oil prices can change a lot and the powers that be (and that do not sit in Russia) are always eager to divide someone or to unite someone, otherwise they get bored!
B. Clinton said in his annual presidential report in 1994, "After Second World War we learned the lessons of the past. Facing the new threat of totalitarianism, our great nation has taken the challenge of time. We chose the way of development of international relations, reconstruction of security and leadership structures. The determination of the previous generations to defeat Communism by means of forming new international structures allowed to create a more transparent, secure and free world. THIS SUCCESSFUL EXAMPLE INSPIRES US FOR A NEW STAGE OF THE LONG-STANDING DIFFICULT STRUGGLE FOR THE CONSOLIDATION OF PEACE WON IN THE COLD WAR (highlighted by the author)."
Other outstanding political figures of the US express themselves more clearly. Brzezinski said toughly during one of his lectures, "Russia will be split and warded" and in October 1997 suggested dividing Russia into three parts, European Russia, Siberian Russia and Far East Republic. "Decentralized Russia is a real and desired possibility," said Brzezinski.
Another famous politician H. Kissinger says. "I would prefer chaos and civil war in Russia to the trend of its reunion in a single centralized and powerful state."
Western mass media regularly publish articles concerning claims; claims of Germany on Kaliningrad region, claims of Finland on a part of Leningrad region and Karelia, claims of Estonia on a part of Pskov region, claims of the US on the greater part of Siberia. Such voices can sometimes be heard even from China! So Russia should not relax in connection with this problem!
During the trial of State Emergency Committee, Shenin said, "Yeltsin, Kravchuk and Shushkevich in the Belavezha Pushcha did what Hitler had failed to do in 1941-1945."
The naive reasoning that Yeltsin, Kravchuk and Shushkevich destroyed the USSR with their Belavezha Accords is the last and probably the most naive myth of Soviet ideologists. Those three furthered the downfall of the USSR but were not by any means the chief culprits but rather the finale of the process. If the heads of the "seven" gather together with all their ministers and officials they would not be able to change political systems in their countries no matter how much they may wish, for their countries have stable statehood based on law standards and strong economy.
State Duma of Russia took the decision on the denunciation of the Belavezha Accords. Only naive politicians may believe that they can easily destroy or build again a great state by signing an agreement or voting. Historically, the USSR has been doomed since the day of its formation.
Well, paraphrasing the great Englishman, Churchill, we can possibly say that "those who do not regret the collapse of the USSR are heartless; those who dream to restore it are brainless."
There are many questions concerning both variants, though.
The things socialism gave to the peoples of the USSR is discussed now and will be discussed for a long time. But let us cite some facts that are not disputed but accepted as reality. A century of socialist policy transformed the Russian giant into an economic dwarf. These are the words of the head of Economic Analysis Institute A. Illarionov. Speaking about a century, he means the post-Soviet period as well and calls it socialist with a criminal shade. He writes, being launched by the tsarist governments in the First World War in 1914-1917, continued by Provisional government in 1917 and then by Soviet governments from 1917 to 1990 and by the governments of the independent Russia in 1991-1999, the socialist economic policy has led to an unprecedented catastrophe. The economic giant that was Russia in the beginning of the century has turned into a dwarf barely distinguishable in the world map. The 20th century appears to be lost for Russia in many ways.
Several years ago it was hard to imagine that economically, our country would yield not only to the USA, China, Japan, Germany, India, France, Great Britain, Italy but also Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, Canada, Spain and South Korea."
For some reason that they know alone, Communist ideologists always compare the development of peoples before and after the 1917 coup, ascribing the natural development to Communism. The global element of this comparison is the economy the Communists left after 70 years of their rule. Oil producing and oil processing industries, the basic source of currency supply, are in a grave condition. So are mining, metal and other industries. 53% of the territory of Russia are assessed as ecologically unfavourable. According to the estimates of Western experts, dozens of trillions dollars are required for the rehabilitation of industry of the former Soviet republics. The only sphere the Soviet power succeeded in is creating opportunity to eliminate the earth ten times with its nuclear-missile potential. As M. Thatcher observed, "The USSR is Upper Volta with missiles."
And the last thing; what global sacrifice was the USSR and Communist ideology in general worth?
The list of the USSR "feats" is given by Yuri Afanasyev, a member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, rector of the Russian State Humanitarian University, "At the same time, we are quite right to consider those events (the question is not the invitation of Russia to the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the allies landing in Normandy - Author's remark ) as the direct participation of the USSR in the Second World War (and not only in the Great Patriotic one) and for this purpose, for instance, to arrange the following fact in the order: the Soviet-German "parade of the winners" in Brest in autumn 1939, the war of aggression in Finland, then occupation of the Baltic countries, West Ukraine, West Byelorussia, Bessarabia and North Bukovina in 1940, Stalin congratulating Hitler on each of the "victories" the latter gained in Europe until June 1941; toasts to Fuehrer's health in Kremlin, and more generally, the actual participation of the USSR in the war on the side of Germany against the Western allies till the mid-1941. That prewar row could be continued with the postwar one: the annexation of half Europe by the Soviet Union, capture of several bridgeheads on other continents; such landmarks of the process as Berlin (1950), Budapest (1962), Prague (1968), Afghanistan (1969), later Tbilisi, Vilnius, Baku, Moldova (under Gorbachev), and then Tajikistan, Abkhazia and in a new but similar fashion: Azerbaijan, Georgia (under Yeltsin) and quite recently, Chechnya."
Y. Felshtinsky writes that "…Comrade Molotov and Comrade Ribbentrop had a nice conversation on 13 November, 1940 in Berlin. The place was bomb shelter in the building of the Imperial Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Why did the two ministers talk in a bomb shelter? Because the British aviation was ruthlessly bombing Berlin that night. The night before, Comrade Molotov had a meeting with Hitler. They did not go down into a bomb shelter but "due to the possible air raid alarm, the talks were stopped and rescheduled."
At peacetime in the 20th century, 170 million people were annihilated in different states of the world. 110 million of them or about two thirds account for the Communism-oriented countries.
So, "Communist regimes killed 110 million people." This phrase appeared in "Izvestiya" on the eve of the anniversary of the 1917 events that had shaken the world indeed and that had been referred to as nothing but the Great October for a long time in our history. Far from prejudice and bias of powerful mortals, time impartially and cruelly assesses the events the country has endured in this century that is close to its end. It puts everything in their right place, drastically changing characteristics of persons and phenomena we have been trained to by the monopolist ruling party for seven decades.
Referring the October revolution or, as they call it now, October coup, to the most significant events of our century, of very complicated and contradictory events, we would like to remind what and how was happening then in reality and what consequences it had.
This scary information is given in the book Open Wound by Per Almark, a famous Swedish politician who once headed People's Party and was a member of the Swedish government as deputy prime minister. Per Almark is the first of European authors to apply demographic data of Rudolf Rummel from the Hawaiian University who has devoted his entire life to the collection of information on mass murders on earth.
Genocide caused almost four times more human victims in the past century than the rest of the wars in the 20th century. The Communist leader of Cambodian regime Pol Pot is the "absolute leader" in mass murder in the relation to the population size and the time of his rule. Annually, he killed 8.16% of Cambodians. 0.42% of the population was exterminated in the USSR but the nightmare lasted for many decades.
Per Almark makes a special emphasis on the actions of the Soviet Union, calling it the "state of GULAG". "Many citizens," he writes, "were killed just for belonging to the wrong social class. Those were (had to be) bourgeoisie, aristocrats, wealthy peasants. Others suffered for belonging to the wrong nation or race, such as Ukrainians, Black Sea Greeks, Volga Germans; others for bad political "fractions" (Picture 2).
At the same time, we should not forget, as the West tries to do, that it was THE USSR THAT DEFEATED FASCISM. As D. Granin says, yes, Soviet commanders fought dreadfully, generals did not spare soldiers, military strategists did not spare Soviet towns and civilian population, and 26 million people were killed, according to the official information, but at the cost of incredible efforts, THE SOVIET PEOPLE SURVIVED AND WON.
No matter how much blockbusters about the Second World War Hollywood may shoot praising the allies, it cannot erase the truth about the war!
Returning to the main issue of the chapter, the causes of the USSR collapse, let us point out that the above-mentioned causes alone (and the list is far from being complete) demonstrate that the USSR was doomed and Gorbachev's perestroika financed the process in the worst possible way. Not any Chinese or other way would not have helped the USSR for many reasons, at least because the multinational USSR was not like China, and a Russian is not like a Chinese in many ways, but the most important point is that Chinese socialism, as Dan Chiao Ping said, is "Socialism with Chinese peculiarity, where peculiarity pre-vails…"
The Soviet socialism also had much peculiarity and it differed sharply from the Chinese one, and not in a better way.
The process also started so rapidly because politicians that were very far from the systematic analy-sis of politics had been ruling in Kremlin. THE AUTHOR IS NOT SURE WHETHER AFTER READ-ING THE ABOVE-MENTIONED ON THE CAUSES OF THE USSR COLLAPSE, THEY WILL FULLY UNDERSTAND THE ESSENCE! Gorbachev chose his staff very "carefully". When he ap-pointed the alcoholic Yanayev with his trembling hands the USSR vice president, one of the deputies asked him, "We are all in God's hands, Mikhail Sergeyevich. If anything happens do you see Yanayev as President of the country?" Yanayev answered himself without ceremony, instead of Gorbachev, "My wife is pleased with my health!" "It would be more interesting to know the opinion of Gorbachev's wife of her husband," the deputy continued.
And all this was happening before the eyes of millions of Soviet people!
It is dreadful to think what kind of people were ruling the superpower in the last years of its exis-tence!
AND NOW, AFTER COMPREHENDING THE ABOVE-MENTIONED, THE MAIN QUESTION ARISES. COULD THE BLOODY BLOW ON BAKU ON 20 JANUARY, 1990, AS THE POLITICAL AND MILITARY LEADERS OF THE USSR SAID LOUDLY, PREVENT OR AT LEAST SLOW DOWN THE COLLAPSE OF THE USSR, AND IF IT COULD, THEN FOR HOW LONG?
WHICH OF THE ABOVE-MENTIONED PROBLEMS CONCERNING THE EXISTENCE OF THE USSR WAS SOLVED BY INTRODUCING TROOPS IN BAKU ON 20 JANUARY, 1990?
THE ANSWER IS DEFINITE AND DOUBTLESS. NONE OF THE ABOVE-MENTIONED FACTORS THAT FURTHERED THE COLLAPSE OF THE USSR HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE INTRODUCTION OF TROOPS IN BAKU ON 20 JANUARY, 1990, FOR BAKU HAD INSUF-FICIENT ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL WEIGHT TO INFLUENCE THE LARGE-SCALE EVENTS IN THE USSR.
WE SHOULD EXTEND THE QUESTION. EVEN HAD GORBACHEV BROUGHT TROOPS IN ALL LARGE CITIES OF THE USSR AND DECLARED EMERGENCY SITUATION IN THE WHOLE COUNTRY, THAT WOULD HAVE MERELY SPED UP THE BREAKDOWN; ECONOMIC COLLAPSE WOULD HAVE OCCURRED IN SEVERAL MONTHS AND FAMINE WOULD HAVE BEGUN - THE USSR HAD ALREADY BEEN DOOMED!
THE INTRODUCTION OF TROOPS IN BAKU ON 20 JANUARY, 1990 HAD DIFFERENT AIMS.
BUT WE WILL CONSIDER THEM LATER!