Staunton, August 19 – Viktor Aksyuchits, who opposed the August 1991 coup and the Beloveshchaya accords and now supports Putin as the savior of Russia, says that even if the putschists had succeeded, the USSR would have fallen apart and the rulers of the remaining remnant would have been much worse and possibly gotten the country into a world war.
The leader then of the Russian Christian Democratic Movement says the events were “a popular anti-communist revolution” because they mobilized the population to overthrow the previous economic and political system, however much that victory was later undermined (business-gazeta.ru/article/519394).
“If the coup plotters had succeeded,” he says, “the situation would have been much worse and there would have been more tragedies.” Indeed, the situation could have degenerated to the point of a nuclear war. By resisting, the Russian people prevented things from going that far.
The putschists, if they had gotten their way, would have been able to retain the communist regime for another decade or two; but even in that event, they would have lost control of much of the periphery, much of which was already prepared to go its own way, Aksyuchits says.
In short, the coup plotters, although they said they wanted to preserve the country, wouldn’t have been able to do so. They were drive by communist ideology, “and this would not have allowed for the preservation of the country from disintegration, neither theoretically, factually or historically. It was an absolute dead end.”
But the August coup, which opened the way for Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to recover their independence, was not the only move by Moscow elites responsible for the total collapse of the USSR. According to the politician and commentator, the Beloveshchaya accords among the presidents of the RSFSR, Belarus and Ukraine played a role.
Had Gorbachev acted decisively against their actions, Aksyuchits says, he might have slowed the disintegration of the country. But he didn’t and what happened happened. The Christian democratic leader says he urged Gorbachev to arrest the three presidents, but that was a minority position and was ignored.
Putin “saved Russia from disintegration,” Aksyuchits says, explaining his support for him. It isn’t clear, he continues, that anyone else would have acted with sufficient vigor to do that.