Staunton, Aug. 21 – Muscovites were able to go into the streets 31 years ago and defeat the coup plotters, Mikhail Pozharsky says, “because they had leaders, including from the highest levels of the Soviet elite, certain organizations which had emerged during Perestroika and so on,” Russian commentator Mikhail Pozharsky says.
“If there are leaders and organizations capable of consolidating activity, then the people will go out even if there are tanks arrayed against them,” he continues. But “if there are no leaders and organizations, then people will sit at home, isolated from one another and demoralized” (region.expert/august91/).
In Russia today, there are “no fewer people” who could do the same, Pozharsky says. “But there are no leaders and even more none within the elites, and no organizations.” And that is because “the current regime, inclined in a more primitive way than the Soviet has drawn the necessary conclusions and taken the necessary measures to protect itself.”
The August 1991 putsch failed because there were such people and organizations and because the Russians who are sometimes thought to be slavishly obedient at all times were quite prepared to take action when leaders and organizations existed to help them. But there won’t be another until such leaders and organizations re-emerge.
Putin understands that and has taken actions to ensure that there won’t be any such leaders or any such organizations, and thus it is a mistake to think that there will be challenge to him in the streets. But everyone should recognize that with such leaders, Russians can and would go into the streets – and that is something Putin has to be worried about.