Я не был в Москве в августе 1991, но эти дни были причиной, почему я был Питере в январе 1992го года.

Питер? Посылал я бумаги в Лкнинград, а приехал в Санкт-Петербург...

Посадили меня в кабинет изгнанного начальника первого отдела комитета по культуре -- сменили гебиста на американца (думали что посли меня из ЦРУ?).

Огромные окна на Невский и гигантское зеркало, как такое сюда внесли (до Октября)?

В этом зеркале я видел Антохина Анатолия Георгиевича, американского профессора, изменника родины и западного специалиста.

Понятно, что долго так продолжатся не могло; в Ревизоре, кажется только четыре акта.

... 2007-2008 : do not look back! (voice).

I see nothing ahead.

Father-Russia *
To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right. --Confucius I need to comment on my own writing. Somebody has to do it.

I can't just read what I write. Besides, I often disagree with myself. Very often I reject what I write even when I write it.

Also, the ten big years passed since the time when the communist lost it's political power. History, they say...

POMO history, I shall add. Different type of history, the strange one, like everything postmodern. A parody on history.

Im March 2000 Russia went for it's second free election and couldn't find anybody to be a president, besides a little KGB man with an ambigious name "Putin"... v. Rasputin, I guess. Will he put Russia on the right path ("put'")? Or is it a man of confusion ("putat')?

Who knows and who cares?

Not them, the Russians. Or should I still call them "Soviets"? Ah, the New Russians, neo-Russians...

I hope you understanding why I incline to see so much PM features in this post-communist history.

If you are not familiar with the postmodern philosophy, don't panic, you don't have to -- you live it! You practice it. Our politics are postmodern; we lived for two terms with American Pomo President and now the Russians got themselves their Pomo President. Yeltzin was too drunk to be postmodern.

You see, Stalin wasn't "playing" a leader, he simply was a tyrrant, he killed millions without "acting it out." The power struggle wasn't for the public consumption. Well, it wasn't democratic, of course...

Well, Comrade Stalin knew that there are very citizens in Russia (and he killed this very local minority), why should he have an approval from the slaves?

The New Russians became very proud of being Russians. The same way seventy years ago the Germans very proud Germans. This pride is very important for little people. Perhaps, only this pride makes them "Russians." What else? There is no much Russian culture left and not much room left for the Russian culture in New Russia. Today Russia can't even affort the army, never-mind, Russian literature. Culture is expensive, Art asks for wealth first.

Russia was always poor, but because of the "class" distribution this big country paid for its culture and history. Not anymore, no.


Христиане были еретиками для евреев или "безбожниками" - как мы, атеисты (из дневников). antohins 1990s


"The Autocrat of Russia possesses more power than any other man in the earth; but he cannot stop a sneeze." Mark Twain
Personal Politics Liberty is always unfinished business. --anonymous
"Если говорить о главной беде, которая по-настоящему грозит нашему политическому будущему, то это не тоталитарный режим... а чудовищный дефицит исторического смысла."

Александр Архангельский Зачем было писать о трех днях в августе 1991 года? Я не было тогда в Москве, не видел...

Мне казалось, что история этой книги начинается имеено тогда; без этих событий я не никогда не смог вернутся в Россию.

Я и не надеялся, хотя уже было можно приехать в Москву.

А тогда, после путча, я думал, что можно вернутся. Ну, если не совсем, то можно и нужно ЖИТЬ в России...

Пишу это после выборов 2007 года. Я был в России несколько раз. Но кажется, что теперь уже все, теперь -- никогда. В последний раз "никогда"...

"Конец Империи"




Тогда и Теперь

I write not because I understand what happened to Russia, but because I want to understand. It's personal. This is my own life. I want to know. Is it possible that my private fate and the fortune of the country are similar? I defected from the Soviet Union in 1980 and the nation was to follow a decade later. Russia defected from the USSR and this chapter about a few days in August of 1991, when the red flags were replaced by the tricolors. Hold on, I say to myself. Russian flag? Is it so? I pause. Yes, there are many Russian features I saw in 1992-94, while making a fool of myself with the Russian-American Theatre Project. So what? There were many Russian and even Super-Russian features in the face of the USSR. Think, perhaps the Soviet period was much more rdical than we like to believe; too many lives were lost. Is it a new country ahead? What kind? You can't rename Leningrad back to St. Petersburg and think that you can get back to Russia. So, what was the story of the end of era? What is your message history? Let me see it.


A sinister question. Did the communists have a fair chance?


Leon Trotsky was dead right. Only permanent revolutions suit us. After seventy years of building communism and destroying capitalism the Russians changed their mind. I missed the August coup of 1991 when a few drunk members of the Politburo decided to stop this "Perestroyka" nonsense. This last attempt to prevent mixing and messing up with the West resulted in a total collapse of the Soviet Union. I came back to Russia in January of 1992 when the "Shock Therapy" in economy was introduced by Egor Gaidar. Now was the time to destroy communism and to build capitalism in a hurry. Red flags were removed and Tzar's tricolors were on. Everything that was bad became good, and vice versa.

To this day I wonder how could it happened that I didn't see it's coming. I have defected in 1980 fully convinced that communism is the form of society which Russia will have for the rest of my life. This lack of vision saved me. I would probably stay in Russia, waiting for the 1985 Perestroyka and the 1992 capitalism. I would be waiting for the Russian Renaissance -- and would die Russian, realizing that nothing will make Russia a new world. I didn't see the fall of communism coming because I saw people around me. They were "natural communists," welfare citizens, mass men, homo sovieticus. Changes in Russia occur only to secure the status quo. The Communist Revolution divorced that Russia from European civilization. Russia wanted to stay Russia in order to save the world, according to its orthodoxy.

In 1980 I was blind, legally blind. And in 1991. I wanted to come back. "I have unfinished business in Russia," I was saying in America. I meant that as a Russian, a citizen and writer, I had never being a Russian, but a Soviet. Now it was my miraculous chance to express myself. Russia was free. Almost free.

After ten years in the States I was ready. I asked for a Russian visa. I called the Russian Embassy to request an application.

"Why do you need a visa?" said the voice on the phone. "Where is your Soviet passport?"

My Soviet passport was left in the hands of the KGB lady in Italy. That was the way to prevent me from defecting, they thought.

"I don't have one," I said.

"Oh, come to the Embassy and we'll give you a new one," said this friendly guy in Washington D.C.

I was pleasantly shocked, forgetting that the guy on the other end of the line was a KGB man.

"Are you from Moscow? Good. Get your passport and in Moscow they will stamp it with a residence permit. As if you lost your original one. No big deal."

"What about my American passport? I live here, I have a family, I work..."

"We do not recognize your American citizenship," said the guy. And I recognized him; now he was the man I knew -- the Soviet.

"I don't want to lose my American citizenship," I protested. "I rather have a Russian visa."

"You can't have it. You are Russian and you can't ask for a visa to Russia. You can denounce your Russian citizenship and then ask for a visa."

"Than send me applications for denunciation...."

"It will cost $250."

"And a visa?"

"Two weeks delivery -- $25, plus Fed Express. One week -- $40, two days -- $60."

I wasn't ready for this financial turn....

"How long will it take to strip me off the Soviet citizenship?"

"This is up to the Supreme Soviet. Could be a year or two."

Now it looked more like the Russia I knew. I sent the money so I can be announced as non-Russian. Let Russia make some money, they need them. But I couldn't wait. I had an invitation from the St. Petersburg City Hall, the university was willing to send me to Russia. I was ready. Russia was not. I didn't want to recognize it. And I did what a Russian would do. I send a letter to San Francisco Russian Consulate requesting a visa without mentioning that I ever was a Soviet citizen. A week later I had my visa.

What a fool! I wasn't a Soviet citizen, in December such a country ceased to exist. I and Gorbachev were in the same situation. According to John Reed, it took ten days to shook the world. In three days the decades of the great Soviet experiment ended. It was the last year of the utopia. What was dead?



Should I give the official description first -- the old style history? Yes, the old one is still around. But how important that Rostropovich flew from Paris with his cello? Or how important that we knew about it? We saw him being interviewed in the airport before his flight. We saw him arriving to Moscow on the news -- real time! How important was our silent participation in the August events in Moscow? The ratings tell it all, the advertisers know how to make history.

I'm not cynical. I can't afford it. I'm serious. Do I need to talk about the "facts" of history? I didn't witness the coup. I missed a lot of historical events. Actually, I missed them all. I didn't walk on the Moon, although I saw this moon many times, but it's not "historical" facts. I saw the Berlin Wall, but not its erection of its fall. Somehow I managed to be in wrong places all the time. I suspect that I am ahistorical creature. Then everybody were watching the comet, they said, it happens once in hundred or thousand years, I decided to take a look. There it was, a fuzzy slash in dark sky. I feel nothing historical. I didn't know what I was supposed to feel. I tried to get into the mood of exitment, but felt nothing but being stupid. The same I feel about the fall of communism. Intellectually, I think, I understand the significance of this fact, but I don't FEEL it. History is a member of my body which I never had.

Perhaps the Soviet history did it to me. I witnessed too many historical Party congresses, I became numbed to history. Perhaps in the past, in the world with wars and revolutions, I would "feel" it, but my personal experience so anti-historical that sometimes I think that I live a life of a dog. What does he know about the end of communism? I feel ashamed of myself; I know that I am not a dog. I would like to be a part of history, but i don't know how. I don't know how to do anything historical without being ashamed of it. You see, there's something primitive about history. I imagine myself in Moscow in August of 1991 and I am not sure that I would go to the Russian Parliament. I imagine myself in the crowd around the building, waiting for history to unfold, walking and talking with people in front of the tanks. I would feel even more uncomfortable there than sitting at home and missing history. I understand that Chinese guy with two plastic bags who stopped the tanks. He was on the way home and for a fun went in front of the tank. This is something I understand.

I guess, I don't feel that it's MY history. Well, maybe, I wouldn't go to fight wars and revolutions even if they would happen outside of my home. I'm not even sure that I would watch them through the window. Like with that comet. I don't think that history is there, outside. I wish I would have time to think about my concept of history, but I don't. The history of science or philosophy is much closer to me; I believe that the failure of 1848 revolution was important for Marx to write his books and 1968 for important for Foucault. I believe that Einstein's ideas in 1905 are more important than the Russo-Japanese war of 1905. I dare say that a lot of history is nothing but accidents.

A lot of stuff happens to me during the day, but do I call it "history"? Even if I would get into a car accident, why should I consider it "historical"? In a way I am glad that history is over, there was a lot of waste in it. I can't respect history with its facts. To be honest with you, and I try to be honest, I think the history is possible only because of stupidity. What was those two big wars? Communism, nazism, fascism -- millions lives wasted and the only excuse I have that they were mostly wasted lives anyway. I'm not a pacifist, but for the life of me, I can't find a reasonable explanation for WWI! I have to "understand" it.

I understand. Most of the people have too much time on their hands. Too many have nothing to do, they are not busy. I am glad that in postmodernity they can rent videos or watch cable instead of making history and killing each other. It's not if I don't know that I would have to fight against the King two hundred years ago in America, of Hitler in my century, but it doesn't make me feel heroic as a fight with some idiot on the street....

Nevertheless, those three Moscow days in August changed my life. In Alaska. My mother would be alive if the communists would stay in power. "I guess, we better stay here," she said, watching the news. Two days later the coup was over and my parents were packing. She died in 1994 out of the asthma attack. But what do we know?...

Here, in the West, especially in America, the "True West," we do not have right perspective of what were taking place in Russia. The Nobel Peace Prize Gorbachev's deadly attacks in Baku, Tbilissi, Vilnus -- he was fighting for the USSR and still does. Second, the reaction of Moscow to the coup -- and no blood on the street... There was no civil war after all. We should pay more attention to what did not take place.

I left Russia for the second time (as I thought for good again) in May of 1994. Now, almost ten later I see it differently. Russia, history, myself. Not only the past, but the future.

Regardless what Putin tries to do in Moscow, Russia will continue the natural process of disintegration (we, in the USA, call it federalism). The parts must go their own way in order to discover if and to what degree they do need Mother-Russia. Spare the blood.

The 20th century was fast, historical time was very fast in Russia. "Period of Stagnation" (Brezhnev)? So changes were so fast that we didn't even notice how the Russian Civil War became the Global Civil War (Cold War)...

Every change in leadership of the Politburo was a coup, including Gorbachev's "second revolution." Kremlin's intrigues always were a fight of bit-bulls under the carpet. They said that events during the year prior to August 1991 led to rumors among even British and American intelligence that some type of coup attempt was highly possible within Gorbachev's government. After Gorbachev was "elected" president in February 1990 by the dying institution of the Supreme Soviet, many feared that one man now had too much power, and that another dictatorship was coming to life. We watched it in China of 1989. He saw it too. The real change was coming at him and the Party. This danger had a name -- Yeltsin. Russia, the body of the Soviet system, was getting out of the control.

On 11.03.90 Supreme Council of Lithuanian "Soviet Socialist Republic" announced independence and restored Republic of Lithuania (annexed by Soviet Union in 1940). Gorbachev appointed Boris Pugo as his interior minister in December 1990. Pugo, a Latvian and head of the KGB in Riga and immediately asked "to take the necessary measures against the Baltic to assure that constitutional norms were upheld and the rights of minorities respected." Economic blockade of Lithuania was announced by USSR. The new 1991 began with troubles. On January 13 Soviet troops attacked the main TV center, which left 15 dead and hundreds wounded. A week later, Soviet troops clashed with Latvians in Riga, leaving five dead. Not only did the world take notice, but hundreds of thousands of Soviets protested the actions of their own government.

One month earlier, in December 1990, in Moscow, in an unexpected blow to Gorbachev, Foreign Minster Edward Shevardnadze resigned in front of nearly 2,000 members of the Congress of People's Deputies. "We are going back to the terrible past," he warned, "Reactionaries are gaining power. Reformers have slumped into the bushes. A dictatorship is coming. No one knows what this dictatorship will be like, what kind of dictator will come to power and what order will be established."

The Gulf War impressed the Soviet Defense Ministry -- it was a spectacle of the US technology. The Soviet-made tanks on the ground and the Soviet Migs in the air burnt by the American smart bombs. What a test of the military readiness of the super-powers and the American technological superiority! A shock. (Vladimir Kryuchkov, chairman of the KGB, charged that the CIA was covertly trying to destabilize Soviet society). The Gulf War gave an idea to the Soviet military to try the force in Chechnya late. Like Americans. What a disappointment it will be.

The real and the pretence history kept rolling on. In March the Soviet Union voted on a KGB-sponsored referendum on the future of their country. Yeltsin was calling for a different approach to attacking the country's problems, and he wanted to speed up reforms. Even though the vote came close to a draw, it strengthened Yeltsin's position and popularity. On March 28, Yeltsin announced he would hold a "rally of support" in Moscow. Interior Minister Pugo called it a "challenge to the authority of Gorbachev" with a "bunch of neo-Bolsheviks wanting to storm the Kremlin."

Gorbachev immediately banned the demonstration and renewed censorship of the print and television media. The people attended the protest anyway. Gorbachev sent in troops to control the rally, and one of Gorbachev's aides stated, "March 28 was the turning point for Mikhail Sergeyevich. He went to the abyss, looked over the edge, was horrified of what he saw, and backed away." With discontent mounting, Gorbachev had to move closer to an alliance with his enemy, Yeltsin, to keep the support of the people. Too late.

Government were becoming uneasy. On June 20, Prime Minister Valentin Pavlov suggested that some of Gorbachev's powers be transferred to him. But the main issue was the upcoming union treaty with the republics. This treaty, if signed, would have taken away much of Moscow's power. Realizing they could lose their jobs, many in the government began thinking of ways to undermine Gorbachev's power. Some of his close advisers, sensing strife in the air, warned Gorbachev of a possible plot. Gorby dismissed the idea, saying, "They wouldn't have the courage to mount an attack against me."

Even though (or because of it) he had led a wave of unprecedented changes throughout the world, by 1991 Gorbachev's popularity at home was sliding to zero. After five years of promises, reforms failed to bring even a modicum of improved living standards to Soviet citizens. (Gross national product fell by 10% in the first half of 1991, while prices rose by more than 50%). With a grossly dissatisfied population, disjointed government, and repeated warnings of a plot against him, Gorbachev nevertheless left Moscow for the Crimea to take a brief vacation and to complete the new union treaty. Many said by now Gorbachev had become so out of touch with his own party populace that he never comprehended the power of either force.

... Everything what took place in Russia in 1991 is quotations; I wasn't there. I watch it on cable TV. I don't know if gorbachev staged the coup to stay in power. I do not know the cast and the characters. What I want to know -- what did take place? Because when I came to Leningrand in Jan. 2001 the city was St. Peterburg and the Communists were outlawed, USSR was no more. Did I miss the big history? No, it wasn't just Russian history....


August 18. At 4:50 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, Gorbachev heard a knock on his door.... Like countless millions under Stalin who heard a similar knock to whisk them off to the gulags, comrade Gorbachev had no power over his future. His aides were at the door to tell him that Yuri Plekhanov, a top KGB official, had arrived at his Crimean dacha. The president tried to call from his five phones, but all the lines were dead. His own chief of staff, Valery Boldin, entered the room and told Gorbachev that he had been sent by the State Committee of Emergency. Gorbachev must sign a referendum declaring a state of emergency in his country, and if he did not, the head of the Emergency Committee (Vice President Gennady Yanayev) would take control. "Those who sent you are reckless; you will kill yourselves," Gorbachev refused to go along with any of the demands, vowing silently to commit suicide first.

Boldin and his assistants (who remembers their names now?) left with the "Black Box," Gorbachev's briefcase that contained the codes to launch all nuclear weapons throughout the country....

The conspirators, known as the Gang of Eight, ordered thousands of troops to head for Moscow, Leningrad, and the Baltics. But after all the planning, the KGB failed to arrest Boris Yeltsin; he had rushed off to the Parliament Building 45 minutes earlier than us usual. The same Russian White House which he will attack with the tanks two years later.

... My parent were watching the coup on American TV in Fairbanks, Alaska. We were watching the new together. By that time they forgot their communist convictions and were anti-Gorbachev. "You will curse Yeltsin a few years from now," I commented, when they praised him every time seeing the man on the screen. "No, never!" my mother cried. "Easy, Lida, maybe he knows. He was right about everything," said to her my father.

What did I know? What was there not to know? The ex-communist claiming on the tank? Bad language, bad manners and everything -- anti. What was he for, who knows? He was against the Party and that good enough. Yeah, good enough for a moment. The father of the Communist Revolution knew what he wanted. Lenin wasn't even not against the Russian empire, he wanted more of it -- he wanted the Super-Power. What did I see on the screen? The changes, yes. Did I see the day after? Did they? Anyone?



August 19. At 6:30 a.m. the coup leaders went public. The news agency TASS announced that Yanayev had assumed command because Gorbachev had "serious health problems," all strikes and demonstrations were banned and all media under official control. Later the Committee appeared on television nervous, uncertain and looking drunk. Yanayev stated, "we must take control since we are threatened by disintegration... " The marshall law was a dictatorship of the state, like in Poland ten years earlier.

Oh, the losers! None of the opposition leaders were ever arrested. Gorbachev's lines were the only communications systems downed. Yeltsin was receiving calls from around the world, and even ordered food from Moscow's Pizza Hut!

Boris Yeltsin phoned Yanayev and warned him that "we don't accept your gang of bandits." Then Yeltsin went outside and climbed atop a tank in front of 20,000 protesters and called for mass resistance. He denounced the coup as unconstitutional and called for a general strike, declaring himself the "Guardian of Democracy." Soon the crowds grew to well over 100,000. Afghan war vets erected barricades in front of the White House and made Molotov cocktails. "All those courageous who are willing to defend the building, come forward!" The building was surrounded by people from all walks of Russian life, from students and defecting soldiers to priests and pensioners.

They reported that one old babushka declared, "I have lived through a revolution, two world wars, the Siege of Leningrad, and Stalin, and I will not tolerate another takeover; let the people be in peace!" Another, 72-year-old woman cried, "Give me a Kalashnikov (semiautomatic machine gun) and I'll kill the scum myself!" Thousands of the city's babushkas headed for the front lines. By the end of the day, troops were going over to Yeltsin's side, and many of the elite commando divisions were now protecting the White House.

... Russians believe in emotions. Especially, babushkas. Keep the guns away from them. Two years later the White House will be black of smoke and Yeltsin would order the same tanks to shell the Parliament. There will be another set of defenders, but no babushkas with K-47. And no big blood again...

Russia is still at war, Chechnya. Year 2003. Terrorists in Moscow...

What did I see then, over ten ago on the TV screen in Fairbanks, Alaska? What could tell my parents, visiting their American grandchildren for the first time? What could see?

I lived in the State for a decade, I was a citizen, voting and teaching American youth at another university -- who was watching the 24-hour-news on cable? American? Russian? Russian American? American Russian?


August 20. The Emergency Committee imposed a curfew on Moscow, which none adhered to. The health problems that supposedly afflicted Gorbachev ironically were caught by the coup leaders. Many came down with "coup flu" and stayed home. Crowds of people started to raise the old Russian flag, with its white, blue, and red colors. Rostropovich played his cello.... They heard that tank divisions were headed their way. Protesters swarmed everywhere to protect the area; two people were shot and one was crushed by a tank.... And the tanks retreated.
... I couldn't explain to my parents what I saw and thought during the days of the coup. Very much as I couldn't in the sixties. Whatever I had to say was too unbelievable. My sceptical comment of Yeltsin was based not on the fact that he was a Soviet and a Communist. I was a communist and Soviet not long ago. But there was something else I knew and my parents and the folks in Moscow didn't know. They didn't know the price they have to pay for the past and for the future. What price?


August 21. Three days after the attempted coup, Yeltsin announced that the coup leaders were trying to flee the country. Two were said to have headed for the Crimea to talk to Gorbachev, who later refused to meet with them. Instead he called Yeltsin. Yeltsin sent officials from the Russian Republic to bring Gorbachev safely back to Moscow. The shaken president returned by plane with his family early the next morning.

All eight members of the State Emergency Committee were arrested.[1] Another Boris, the KGB Pugo, shot himself in the head before he could be arrested. The crowds were cheering! Not for Gorbachev's return, but for the country's savior, Boris Yeltsin. Thousands celebrated as the statue of "Iron Felix" Dzherzhinsky, founder of the secret police after the 1917 Revolution, was toppled from its pedestal in front of the KGB building. A Russian (czrist) flag was put in its place. Now the monument stood for the millions who died in prison camps by the hand of the KGB.

That was a happy day.

End Of One Party Rule.... (see _Party_)

By the end of August 1991, Boris Yeltsin at the podium in the White House declared, "I am now signing a decree suspending the activities of the Russian Communist Party!" Even Communist-run newspapers such as Pravda were temporarily suspended. Gorbachev followed his actions by issuing decrees to end Communist Party rule. These decrees dissolved the party's structure of committees and policy-making bodies, which included the Central Committee. Archives of the Party and the KGB were seized. In addition, the government confiscated all the Party's assists and property throughout the country. Many accounts were empty....

The Collapse Of The Soviet Union has an official date in Russian history. It's a darkest day of the year with the longest cold night. The big red flag above Kremlin was black. On 21 Dec. 1991, the Soviet Union ceased to exist. The great ideological experiment begun by Lenin's Bolshevik Revolution, constituted on 30 Dec. 1922, disintegrated nine days short of its 70th year. "One state has died," said Russian television, "but in its place a great dream is being born." The birth was the 11-member Commonwealth of Independent States.... We know the difference between British empire and the British Commonwealth. It wasn't the end of the Soviet Union, but the three centuries of the Russian empire....

[ images (left): I have to think about the pix. What was that? The Soviet period of Russian history -- reformation? Why did it take almost a century of hot and cold Civil War to change the face of Russia? Unless, Russia had to serve her historical mission of changing the world. It wasn't just about Russia, it was the business of the 3rd millennium. ]
My visa arrived by mail from San Francisco. I paid fifty bucks for a two-week quick delivery. I was ready to go....

... I was born long ago, in another millennium, in 1949, the times of Gulag the first Soviet atomic bombs. I do not remember Stalin's death, but I remember short after him under the glass next to Lenin. The two dead made an impression on me. I still see them both. It was my only visit to the Mavsoleum. What a ride it was. Will Russia again go into a state of hybernation for a century ot two? Is it time for Moscovia? What is future, can we see it? Just a glance, for a second. Too many voices, no visions.
Gorbachev's resignation was a formality, he had no state to rule. On 25 Dec. 1991, comrade Gorbachev, the eighth and last leader of the Soviet Union, submitted his short resignation -- "Given the current situation, I am ceasing my activities as president of the USSR." He no longer had a party or a "country" to govern. The Gorbachev era was well over even before the coup against him collapsed. A few days before the official resignation, Boris Yeltsin claimed his office in the Kremlin. Maybe he wasn't an emperor, but he was a new tsar of Russia. Yeltsin went to Gorbachev's office, and when he returned two hours later, he said, "It's over. This is the last time I will go and see him." An aide asked, "You mean Gorbachev will have to come to you?" Yeltsin responded, "maybe for his pension."
Is it over?
He is still there, on the Red Square, asleep...
They are still there, behind the Christmas trees (they call them "blue elms"), next to the red brick Kremlin wall -- the heroes of the Soviet era. In the wall are hidden their ashes. There is a dark ghost of comrade Stalin who walks the Red Square. They don't recognize him, they think he is another unwelcome Georgian who brought his tangerines to Moscow for a quick sale.

"The gang of eight" was never prosecuted. All live in Moscow today.

Russia is big. Maybe too big to be a country...
In order to see Russia's future, we need to see the present, we need to understand the past. How much do we know about Russia, about ourselves? We will never have any answers unless we begin to think about the global, not only "Russian" history. It's not Russia there, not really...


The footnotes and endnotes got lost during the transmission from my hard drive to the web. Maybe, because I do not need them, since I do not write anything scholarly or academic. Maybe nothing of this sort should be written about Russia. Maybe, best books on the subject were written by some foreigners like Gogol. Now he would have his own country and language.


Cut out the data from the COUP. The names unimportant for history.

THE STORY OF ONE TAPE from Intro? Why is the televised (edited) Gulf War a surprise? What about the fall of the Soviet system which was shown on tv? Didn't Gorby played it for the camera? Wasn't Reagan an actor? History was already made on tv sets around the world.

"August 91" is the fist after I-SOVIET?

My PARENTS STORIES in Alaska. The white nights are almost over in August. "I guess, we have to stay now," said my mother. Now they saw American supermarkets, my father cried in Fred Myers, but they never saw the Northern lights. They left to their now free Russia. They didn't know that it's not their country anymore.


Postmodernism began in Russia in 1917...

The Gulf War ended in August, too. Two weeks before the coup in Moscow. Did they think that Russia will be next? It was spectacular. We all were impressed. Even the generals in Kremlin. The new type of war, postmodern, I say. Americans showed how it could like, when you don't have to see your enemy face to face. Kind of a preview of the WW III.

The Gulf War did take place, contrary to the claims of postmodernist Baudrillard. It was January-February of 1991. "Desert Shield" and "Desert Storm" -- they named it. Because the action took place in the desert.

The crisis began in August 1990 when Iraq, no, its "president," Saddam Hussein, invaded the oil-rich country of Kuwait and made it into a new province. The United Nations demanded a withdrawal by Jan. 15, 1991. When Iraq ignored the deadline, about 500,000 U.S. and allied forces attacked, using much high-tech weaponry and equipment. The alliance was made up of air, naval and ground forces from the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Great Britain, Egypt, Syria and France. The Iraqi Army was estimated to be about 540,000 strong. Under the command of General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, the coalition won a quick victory at a cost of 149 men killed and 513 wounded. In high contrast, tens of thousands of Iraqi troops were killed, wounded or captured; civilian casualties were also estimated to be in the tens of thousands. A permanent cease-fire was signed by Iraq on August 6, 1991, but we are still at war.

Happy George Bush didn't know that he will lose presidency next year. He was a proud leader of the free world. He didn't read postmodernists. He didn't understand what is taking place in 1991. Who did?....

Russia, America or Africa -- not about geography, but time. Speed of time. History out of control, or a controlled, planned history? How could it be both? It has to be both. It must.

Virilio talks about the instant, the biggest enemy of history. We all know, we see it, we all are participants -- and viewers only. This war was voted in. The utopia is replaced with Teletopia. Telemarketing of history, selling us the future. OF course, this baby has the features of utopia by not being fully real. I am in many places at once. In my name, using my money, the US and the allies (all!) bomb Iraq, but I am still in my living room. Like the generals who push the buttons in their war rooms. I am surprised that anybody gets killed in pomo wars. But somebody has to be killed if we insist that we have a war.

Being in several places at once, puts me into the NO-PLACE SPACE. What? Deferred space? Virilio advises to replace the chronological (before, during, after) with the chronoscopical (underexposed, exposed, and overexposed). From secret (private) to public to historical? If speed is not a phenomenon but a relation among phenomena (relativity itself), PR is a historical position, a machine of the new space. This space is generated, produced, without the time of the speed of life it can't come into existence. The Present must be organized first in order to anything to take place. Without cameras and tapes, stations and tv sets, the new history can't even begin. The event in a Newtonian universe still can take place, but it's being is questionable, since it's not exposed. Since I can't see it, the real can't be fully legitimate -- I hadn't witness it and I have my reasonable doubts. Even an exposed event isn't history yet, because not everybody know it. The Exposed has presence (right to be in time).

The logic of the teletopical is different from what was known as time-logic. In fact, the AFTER comes before the BEFORE! That's why we position our camera in space in anticipation of the possible time. In theatre theories it's STAGE which precedes the action. The seeing, the field of attention, comes first. We eliminate this old space where there is a chance of being invisible (Foucault's Panopticon). What kind of space is it? Space is the essence of VISIBLE! I need the humanized space, where I always present. That's where the new time-light starts.

Could this human universe be deceptive? Absolutely! Why do you think pomo screams about the disappearance of the real? But why should I consider the universe without me as real? Why even to think about the world without us? We never accepted the BEING without a thought about God, Reason, Thought. The materialists, who drilled me in atheism for thirty years, placed humanity in the very center of existence of the BEING. Too bad that the Soviet marxists were so stupid. ... I have no time to go back to The Second Death, written in Russian, about the teleology of communism. I spent years trying to read their subtexts. Maybe, later.

The old chronotope was indifferent or independent from us and therefore anti-human (or neutral). The new one is with us -- ACTIVE SPACE. We ask the space to be active, because we watch it. We don't do it for nothing.

How the hell did I get myself into "philosophy" again?



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