A conversation in the radio studio "Komsomolskaya Pravda" with the Hero of the Soviet Union, the first and the last vice-president of Russia, Alexander Rutskoi and the former head of the President's Security Service (by definition, the closest person to Yeltsin's body), Alexander Korzhakov.
Twenty-two years ago, Moscow shuddered from the tank volleys, and people all over the country clung to TV screens, on which Western TV stations broadcasted how Yeltsin's loyal troops fire at the rebel troops of the Supreme Soviet (Parlament) of Russia. The opposition of the Armed Forces and the President Yeltsin with his team, on the one hand, and Rutskoi and Khasbulatov with the deputies, on the other, ended in great blood. Incongruous with the one that spilled two years earlier, when the Emergency Committee tried to keep the USSR. This was the beginning of our conversation in the radio studio "Komsomolskaya Pravda" with the Hero of the Soviet Union, the first and the last vice-president of Russia, Alexander Vladimirovich Rutskoi and the former head of the President's Security Service (by definition, the closest person to Yeltsin's body), Alexander Vasilyevich Korzhakov.
How Many Victims Were?
- Alexander Vladimirovich, how many victims were there? According to official data 124 were killed and 346 wounded, or more?
- This is distorted information. Those who were there at in the system of power, did everything possible and impossible to cover up the tragedy. After when everyone came out of the Supreme Council building (also known as the White House - author's note), almost all night long corpses were taken out by barges.
- What barges? Where from?
- From the embankment, right from the White House. You see, a lot of people were from other regions of the country. And this way of exporting the killed helped to effectively hide the ends. Do you remember there was the amnesty to the participants? It appeared due to the fact that the investigative bodies had to be brought to criminal responsibility, starting from the president and ending with the same Alexander Vasilievich (Korzhakov). After carrying out all conceivable examinations, the General Prosecutor's Office came to the conclusion that no person was killed from weapons withdrawn from the Supreme Council. Then is the question: what weapon people were killed from? They request for submission of weapons participating in hostilities at the Supreme Council to the Ministry of Internal Affairs - have got a refusal, Requested the same in the Ministry of Defense - refusal, Inquiries to other special services - refusal. What were the requests for? To shoot from their weapons and understand who killed the people.
Amnesty was introduced to the participants due to the fact that, beginning with the President and ending with Korzhakov, they had to be brought to criminal responsibility.
- The Investigation Brigade worked there. And it was strengthened by Filatov (the head of the presidential administration) other employees. Officially, 150 people were killed. Yes, I read the book of General Rokhlin, I even helped to write somewhere. But everything is written there, is like a novel. And the figure is 1500 people. (General Rokhlin did not leave any books and memoirs after himself, so here it seems to be about the documentary and art work of Elena Lyapicheva "General Rokhlin - always with Russia" - note author) - Well, lies. I, thank God, can doubt the numbers killed by TV Center Ostankino, because I was not there. And I do not know if a 140 persons killed there or 145. But at the White House I was with my co-workers.
- Alexander Vasilievich, I read in your book that in March Barsukov (at that time the commandant of the Moscow Kremlin and at the same time the chief of the Main Guard Directorate) had a plan to use the gas to deputies in case of impeachment to the President on March 29, and security officers had to evacuate deputies according to that plan. And the plan was adopted by Yeltsin. Why it was not used when they voiced the Presidential Decree No. 1400 of September 21, which dissolved the Supreme Council?
- What are you about? When the president is removed from office, this is one situation. And when the president is alive, it's slightly different. If we compare that situation with anything, then it can be only with what happened in Ukraine. If President Yanukovych, now in exile, had Korzhakov, Barsukov, Grachev, Erin and others, the Maidan would not have been. Here everything is clear. And why someone to etch from the "White House"? You do not confuse! The meeting room or the whole "White House", which even did not consider the parliament. Then it was written "House of the Government of the Russian Federation" (in fact, this inscription appeared later, when the structure of the government really moved to the building, and in October 1993 there was no such inscription - author's note). Then they began to think up that there was a parliament. It was temporary. And they sat all the time in the Kremlin.
There was no other alternative? Or?
- And was there a solution to work out without blood? At that place people sat without light, without water, without heat and without communication.
- Another 3-4 days, at most, we could hold out there. Mostly civilians. It was already intolerable to be there. Imagine, do not wash in the shower, do not shave, or drain the water in the toilet. Many were already exhausted.
Today, people distort and say that the Kremlin has proposed simultaneous elections. No. We proposed simultaneous elections. Zero option - early elections of the president and deputies. And I, as acting president, wrote in writing that I, the vice president, acting president will not participate in the upcoming presidential election or in elections of deputies to the Supreme Council." Signed and gave it to the media. So then who was rushing to power? I? Or the opposite side, if I made a written statement that I will not participate in the elections.
- You (he is to the author, i.e. me) was still small, so you do not understand that we had more than a thousand deputies. The Supreme Soviet consisted of about 150 people, and when deputies who were in the White House had already been expelled, there were already less than a hundred of them. That's all. And all the other deputies agreed when they were offered by the President positions, houses, jobs. I recently met with one. He is already 70 years old, and he works in the civil service. He was brought to my meeting by car. He's doing great! All of them were offered apartments, everyone was helped in everything. If anyone wanted apartments in another city, they have got there, found a position and an apartment. Everything was envisaged in this plan on the part of the president, a conversation was held with everyone. It's another matter that someone categorically did not want to. Yes, it happened. It was necessary to decide something. There was a dual power in the country. And it could end badly.
- Yeltsin's main argument against the Supreme Council was that it prevented him from "carrying out reforms." What kind of reforms? - The privatization. I was appointed to lead the Interdepartmental Commission on Combating Corruption, and I had information about how it was conducted. Port Nakhodka went in ownership for 100 thousand dollars, Achinsk alumina plant for 180 thousand, Uralmash, giant, the pride of our country, went to Bendukidze's property for 500 thousand dollars, not for money but for vouchers. What is this nonsense? After all, we proposed alternative privatization. First, the service sector. I still, being a member of the Central Committee (of the Communist Party - author's note), I was expelled from the party for factionalism, suggested: why should the state have hairdressers, tailors, canteens, cafes, restaurants? Let's privatize it, but on a competitive basis. A person wins a contest, gets this object into management and pays real estate, the cost of this object to the mortgage. The money goes to the social development fund of the country, which is subordinated to a collegial body, not to the executive branch, to the Supreme Council. And then the issues of building schools, hospitals, polyclinics, roads, housing and everything else would be resolved.
The port of Nakhodka was privatized for 100 thousand dollars, the Achinsk alumina plant for 180 thousand, Uralmash, the giant, the pride of our country, went into the ownership of Bendukidze for 500 thousand dollars. And it was not money, but vouchers.
This was our most important contradiction with Yeltsin and his team. And imagine how much money would go into this social fund. And today, the problems in the social sphere would be solved tenfold at the expense of that has touched.
- If I understand it, it was then when you collected "11 suitcases of compromising evidence" against Yeltsin's team? Which also played a role in the confrontation.
- I figuratively said that those are 11 suitcases. You know, such fireproof large metal cabinets. And there were documents in them. Not compromising evidence, but documents, including all of these scams with privatization. About 30 staff members of the CIA worked under the guise of consultants with reformers in the government. And much more. And these were imaginary auctions, state bonds, what was the way they all were thought out? This process was led by staff members of the CIA, who worked in the government of the Russian Federation. I repeatedly asked Yeltsin: is it possible the work of foreign intelligence officers in the administration of the US President? He: Alexander Ivanovich, are you accidentally drunk? - No. I did not drink. I'm just asking you this question. - He: Of course not. - Why do we have 30 employees (of CIA)? And admitted them to top secret information? Where do we go? They are conducting these boys, who do not understand what they are doing, they get up these ugliness. And what will be the results?
30 staff members of the CIA worked in the government. They led the imaginary auctions, government bonds, were admitted to the top secret information.
- Alexander Vasilievich, I was 31 years old and I was sitting at that time in the company of Englishmen, who, going crazy, asked me: "Sasha, is this a movie?" And I answered them that yes, only documentary and live". And they, even more crazy, bawled: "They must not shoot the Parlament by tanks..."
- We did not organize an attack on Ostankino, where 140 people were killed. They did it, Khasbulatov and Rutskoi, did what they were afraid of themselves. And all the rest. For what they have done. Therefore, it was necessary to simply expel outsiders. In general, it was suggested to shoot blank ammunition only after lengthy warnings. Another thing is that the military also get excited and shoot with blanks. No combat ammunition was fired into the building. No man was killed or wounded. At first they warned many times, then they began to knock out the windows on the upper floors.
Here I'm sorry, Here I'm not sorry
- How much can they lie!? They allegedly fired wooden blocks at the building, but it was burning from explosions of high-explosive shells. A volley - a flash, a volley - a flash. You're asking, could it be solved without bloodshed? It could be. But why they sat on snipers, mercenaries who shot servicemen? - Not for a bloodless solution.
Could it be solved without bloodshed? It could be. But why sat on snipers, mercenaries who shot servicemen? - Not for a bloodless solution.
- Alexander Vladimirovich, but you really sent people to Ostankino. And they died there. Not 140 people, as Korzhakov says, but not less than 46, if my memory serves me.
- I do not give up my words. As for Ostankino, I could not even imagine that it would end up this way. Why did this happen? I stand at the window, looked at a large column of people, thousands under 10, moving along the New Arbat street. And from the building of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CMEA), from the mayor's office the machine-gun fire was open at these people. What are your actions? You are acting president, not vice-president. You see, people are being killed before your very eyes. What actions? I give the command to seize this building, to catch these bastards.
And about Ostankino - let's take archive video and see: tracers go from the building to people who are on the square. Further were armored vehicles that shoot from the KPVT machine gun. Shoot at the building? No, at people who are on the square. Who were the armored personnel carriers? - Internal Troops
I'm sure that, for example, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin would never allow this. Because he's fine with his brains. And when these brains dissolve all the time by strong drinks, in the end they stop working.
- Alexander Vasilievich, was Yeltsin sober these days? When he gave the order to storm?
- Yes. He was sober. If drunk, just to keep himself, so not to fall asleep. He was also worried.
You see, after these events there were elections to the State Duma. The country got a normal parliament, which began to create laws, and not the rag that was before. The Constitution was changed every day, added something to it. The head of the library of the president came to me and said: what should I do? They give new changes every day. They need something to cut and paste new inserts into the President's copy. And what to do all over the country? Who would do this?
- So, do not regret now anything what did you do then?
- I personally do not regret my actions. I regret that in general this happened. Because we are all, I am very friendly with many of the guys who were in the White House. But the fact is that of them, that of us, everyone wanted the good of Russia. Each. Only each person saw this good in his own way. Why do I believe that we were right? Imagine if Rutskoi and Khasbulatov had won. I assure you, in two weeks, in a month Rutskoi would have been impreasoned or killed. And the country would be led by Khasbulatov. And now all adored and beloved Putin would not be at power - now at least Ramzan Kadyrov would be leading Russia, that does not very fond of him.
- Alexander Vasilievich, the last question, was it not insulting to you in the 96th that Yeltsin fired you, threw you away, and Rutskoy, whom you arrested, became governor of the Kursk region?
- It's not insulting. Because that Yeltsin died on February 1, 1996th. I've talked about this many times. He had programmed himself for 65 years. And on February 2 it was already another Yeltsin, who was not the President. It was a decrepit old man who survived out of his mind slowly. And the country was already led by Tanya (Yeltsin's daughter - author's note), Yumashev, Chubais and the rest of the company. They ruled the country ...
(At this our telephone connection with Korzhakov, who was on the road, had broke, and further dialogue was only with Rutskoi - author's note).
They figured out Yeltsin but conductors directed the country
- Yeltsin's only correct decision for all his being in office was to resign and make his successor a worthy man who pulled the country out of this humiliating situation. Incidentally, I have repeatedly told Yeltsin who his security service is, I asked - remove these guys: both Barsukov and Korzhakov, they will then make you a gift that you will never wash off. And in 1996, Yeltsin had the intelligence to get rid of these persons.
- You do not like them.
- You know, I always went to Boris Nikolaevich and, before making any public statements, talked with him. And what did Korzhakov do? He resorted to Yeltsin and sang a song to him, that I saw a chair under him. If you want I tell an interesting episode. There were a strike at the automobile plant "ZIL". Boris Nikolayevich, as always, on vacation. It is clear what a vocation it was. I got a call with the command from the President to go to ZIL and to work out. I walk along the corridor, towards goes Viktor Palych Barannikov, the Minister of Security. "Where are you going?" - "To ZIL, there's a strike. I was given a commission from Boris Nikolayevich." - "Can I go with you?" - "Of course?". We had come, listened to the workers. I convinced them that we must go back to the machines, stop the strike and so on. And I allowed myself such a statement: "Boris Nikolayevich will come, I will ask him to give me an opportunity to attach my guard to Nechayev (he was an economy minister), I will give him your salary, three thousand rubles. And I'll see how this figure and rascal will live." Farther. We sit at the one birthday party. Boris Nikolaevich asks me a question. I look, there is a dictophone at his hands. He said me: Have you got three thousand rubles with you? I say that I got more. And my brains turn on here. I see the recorder. Yeltsin is on public, and this is the first circle, ministers, say, basically of the power structure. He turns on the dictaphone. And there goes this record, but in another form - that Yeltsin will come, and I'll give him three thousand, I'll attach my guard to him and so on.
- And what happened to the words about Nechaev?
They have deleted that part, and it turned out that I would do this to Yeltsin. Silent scene in the hall. And then Barannikov takes out a dictophone from his pocket. And turns on a full record, as it was. So, Yeltsin takes his recorder and launches in Korzhakov. Korzhakov bent down and the tape recorder flew to the wall, smashed to smithereens.
Yeltsin takes the recorder and launches in Korzhakov. Korzhakov bent down and the tape recorder flew to the wall, smashed to smithereens
- Listen, let's be honest. You were with Yeltsin in 1991 on one side of the barricades. You saw him, and thats why in the 1993 did not believe that he would go for blood, for assault. Was it so?
- Well, frankly, I hoped so. In 1991, there was a situation ... When some information arrived that the assault was about to begin, Yeltsin immediately got into the car and was going to leave for the US embassy. It was later learned that Gorbachev had created the State Emergency Committee back in March of 1991, it was his initiative. He flew to Foros when a cope started in August to absolve himself of responsibility.
It was later learned that Gorbachev had created the State Emergency Committee in March 1991, this was his initiative. He went to Foros to absolve himself of responsibility.
Once again, when Yeltsin was going to hide in the US embassy in 1991, I stopped him, I said: Boris Nikolayevich, you can not do this, you are the head of Russia, how are you going to escape, let me fly to Foros. So Yevgeny Maksimovich Primakov and I flew to Foros to take Gorbachev out of there and bring him back to his place.
But in 1993, everything was planned differently. Here is the Maydan in Kiev - this is one in one repetition, a little under another sauce, really. But the conductors were from the same address. All these orders came from Washington. Because the tele-shooting was done, the operators were at such profitable points to completely shoot this massacre. They were seated in advance. And when the "Alpha" (Special Force unit) refuses to storm the building, they kill their fighter Sergeev, sniper kills him in the back, to provoke "Alpha".
The Maidan in Kiev is one in one repetition of events in Moscow in 1993. But the conductors were from one place - from Washington. The operators were placed in advance so as to completely shoot this massacre. And when "Alpha" refuses to storm the building, the sniper kills their fighter Sergeev to provoke "Alpha".
Neither "Alpha" nor "Vympel" went to the assault.
- But after all "Alpha" and "Vympel" did not go to storm the Kremlin too. Remember, you ordered the pilots to bomb the Kremlin?
- I did not make such an order.
- You went on the air. I heard it with my ears.
- It was a psychological intimidation for the Kremlin - That is the first. And the second, what was the way to stop them? I think, at least they will come to their senses, stop doing it.
- And what did happen with those closets in which there was compromising material?
- The situation was such that I was put to Lefortovo (detention unit for state security - author's note), and the next day, these non-combustible metal cabinets were cracked and under the direction of Korzhakov these folders were extracted. Where did they go, these folders, who gave the order to Korzhakov to withdraw everything related to the work of the interdepartmental commission? No answer.
- There is a feeling that personal scores are not all finished between you...
- Korzhakov would better tell how at Vnukovo airport he met the snipers, who flew not from our country, how they went to Sofrino and got sniper rifles, how they planted these snipers on the roof and started killing policemen and representatives of the armed forces, gawkers and others. For what? - To provoke this assault.
Korzhakov would better tell how at Vnukovo airport he met the snipers, who flew not from our country, how they went to Sofrino and got sniper rifles, how they planted these snipers on the roof and started killing policemen and representatives of the armed forces, gawkers and others. For what? - To provoke this assault.
I have nothing to hide. I have published the minutes of my interrogations. And the book "Bloody Autumn" I wrote, deliberately, without even a hint on any emotions. I took the date, the documents of the Supreme Council, which were released on that date, the decisions of the Kremlin on the same date, and made a diary of events. In the end wrote: and now everyone draw conclusions themselves, who is to blame that the blood of compatriots was spilled, that our country was simply smeared, that the Soviet Union was destroyed, and people with far from a decent biography were given the national property of the country. That's what I and many of my comrades could not agree with, but it happened.
- It happened. And God grant us that we will never do it again.