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How food shortages were artificially created in the late 1980s
How food shortages were artificially created in the late 1980s

30 years ago, on August 1, 1989, sugar in Moscow began to be dispensed with coupons. “The moonshiners bought everything,” the authorities briefly explained to the residents of the capital. But they just shrugged indifferently. In Moscow, food rationing has already been introduced, and in the provinces this happened even earlier. The people have lost the habit of being surprised - everything in the vast country has turned upside down. It was no longer necessary to live, but to survive.

The author of these lines has a cardboard rectangle with a photo and a surname at home - a buyer's card certifying that the bearer of this is a Muscovite and has the right to buy something … But to buy, you still had to stand in a long queue. And worry all the time - what if what you stood for will end?

Somewhere among the books are several small, bluish leaves. These are food coupons. Why didn't I use them? I don’t remember … But I didn’t forget how I lived with coupons. We got them in the house management. In stores, the spine with the name of the month and the product was torn off. At first, people were indignant: "We have survived …"

Then everyone got used to coupons. And they did not grieve, but even on the contrary joked, told jokes. For example, something like: "What is perestroika?" "Truth, only the truth and nothing but the truth." Perestroika was also called a turning point. And, on what the light stands, they scolded General Secretary Gorbachev, who later became the president of the USSR

The Communist Party was still leading and guiding. But this time only on paper. The air shook with calls and slogans. The rallies did not stop, there were demonstrations. Nobody understood what was happening in the vast expanses of the state. And the country itself has already tilted, staggered …

In Moscow there were coupons for tobacco, vodka, sugar, and in other cities - for all food and goods. Something was always disappearing from the impoverished shops - now washing powder, now soap, now toothpaste. But "from under the floor" everything could be obtained.

When people gathered at the table, they told with colorful details how, where they bought from whom. The most interesting were the stories about vodka. They killed her - in the literal sense of the word. Once, near the store, I saw a man with a bloody head. Emergency doctors conjured over him. He smiled happily and carefully felt the bottles: "Thank God, they didn't break …"

What happened in life?

The withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan was completed. Director Lyubimov returned from emigration. Gorbachev met with German Chancellor Kohl in Bonn. There were clashes between Georgians and Abkhazians in Sukhumi. Nazarbayev became the first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan. A gas pipeline exploded near Ufa: two passenger trains burned out, 573 people died! At a meeting of the secretariat of the USSR Writers' Union, the publication of Solzhenitsyn's books was allowed. At the XVI Moscow Film Festival one of the prizes was won by the Italian film The Soap Thieves. No, this is not about the USSR …

Newspapers wrote about delays in wages at enterprises, the growing deficit, but what's the point? Economists' advice and suggestions did not help. There was still no food. By the way, the lack of food - whether big or small - was always in the USSR, under all the rulers. But still there was something to satisfy hunger. And then - as cut off: the counters sometimes became absolutely clean. With them, the sellers looked especially ridiculous, who did not know what to do with themselves.

The people began to fill with anger. Previously, melancholy could be poured with vodka, but now it is gone.Prohibition, introduced in 1985, is a big hello to 98-year-old Yegor Kuzmich Ligachev! - continued to act

The inhabitants of the USSR were no stranger to long queues, but such long tails grew here that the past began to be remembered as a blissful dream.

What happened, where did everything go? After all, endless fields were growing, and rich harvests were being gathered, and numerous factories were working …

It's like that. Moreover, food production in the USSR increased in the late 1980s! And no interruptions in the food industry were observed. For example, in 1987, the increase in production compared to 1980 in the meat industry was 135 percent, in the butter and cheese industry - 131, in the fish industry - 132, and flour-and-cereals - 123.

Is it possible that such an incredible, simply devilish appetite erupted in the inhabitants of the Soviet Union? Yes, no, of course, blatant, brazen sabotage was to blame. He eventually destroyed the Soviet empire. More precisely, it was done by those who wanted to overthrow the communists.

Former first secretary of the Moscow City Committee of the CPSU, Yuri Prokofiev, said:

“There is a document: the speech of the future first mayor of Moscow, Gavriil Popov, at the Interregional Deputy Group, where he said that it is necessary to create such a situation with food, so that food is issued on coupons. It is necessary that this aroused the indignation of the workers and their actions against the Soviet regime. "

Problems with smoking started. Also, as it turned out later, artificial. Almost all the tobacco factories in the country were almost at the same time put in for repairs. Under Comrade Stalin, this would be called "sabotage" with the ensuing consequences. And here - nothing. Democracy!

According to the testimony of Nikolai Ryzhkov, ex-chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers, large quantities of formulations with meat, butter and other products came to Moscow. Young guys, students went to unload the cars, and they were met by some people on the way to the stations and said: "Here's the money, get out."

At railway stations, airports, sea and river and ports, a huge amount of cargo was accumulated, delivered from the republics of the USSR and from abroad, among which there were food. If they went to stores, the social tensions that were growing steadily could be eased.

Alas, the goods did not go to warehouses and counters, but to the clutches of the trading mafia, whose leaders began to rapidly enrich themselves. It was then, in the late 80s, that they made their first millions. In addition, the ties between the center and the union republics were significantly weakened. Moscow no longer had its former influence on the periphery, since the Communist Party, which had always been the unconditional authority, was losing its influence.

Former Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian government Mikhail Poltoranin said: “I met my old friend Teimuraz Avaliani in Moscow - he was elected People's Deputy of the USSR from Kuzbass. He told me that someone is trying to provoke a social explosion in Kuzbass. Where did he get this?

There were many signs of deliberately driving the miners to revolt: the delay in funds, the ban on the issuance of overalls, and more. But the disappearance of goods from store shelves is especially significant

At first, there were no meat and dairy products, bread products. The people began to hum. Bed linen, socks, cigarettes, razor blades disappeared. Then there was no tea, washing powder, soap. And all this in a short time."

When the GKChP putsch happened in August 1991, its head Yanayev and others like him "threw out" foodstuffs - cheese, sausage, canned food - for sale. So, they were stored in some warehouses ?! Surely the rebels would have "thrown away" more food, but they simply did not have time. If this happened, Muscovites, forgetting about political passions, ran to shops to fill their bags. And the huge crowd outside the White House would instantly disappear.

If the people had at least a little satisfied their hunger, calmed down, saw at least small sprouts of stability, Yanayev and his associates would have had considerable chances to establish themselves in the Kremlin. Glasnost is, of course, good, but it would be accompanied by a rich soup and a sandwich with sausage …

Let's think a little?

At different times, the barricades were called not so much by a deafening drumbeat and a struggle for imaginary and explicit ideals, but by the desire to satisfy hunger, the desire to get newer clothes and better housing. Then historians puffed out their cheeks and, with a clever air, told about the fact that "the upper classes could not, and the lower classes did not want to live in the old way", that "the crisis was ripe" and a "historical necessity" arose. Still, it was much simpler: lazy, satiated and falling into a nourishing slumber rulers simply forgot to shut up their screaming mouths with food in time. Or they hoped for boundless Russian patience …

And autocratic Russia collapsed from sabotage and betrayal. In February 1917, an artificial shortage of bread was created in order to alarm, anger the workers and their wives, freezing in the icy wind in giant lines. The provocation was a success - the people with red banners splashed out onto the streets of the capital. The Great Russian Empire collapsed in three days …

History repeated itself 70 years later. In the late 1980s, food began to be hidden in the USSR. The shops were empty. The angry people poured out onto the streets of Moscow.

An explosive situation arose, but Gorbachev brushed aside alarming rumors and reports from reliable people. He was nervous, rushed about, hid in Foros. And when he returned to Moscow, things were really bad

In December 1991, Gorbachev, having learned about the results of negotiations between Yeltsin, Kravchuk and Shushkevich in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, almost with tears announced that he was leaving his post as President of the USSR. And by that time the Soviet Union was no longer there.

A feast of new rulers began on the wreckage of a great power. On January 1, 1992, the inhabitants of Russia began to "treat" Gaidar's "shock therapy". From some mysterious bins, but in fact, carefully hidden in the Gorbachev era, domestic and foreign products, delicacies, and elite alcohol appeared. Only all this stuff was fabulously expensive. Prices rose every day - in frantic leaps, similar to the leaps of a bloodthirsty beast …

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