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Color revolution in the Soviet Union: rallies and typical provocations
Color revolution in the Soviet Union: rallies and typical provocations

Thirty years ago, in April 1989, the Tbilisi events took place, which in many ways became the starting point in the process of the collapse of the Soviet Union. Studying them and comparing them with other similar large-scale actions, for which our history is rich, allows us to draw interesting conclusions.

In the wake of ambition

Georgia, ahead of the no less freedom-loving but more cautious Baltic states, found itself in the vanguard of the former Soviet republics in the struggle for independence. And this is no coincidence. Georgian separatism is an old phenomenon, known since the end of the 18th century, which appeared literally the next day after the signing of the Georgievsk Treaty on the voluntary entry of Eastern Georgia into Russia.

Therefore, it is not surprising that the movement for secession from the USSR here, as, indeed, in other republics, was led by nationalists. And there are good reasons to believe that they were helped to play the Georgian card by forces familiar to us from further events in Transcaucasia. Quite otherworldly - with centers on the other side of the border

And then it all started with the long-standing Georgian-Abkhaz conflict, the roots of which go back to the same distant past. At the same time, in the middle of March 1989, no less freedom-loving Abkhazians (who entered only from the 30s of the twentieth century on the basis of autonomy to the Georgian SSR) came up with an initiative to free themselves from the dense guardianship of their neighbors. This caused a violent reaction from the now Georgian population of Abkhazia: several mass rallies took place there. They were also supported in other cities of Georgia proper.

On April 4, 1989, under the leadership of the leaders of the Georgian national movement led by Zviad Gamsakhurdia, an unlimited rally began in Tbilisi. The protesters spoke out exclusively against the withdrawal of the Abkhaz from the republic. This also found understanding among the authorities, which chose not to interfere in the process, passively supporting the demands of the nationalists. The party and Soviet leaders of the republic, headed by the first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Georgian SSR, Jumber Patiashvili, seemed not to notice the danger hidden for them.

And the number of protesters grew steadily. And soon the spearhead of the protests was turned against the authorities themselves. On April 6, slogans began to appear on the streets of the Georgian capital: "Down with the communist regime!", "Down with Russian imperialism!"

On the same day, opposition leaders issued appeals to the American President and the leaders of NATO countries with a request to help the Georgian people in their quest for freedom and to send their troops! At the time, it sounded like a challenge to the established system. Who was the initiator of this idea? Was it really possible without the intervention of the United States, the prompts of the American embassy?

This no longer seriously alarmed the leadership of the republic, but they failed to localize the protest actions with the help of the local police. An operational headquarters was created, which, in addition to the party leaders, included the commander of the troops of the Transcaucasian Military District, Colonel General Igor Rodionov, representatives of the Union and Republican Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Typical provocation

On the evening of April 7, against the background of the growing aggressiveness of the demonstrators who filled the square in front of the Government House, a panic telegram flew to Moscow via the government communication channel with a request to urgently send additional forces of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the army to Tbilisi.But the head of state and party leader Mikhail Gorbachev is in no hurry, sending a member of the Politburo Georgian Eduard Shevardnadze and secretary of the CPSU Central Committee Georgy Razumovsky to the republic, "for reconnaissance". Kremlin emissaries very soon assessed the situation as alarming. Later, Shevardnadze admitted that "irreconcilable slogans, shouts, everything was put forward."

On the night of April 7-8, troops began to arrive in Tbilisi: the 4th operational regiment of the Interior Ministry of the USSR (650 people), which had moved out of the area of ​​Armenian Spitak, where an earthquake had recently occurred; 345th Airborne Regiment from Azerbaijani Kirovobad (440 people). The 8th motorized rifle regiment, stationed in Tbilisi (650 people), was put on high alert.

Meanwhile, the situation was heating up: fundraising for the purchase of weapons began among the protesters, groups of militants were openly formed (who later distinguished themselves in Abkhazia). At that time they were armed with knives, brass knuckles, chains. Actions were taken to seize military and special equipment. Attacks on police officers and servicemen have become more frequent, as a result of which 7 soldiers and 5 police officers were beaten. On the streets adjacent to the square, barricades appeared, created from several interconnected cars or buses.

The intensity of passions was growing. The address to the protesters by the Georgian Patriarch Elijah did not help either. The brief silence after his call for prudence was replaced by a fiery speech by one of the leaders of the opposition. He insisted that people stay where they were. In some places, as if on command, sound-amplifying equipment and groups of excited young people dancing and singing national songs appeared.

The activity of journalists was noted, incl. Moscow and foreign, which simultaneously appeared in several places for photo and video recording of upcoming events. As reflected in the materials of the investigation file of the Chief Prosecutor's Office, this “testified that the leaders of informal associations, acting according to a previously developed scenario, sought to give the rally the appearance of a harmless, peaceful manifestation,” which the troops were preparing to suppress by force.

On the face of it is a typical provocation, with the activity of external forces interested in it and the indiscriminateness of the local authorities. The infamous "bloody resurrection" is an example from history.

Deadly shoulder blades

It should be noted that there was practically no such massive experience of dispersing the protesters at that time, and the head of the operation, Colonel-General Igor Rodionov, had to pass a very serious exam. And he withstood it with honor.

Not being a "hawk", he, until the very last moment, was opposed to the use of troops, offering the leaders of the republic to resolve the conflict in all other possible ways, incl. access to the people, political statements. But by the evening of April 8, as the general himself admitted, it was no longer possible to solve the clearly artificially heated situation in other ways.

The headquarters decided to drive out the crowd of about 10 thousand people from the square in front of the Government House and the streets adjacent to it. After the next appeal by the head of the head of the Georgian Interior Ministry's headquarters to disperse and warning about the use of force against the protesters otherwise, the operation began.

The servicemen of the internal troops were in body armor and protective helmets, armed with special shields and rubber sticks. The paratroopers, dressed in helmets and body armor, did not have sticks and shields, but they had small infantry shoulder blades that were part of the field outfit. Only the officers had weapons.

As it is written in the materials of the General Prosecutor's Office: “At 4 am on April 9, 1989, as envisaged by the plan, at the command of Colonel-General Rodionov, the regiment's units deployed in three ranks across the entire width of Rustaveli Avenue slowly moved towards the Government House. Ahead of them, at a distance of 20 to 40 m, armored personnel carriers were moving along the roadway at a minimum speed. Directly behind the troop chains … a group of special equipment was advancing, as well as a cover platoon … Further along the avenue on the right and left flanks of the regiment followed in columns … 2nd and 3rd paratrooper battalions.

From the first minutes of the movement of military chains along the avenue, the servicemen of the airborne units … were attacked by groups of hooligan youth. Even before the contact of the battle formations with the participants of the rally on the square in front of the Government House, 6 soldiers - paratroopers received bodily injuries of varying degrees of severity from being hit by stones, bottles and other objects”.

As a result of the use of troops, the task was completed: the square and adjacent streets were cleared. However, the operation did not go without casualties: 19 people died (as it was later established by the investigation, almost all of them died "from mechanical asphyxia due to compression of the chest and abdomen in a crush"), several hundred were injured.

A commission of people's deputies was formed, headed by Anatoly Sobchak. Then, from a high rostrum, the versions of the lethal sapper blades of paratroopers, launched earlier by the media, were heard: “… The only means of attack and defense against attack were their sapper blades. And in the conditions in which they found themselves, the soldiers used these blades … Our task is to establish the very fact of the use of these blades and condemn it as a crime against humanity. " The grave consequences of the use by the military of "special means" - tear gases, were also categorically declared.

Organized bullying

A scandal erupted, into which the people of the then united Union, who had fallen to the television screens, were drawn.

At the same time, defamation of servicemen and the army began on the pages of newspapers and magazines, which became independent in the wake of perestroika, but for some reason unanimously sided with the anti-government forces. This company was surprisingly well organized, which speaks of its coordination and thoughtfulness. But how was this possible, even at the end of the Soviet regime?

Something similar happened in Petrograd at the end of February 1917, when the Tsar left for the front. Then began a massive throwing of compromising evidence on the authorities, interspersed with fakes about the lack of bread in the capital. Soon, quite peaceful demonstrations were overgrown with extremist and anti-government slogans. And it all ended with the revolution and the brutal murder of the gendarmes and police who stood in its way. It is well known today that the British secret services were behind it all.

In 1989, the yellowed press all at once joined in the persecution of officers and generals, led by Ogonyok, Moskovskiye Novosti, and Moskovsky Komsomolets, who set the tone. The materials published there practically copied each other, competing only in the degree of shocking the readers with the terrible details of the military fanaticism, and the foreign radio stations Voice of America, BBC and Svoboda set the tone.

During the investigation, the Prosecutor General's Office found: “In the course of the investigation, numerous reports of some media outlets and individual journalists who carried out the“Independent Investigation of the Tragic Events of April 9”about the brutality of military personnel were checked … etc. All of them are tendentious and do not correspond to reality."

Today, we can speak with complete confidence about the use of information weapons developed in the bowels of the British special services against us at that time. This is evidenced, for example, by the well-known method - selective and sudden "attack" of previously agreed "targets". It was subsequently used repeatedly. It is worth remembering that the objects of excessive attention of the media and representatives of the "fifth column", at different times, became the courts and prosecutors, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the authorities, the Church, then specific personalities. After such a sophisticated attack, the chosen target must be demoralized and incapacitated for some time.

You can recall what attacks and harassment in the media, with the resistance of local officials, the organizers of the suppression of the riots in Moscow and Petrograd in 1905 were subjected to: the Minister of Internal Affairs of the Empire Peter Durnovo, the general governors of the capitals Admiral Fyodor Dubasov, General Dmitry Trepov, the Semyonov guardsmen. Only a resolute and reckless "public opinion" fueled by the media, fulfilling its duty, helped to prevent the catastrophe, costing little blood.

Unanswered questions

To the credit of General Rodionov, he also accepted the challenge thrown down to him, did not pass up and, using the means available to him, including the rostrum of the congress, began to defend not only his honor and dignity, but also his subordinates.

So People's Deputy T. Gamkrelidze, from the high rostrum of the 1st Congress of People's Deputies of the USSR, directly accused Igor Rodionov of … the genocide of Georgians: “There was an unprecedented in its severity mass beating of innocent people, which entailed human casualties. The rally … was peaceful, without the use of violence and without incitement to violence. When tanks (!) And armored personnel carriers appeared on the square … without any warning … people stood with lighted candles, sang old songs …, prayed. This … a pre-planned punitive operation to destroy people … the soldiers blocked the passages, surrounded the citizens and hit them with clubs, sapper spades … pursued the fleeing, finished off the wounded …"

General Rodionov laid siege to the temperamental People's Deputy, parrying him: “Those who … talk about the peaceful nature of the rally forget that … over the central avenue of the city, vile calls for physical violence against the communists were heard day and night, anti-Russian and nationalist sentiments were kindled … people … they broke windows, desecrated monuments … everywhere sowing confusion, discord, unrest … It was not the introduction of troops that complicated the situation, but the complication of the situation that caused the introduction of troops …. We slowly drove the crowd out … surrounded no one … warned through megaphones that people would disperse. We did not take into account that such a tough and stubborn resistance would be rendered: barricades and armed detachments of militants. By the way, 172 servicemen were wounded, 26 were hospitalized, and yet they were in helmets, body armor, with shields. How many helmets have been broken … bulletproof vests"

Then the general, from defense, went on the offensive: “… Not a single one picked up on the square … had a cut or stab wound … Then there was talk about gases. But what kind of gases can there be … when all (the servicemen) were without gas masks, without protective equipment? " A literate person, a professional of a high category, realizing that there is a concerted, massive attack on the army, requires the authorities to figure it out: “What caused the media to turn events by 180%? called a folk festival? " Later, in an open letter to Shevardnadze, he would sharpen the previously raised question: "Who took the organizers into the shadows?"

The answers to clearly formulated questions were never given, but General Rodionov then won the main victory. The deputies did not agree with the conclusions of the Sobchak commission, and the General Prosecutor's Office put an end to the criminal case against officials and military personnel of the Interior Ministry of the USSR and the SA "for lack of corpus delicti."

This, however, did not save the country, which fell two years later, falling victim to a conspiracy of the elite and the massive impact on the population of anti-state propaganda - typical methods of popular in the future "color revolutions" - varieties of hybrid war. The political scientist, Doctor of Political Sciences Igor Panarin is convinced of this, saying that: "The modern Western strategy of hybrid war began to develop within the framework of the so-called Cold War (1946-1991), unleashed against the USSR at the initiative of W. Churchill."

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