Cover Osteuropa 11/2011

In Osteuropa 11/2011

The Putsch against Gorbachev
Background and the Sequence of Decisions

Ignaz Lozo

Deutsche Fassung


The August 1991 coup in Moscow triggered the revolution under the leader-ship of Boris Yeltsin. As a consequence, the Communist Party was disempowered and the Soviet Union dissolved. The coup’s mastermind was KGB Chief Vladimir Kryuchkov. The aim of the conspirators was to prevent the signing of a new union treaty. That treaty was to decentralize the Soviet Union. But the “State Committee for the State of Emergency” was split over whether to use force against the demonstrators. This led to the coup’s collapse. There was no order to attack the “White House”, Yeltsin’s headquarters – thus no “heroic” acts of insubordination. The insinuation that Mikhail Gorbachev was an accomplice is entirely unfounded. But he probably bears some political responsibility for the coup.

(Osteuropa 11/2011, pp. 77–96)