tv [untitled] August 20, 2011 1:31pm-2:01pm EDT
remarked twenty years to the day when moscow was placed under military curfew during an attempt to overthrow mikhail gorbachev the coup faced fierce resistance at the time failed to topple the government but nonetheless changed the course of history for the softly. and next it's time for an in-depth account of those dramatic events in our special report here on r.t. . central moscow moscow's regional k.g.b. headquarters. early morning of august the nineteenth one nine hundred ninety one. this is the officer and. the events of the day the could have reversed the country's history. it was an attempt to depose president mikhail gorbachev put his reforms on hold. tanks and other hardware
has been moved into moscow. the city's key points have been taken over. or has the nineteenth nine hundred ninety one monday early in the morning teacher tatiana yakovlev or switched her t.v. on and sort of following picture instead of the usual programming every channels broadcasting tchaikovsky's famous ballen. which i turned the t.v. on to check the latest news and i was so surprised to see swan lake everywhere i was switching the t.v. channels for a long time thinking maybe there was something wrong with my t.v. set. at the same time as the ballet broadcast more than seven hundred tanks and on the personnel carriers being stationed in the streets the plotters were in the criminal. meanwhile moscow so-called white
house was at the center of civil resistance at the time it housed the russian parliament where the people's deputies met in session. it was past seven in the morning when the security chief came to my place. to work when i opened the door it's old me i had better go to the white house right away. as far as i could tell there was a coup going on in the country that's how i learned about it or you would decide to take a roundabout route instead of going straight to this building. where. the coup was led by top brass and high ranking communist officials they had expected to get support from the population who were dissatisfied with the long drawn process of perestroika. they decided to make short work of gorbachev reforms.
the situation was quite odd that the country was in turmoil. there was a revolt of the hungry but abel standing in line for sausages stoop to fist fights and there were pervis of sort of jizz on the consumer market. but the country's president waved good bye to everybody and headed down south to the crimea to relax in. the crimean peninsula southern shore serbia president mikhail gorbachev's private residence near the village of photos. both it and scores of surrounding hector has became a prison for the head of state. here he spent several days in what amounted to confinement. but there blew up a site can be seen from all sides you get an almost bird's eye view of it from that mountain the rood leading to the residence can easily be blocked with stones after those events the joke here was that gorbachev's residence must have been
deliberately built in this place so that he could be easily cut off from the outside world is going to work their way with the. k.g.b. colonel tolstoy was directly involved in the events of those days he's a direct descendant a namesake of the celebrated russian novelist leo tolstoy. before he rose to the rank of colonel he served as a bodyguard on august the eighteenth one nine hundred ninety one top k.g.b. officials ordered him to block all exits from the gorbachev residence but i have no idea what would have happened if gorbachev and others had tried to escape from the residence or the office or what i do think he would have faced very unpleasant consequences. this is exclusive footage of the residence of the first savior president the splendid park was laid out almost on their wrong this had special significance because gorbachev was known to be very fond of strolling by the
seaside. what of if these arizona cedars these pines and these shrubs were all planted just before the territory was to be commissioner in one nine hundred eighty eight without a nickel that was a short while before mikhail gorbachev's first visit here. the crimean residence was code named terra trees in k.g.b. documentation the interior design of the main building reflected the wishes of race to go but show over the president's wife she was with mikhail gorbachev throughout the force or deal. with us or you we built what i would describe as internal defenses their men carrying guns with live ammunition were posted all over the place they were under strict orders not to allow provocations
or work of. soviet president study was on the second floor close to the hole it was here that mikhail gorbachev learned about his complete isolation from the outside world. gorbachev study looks just like it was back then for this is his desk we were aboard and that telephone was meant for communicating with government officials to go up or up work for the lying was shut down or pm on aug eighteenth. gorbachev remained in his residence moreover measures to isolate him were reinforced still further valarie shah was the one who caught at the gate to the residence during two k.g.b. officers from moscow kept a close eye on him along with other local agents. special measures were taken when
a truck was stationed on the hello pad to prevent helicopters from touching down a tractor with a trailer outside the gates was meant to prevent a motor vehicles breaking through into the compound. reinforce security precautions were introduced throughout. to be yes general valentino but a nickel of it was one of the key figures in the coup attempt. on august eighteenth one thousand nine hundred one he visited gorbachev at his residence in the crimea which. asked to serve it president to recognize the legality of the two. to be we knew what we were going to do to you nice told him all that good a somehow befitting to state of emergency gorbachev retorted by exclaiming that a state of emergency was bonsa bring machine guns and blood in its wake at the core you can i realise that other people as well as my family would suffer no doubt
blood would be spilled suddenly in such a vast country as ouse this country takes time to get worked up when it does you can hardly stop it my belief is the country's modernization without blood. august nineteenth one thousand nine hundred ninety one must go hit eleven am a crowd armored personnel carriers heading for the city center demonstrators climb one of them chanting to fascism. hundreds of people gather on manish square in central moscow they are ready to oppose the so-called state committee on the state of emergency people who met each other back then drink to still keep in touch and remember those events. hello hello hello brothers and seen in a hundred years when my parents woke me up in the morning they told me that
a coup was underway i was actively involved in the us democratic movement so i said if no one i know was arrested right away this is no could all yes there were tanks but people were blocking them off what kind of coup is it if tanks can be stopped short in their tracks. or. a small radio set is one of the most treasured mementos from those days people used it to listen to the few independent stations that was still in. one report said the air force refused to side with the coup are courting. it's another a military garrison in st petersburg also refused to back it it was great to hear that people in many towns were supporting us. to get a minor radio station called echo of moscow was the main source of news in those days the k.g.b. shut it down in the first few hours of the two whether by fair means or foul it
stuff managed to regain access to the airwaves. at one point we even used telephone lines to reach out to our audience there was no link between the studio and the transmitter so our engineers used an analog telephone line by all accounts those words thirty billion times to. see this meanwhile the coup organizers called a press conference in moscow many took note of can now do you know it's trembling hands he named himself the country's head of state claiming that gorbachev would fall in ill. the press conference reached a turning point after a question from touchy on a male then twenty four year old journalist we may do you realize that what you have done today is a coup do you see parallels with your actions instead of it history nineteen seventeen or nineteen sixty four. as for your clear him
a coup took place during the night. i would disagree with you because all legal and constitutional norms work complied with so i bring it up and just say that they looked hesitant would be an understatement and they looked as if life was dying out of them and there was no way to tell if he left in their faces and she was the eyes they looked like people who had lost a battle before they had a chance to start it. this nineteen thousand nine hundred ninety one zero eight a spontaneous rally began in moscow. goes my nation ask where the crowd swelled as more and more people arrived the events in moscow are described as ansi constitutional there are calls for an open ended general strike. on this day on we are protesting until our demands are met.
no to fascism no to fascism there ought to have a right. angle of approach. on shaping the future flights. are on our team takes to the max air show. as you know song was sixteen years old when he committed these murders that's not to say that song so it should not be honest for his crimes sean is being punished no rational person can deny that sean has been punished is being punished and will be punished. the souers must be executed for the brutal crime committed this is a punishment this is not. a mention.
crimea on the same day mikhail gorbachev. has since become a famous address. to has taken place. and he constitutional action. is based on a tremendous law. that there was little chance of the tape being taken out of the compound on the same day coast guards protecting the residence attempted to establish contact with the president. there's another line of defense into was serving in one of the k.g.b.'s naval units i was not allowed to communicate with the president therefore i asked my wife to write a note in her own handwriting the note said that the sailors were ready to take the president to a place of his choice one of my subordinates took the note to the security guards
asking them to hand it over to gorbachev. when he came back they told him that nobody will be allowed to approach the residence and intruders will be shot. all the troops residence was secured from the sea even better than from the land. was one of the security guards there during those days nobody could approach the shore within less than four nautical miles without being spotted by the guards if they saw the intruder as a possible threat they were under orders to open fire. on the three groups on permanent duty scoured the woodlands. snipers were in position on the mountain. there was a soldier with a machine gun on top of the cliff near the. remains of it can still be seen as their. new day for all of us have a celebration. health resort for communist functionaries and
their families was near the residence of the soviet president august is high season that the resort was crammed with holiday makers to capacity. of the result was in charge of discos and other entertainment programs. on aug nineteenth i said to students and physicians look the country's president mikhail gorbachev is under arrest near here shall we cancel the dances you know she said biggest should not suffer let them dance this situation. with gorbachev doesn't concern us. august nineteenth one thousand nine hundred ninety one there it seems wednesday water cannons at sam to break through to the downtown area demonstrators damage some of them and force them to turn back.
meanwhile the cool denies this ordered the arrest of the president of russia boris yeltsin at the time he was at his residence near moscow the chief of his security guards alexander korsakoff was with him they drove a service car to moscow and reached the city unhindered. yeltsin was seated between two guards are you flatly turned down the idea of wearing a bulletproof vest so we simply put it over him just in case. that heavy vest weighing nine kilos was of the kind worn in the army but the driver was told to go as fast as he could without stopping no matter what. yeltsin managed to get to the white house where he reunited with his team later he climbed a tank to read out a message to a large crowd that had gathered outside the white house for claim all the decisions and orders by that committee illegal. by then white house defenders had set up
a makeshift barricade near the building in a bid to block the access of military vehicles. everybody was dragging whatever they could lay their hands on a trolley bus stop there the driver got out and lowered the trolleys the trolley bus was left standing across the road the barricade was here that's how we began blocking all approaches to the building. the crimea the city of sevastopol a soviet black sea fleet based fifty kilometers from summer residence throughout the coup first drank captain simeonoff waited for an order to rescue called the church of the with the defense ministry part of the coup the rescue plan was ignored you know with the what they'd like first the pockets of resistance were to be suppressed that will second the president was to be found and taken under our protection third the remaining pockets of resistance were to be eliminated and we
were to help evacuate the. president i see the boredom. the upshot of it was that naval commanders only sent a telegram to go bitch off urging him to hold on that telegram was received by lubov. an employee of the for us post office hundreds of telegrams addressed to go bunch of were arriving from all over the soviet union k.g.b. men immediately seized all such mail. the minute those three days oldest eighteenth nineteenth and twentieth were the most disturbing days in my life we had no idea whether we would be allowed to go home and be arrested things were simply left around the corps. was bracing for the worst case scenario people inside the white house expected an assault on the building with that possibility in mind they inspected all of the basement secret passages leading out into nearby courtyards. some of the regular reports coming in
here claimed that an assault on the building of the supreme soviet would begin in an hour's time but why would they need an assault or the building is like an aquarium all you need to do is just answer it and that's all there is still it you've got to really go. the assault order was in fact given to the k.g.b. so called alpha unit the men were already on high alert but for the first time in the unit's history they demanded an open debate and a vote on the order before launching operation but it's over. the commander asked everybody to voice their opinion on the operation and whether an assault was necessary at all. yes yes. most of the men with a service record of more than five years said no to the operation. the operation was cold off but casualties were still unavoidable in the early hours of august the
twenty first nine hundred ninety one the crews of several armored vehicles ordered to move to another location city white house defenders attempted to stop them because they thought the vehicles were heading towards the parliament building to attack it three young men died as a result. you both comber spent the night waiting for his son shortly before the oldest events he had served as a soldier in afghanistan he went to the white house after hearing an appeal from vice president alexander who called on people to go and defend democracy part of the whole slew effort when my son had to read scores it be you he went to the barricades because that's was a call from someone who served in afghanistan too. but a day before. i asked him if he was going to the barricades were going and he said no but he had his fill of fighting in afghanistan. he had no business monkeying around had barricades but in tuesday it was
a different story. that on wednesday i learned that he was no more. after that tragedy it became obvious the coup had failed tanks began leaving moscow and all of us the twenty first a car carrying russia's vice president would spoil over took one of the convoys he was rushing to the airport to bring mikhail gorbachev back to moscow it was a total mess both on land and dimia. with work were not pulled up and none of the ground controllers guided our flights not even jeering the landing regardless it was a trouble free flight when we touched down the airdrome superintendent drove up to the plane i introduced myself and said i needed a car and the boss to take us to gorbachev no problem. he said go right ahead. scores plane with gorbachev on board touched down in moscow on august twenty second one thousand nine hundred one the coup had failed but the says it president and in
effect returned to a different country should change during those three days in august i defended the southern union to the last will it that's what i did but failed. the finale of the standoff central moscow ammonium. to felix region skee the founder of soviet secret police standing in front of k.g.b. headquarters in lubyanka square is pulled down it was a symbol of the beginning of a new people. the bright future which the communists had been talking about for seventy years finally became a possibility we could build it with our own hands we were used to the fact that the state was on evidence that it could break and destroy anyone but this time nothing happened people had risen like a wall we said no white. at approximately the same time the prosecutor general's office launches an investigation into the role of the coup organizes the plotters tried to pass the blame on to crimean frontier guards. initially
the team of investigators of the prosecutor general's office displayed tolerance of that then they began dropping hints regarding us to repent and take the whole blame for gorbachev's isolation otherwise we would face charges of high treason and. as military men we became very better when we heard the word treason. or because however the frontier guards were later acquitted only those who gave the orders were arrested the driving forces of the coup led by going to unite a year later they were released from prison under an amnesty you know i have died in two thousand and ten this is an excerpt from one of his last interviews. of any misguided decisions were made during those three days in august one thousand nine hundred one. tanks should not have been brought in and demonstrated or should
not have been used for a few months where we might all that could have been done and a different way but the war. when people today are asked whether they want a revival of the soviet union only nine percent say yes there is no chance of the state being revived in the form of the soviet union. mikhail gorbachev has never returned to his summer residence since august one thousand nine hundred one now it's the property of the ukrainian state however top officials rarely vacation in. the former k.g.b. colonel tolstoy makes no secret of the fact that even now he has no right to talk about some aspects of what happened then. crimean residence still harbors many secrets relating to those three days in one thousand nine hundred one only when new information has been declassified live be able to shed light on earth goes all over
the figure for it to be frank this place is not considered to be a very lucky at all that we're that you were yeah. this is the officer on duty august twenty second one thousand nine hundred ninety one five am boris yeltsin declares that there reactionary coup has failed and thanks to defenders of the white house. pm for the first saw i'm the three colored flag is raised over the supreme council of russia. yeltsin held for. only five months or left before the collapse of the soviet union.
tensions rise in the middle east. following days of deadly. heat they say they believe the government is trying. to divert attention away to. join me in a few moments and i'll bring you more. but another turbulent week for the world. of mounting with the u.s. and europe from the brink of another devastating. plus we continue our coverage marking the twentieth anniversary of the attempted coup against mikhail gorbachev which changed the course of history for the soviet union. to get out of the international air show in a moscow with a final day of gravity defying stunt. deal making to go.