November 01, 2011

End of the USSR

December 3, 1991, President Gorbachev addresses lawmakers of the Soviet republics:

By December 3, 1991, Gorbachev's appeal was a voice in the wilderness. The president, who not long ago had enjoyed tremendous popularity, now had hardly any supporters at all. After the August coup, the country over which he presided essentially ceased to exist. The republics that had constituted the Soviet Union were racing toward independence. The Union Treaty, which was drafted during the spring and summer of 1991 and was designed to give the republics greater rights while still preserving the Union and Gorbachev's power, was still, in theory, under discussion, but in reality, no politician (with the exception of Gorbachev and his inner circle) saw the point any longer. As for ordinary people, they had more pressing matters on their minds than the fate of the USSR. The population of the crumbling Soviet Union was putting all its energy into simply surviving. People were standing for hours in lines to use ration-card-like coupons to obtain meager food allocations and trying to come up with some means of buying clothing and other necessities with the ridiculous pieces of paper they were given as salaries.

December 3, 1991 – Izvestia

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