The world’s biggest country, in a magazine. Since 1956.
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
It's been over two decades since the coup of August 1991, and only half of Russians remember it. But that's not all...
According to a poll by Levada Center, only 50% of Russians remember the events of August 1991. 48% said they did not know about them, or did not remember, and 2% answered questions about the events incorrectly.
The majority of those who remembered, 35%, considered the coup to have been a battle for power in the higher echelons of power; 30% considered it a tragic event with mortal consequences for the country and its people, and just 8% considered it a victory for democracy that led to the end of the Communist Party. 27% could not answer the question to evaluate the evetns.
50% of respondents had difficulting evaluating the actions of the GKChP – the emergency committee which headed up the coup. 39% rated them negatively or very negatively; 3% rated the positively; 23% said it had no effect upon their lives. 19% said lif would have been worse if the coup had succeeded, 16% said it would have been better. 43% could not answer.
Yet 40% of Russians agreed that the country set out in a wrong direction beginning in August 1991 (down from 47% in 2015). 33% disagreed.
If a similar event occured today (an attempt to return to Soviet style rule), 16% of Russians said they would come out into the streets to defend Russian democracy; 44% said they would not; 41% said they could not say.
Twenty-five years later, we take a look back at the August 19 coup attempt in Russia. Led by the Gang of Eight, men who owed their political careers to Mikhail Gorbachev, the coup plotters were attempting to restore dictatorship in the ailing Soviet Union.