Lessons of bloody October

Lessons of bloody October
Olga Skopina (c) Rossa Primavera News Agency


The events in Washington, DC on Jan. 6, 2021 bear a degree of resemblance to the Russian constitutional crisis of 1993. Then-president Boris Yeltsin had his hands untied to use direct military force against Supreme Soviet (how the Russian parliament was called before December 25, 1993) as a result of a provocation.

The Supreme Soviet was on the road to impeaching Yeltsin, who had been presiding over the descent of ordinary Russians into poverty, while the new oligarchs were able to seize state assets and used them to become billionaires overnight. A crowd of about 100,000 supporters peacefully gathered in support of the parliament. However, on October 3, a group of provocateurs managed to lead part of the protesters to a completely unnecessary and useless storming of the Ostankino television center, which led to a bloody clash between the protesters and the police and security forces. On the following day, Yeltsin reacted to this “act of sedition and attempted insurrection” with a military assault on the Supreme Soviet, with tanks firing multiple 125mm shells at the parliament building.

As a result, the opposition to Yeltsin was discredited. The Russian parliament in its existing form was abolished, and a new Constitution was enstated, concentrating unprecedented power in Yeltsin’s hands. More importantly, it was a crippling mass psychological blow to the pro-Soviet popular opposition to Yeltsin, which required years and decades to recover from. 

In this light, we present Sergey Kurginyan’s 1994 analysis of this crisis, which was published in English under the title “Lessons of Bloody October”. These lessons have now become relevant far outside of Moscow.


Lessons of bloody October.

October 3-4, 1993 in Moscow, in Russia and in the World. Analysis and prognosis

Author: Sergey Kurginyan

Editor of English version: Prof. Vladlen Sirotkin

Experimental Creative Centre International Public Foundation

Source (for download): Kurguinjan Lessons of bloody October 1994.pdf