Between Freedom and Energy
Edited By Galina Michaleva and Andrey Ryabov
Dmitrij Furman - 2008. New Alternatives in Russian History - 135
Dmitrij Furman 2008. New Alternatives in Russian History In the history of a country, as well as in a biography of an individual, long periods when there are little or no chances to change the key parameters of existence take turns with shorter periods when random combinations of circumstances and a free choice of people can deﬁne these parameters for many years ahead. In the history of Russia, the period of “reorganisation” was one of these periods, when much depended on personal and casual factors. The year of 1991 was prob- ably the richest in alternatives: it was the year when Yeltsin was elected president of Russia, the year of the failed putsch of the GKCHP, and the year in which both the allied and Belovezhsky agreements were signed. Certainly, even during such critical epochs, the range of pos- sible parameters for the future life of a country is not boundless. I think that in 1991 Russia had no chance of returning to “Soviet power” and socialism and little chance to choose a way that could have led quickly to the construction of a consolidated democracy with a rota- tion of different political elites and parties, as happened in the Baltic and Central European countries. But the range of possibilities was all the same enormous – from the preservation of the Union in another form for 10 or more years, to a bloody war between republics as in Yugoslavia, and, for Russia alone, from almost a democracy with a dominating...
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