A period of decay: the last Dec Union. 26 Dec 1991

A period of decay: the last Dec Union. 26 Dec 1991


The last Declaration

By 26 December 1991, the Soviet Union, in fact, existed only on paper. President Mikhail Gorbachev resigned and handed control of the “nuclear button” to Russian leader Boris Yeltsin. Part of the new Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) includes 11 of the 15 former Soviet republics except Georgia and the Baltic countries. The Soviet Union de facto ceased to exist, the decision had to register it legally.

The latest ruling in the history of the Soviet Parliament had to take in a truncated composition: of the two chambers of the quorum is preserved only at the top — the Council of republics under the chairmanship Anuarbek Alimzhanov.

The last meeting of the Council of Republics of the Supreme Soviet, which adopted a Declaration on the dissolution of the Soviet Union Photo: Kuzmin Valentyn/Fotokhronika TASS

“Dear people’s deputies! As you can see, today the flag of the Soviet Union over the Kremlin launched. And last night you were all witnesses of how the President is the first President of this great country — resigned.

Don’t know how was held the first session of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR and what was the condition of the people, but it seems to me, then talked about great things: world revolution, social equality, socialism, the dream of going to communism. There’s probably been said a lot of good, kind, wonderful words about the future of this vast country.

However, it so happened that today I was a participant of the last meeting of the last session. And what was dreamed, what was discussed at the first session, frankly, not true. Apparently, it said that, building socialism, we are walking through a whole historical epoch. Alas, it turned out that in history to transcend the era it is impossible.” From the transcript of the speech Anuarbek Alimzhanov at the last session of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR.

The Council of the republics to this point remained to work only five delegations. However, at the last meeting was attended by representatives of the republics, which ceased to participate in the work of the Federal Parliament, including Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

Chairman of the Board Anuarbek Alimzhanov during a speech at the meeting, which adopted a Declaration on the dissolution of the USSR

Photo: Kuzmin Valentyn/Fotokhronika TASS

The Chairman suggested to consider what the quorum is, and then there was the voting and Declaration № 142-N, entitled “In connection with the establishment of the Commonwealth of Independent States” was adopted.

“Based on the will expressed by the highest state bodies of the Azerbaijan Republic, Republic Armenia, Republic of Belarus, Republic of Kazakhstan, Republic of Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Moldova, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Republic of Uzbekistan and Ukraine on the establishment of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Council of republics of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR considers that the establishment of the Commonwealth of Independent States the USSR as a state and subject of international law ceases to exist” (preamble of the Declaration).

In the text there were several errors — the agreement on creation of the CIS was ratified in Russia, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.

However, to influence the legitimacy of the adopted document it is not, could the Federal Parliament just needed to accept the document, to formally terminate its existence.

Interestingly, this Declaration was not the last in the history of the Supreme Council. A little later, the deputies adopted the decision to release from their positions of judges of the Supreme court and the Supreme arbitration court of the USSR, as well as members of the Board of the Federal Prosecutor’s office. Their posts were abolished from January 2, 1992, and employees relied severance pay in the amount of three months salary. The story of the last remaining authority in the USSR was discontinued.

An article in the newspaper “Izvestiya” dated December 26, 1991

Gorbachev’s meeting with the journalists

Already in the status of a retired politician, Mikhail Gorbachev met with reporters. The meeting was held in the hotel “Oktyabrskaya” and lasted two hours. The former Soviet President spoke on the same themes that the last month: responsibility of politicians, on the need to continue reforms and that the Union needed to be saved.

“I was against it and now against it, to go with the scissors on the map of our country, in this huge community. To reallocate the powers, authorities, rights, Yes, but not to disperse. And from the point of view of specific tasks, tactical tasks in the field of Economics, social policy, Finance, believed that the Federal government with efficient mechanisms more necessary and justified than something strange. But the duty of every patriot is to help what has become a real process. Let it be the steps to agreement. It is necessary to choose, thinking about people, about life — real, today.” Mikhail Gorbachev at the meeting with journalists on 26 December 1991.

Most of the world politicians carried out Gorbachev’s warm words, saying that he managed to change the course of history, and his achievements at the head of the Soviet Union was revolutionary.

  • “I welcome it as the most remarkable man in the history of this century who have achieved the emergence of democracy in the country, the end of cold war and disarmament”. François Mitterrand, President of France.
  • “This is a great man. He brought freedom to Eastern Europe. He first gave it to the peoples of the Soviet Union. A real personal and political freedom. This is a huge accomplishment. And he achieved this without firing a single shot.” Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister of great Britain.
  • “For nearly seven years that he stood at the head of state, Gorbachev has revolutionized the at home and renewed foreign policy of the USSR. He led the country from seventy years of paralysis and oppression. The German people will never forget the contributions of Mikhail Gorbachev to the unification of Germany”. Helmut Kohl, Chancellor of Germany.
  • “Very few people can change the course of history. But that’s what Gorbachev did. No matter what happens, he secured a place in history. Today, the former Soviet Union is a country which is on the path to democracy. He left the post of President, making the world safer, being able to reduce the nuclear threat.” John major, Prime Minister of great Britain.
  • “Without the changes in the Soviet Union, sponsored by Gorbachev, it was impossible to expect such fundamental changes in the policy of this state… It was in response to these changes, NATO has been able to extend a hand of friendship to countries of Central and Eastern Europe”. Manfred wörner, the NATO Secretary General.

After the resignation of Mikhail Gorbachev, former President of the Soviet Union, met with Soviet and foreign journalists

Photo: Yury Lizunov/Fotokhronika TASS

The foreign press

  • “The resignation of Gorbachev — a date with the inevitable. A lot of things happen because of the tragic shortcomings of Gorbachev: his weak ability to understand people, his indecisiveness and softness, which questioned his integrity. But two things he firmly stood his ground. He refused to use force to preserve the Soviet Union, and he saw the Soviet Union as a unified state. In the end he admitted that it was incompatible”. (The Times)
  • “Yesterday, despite two days of negotiations, widened the chasm between Russia and Ukraine over control of nuclear weapons and joint military policy for the CIS countries. The level of distrust between Ukraine and its neighbor was demonstrated by the movement of Russia the biggest and the most aircraft carrier of the Ukrainian waters on a special dock in Murmansk. It was the first case when Russia tried to establish control over Soviet military assets abroad, and this was a direct challenge to the Ukrainian decree, assuming Supreme command of the armed forces and equipment on its territory.” (The Times)

Other news of the day

  • The Parliament of Tajikistan ratified the agreement on creation of the CIS.
  • The Supreme Council of Tatarstan adopted the Declaration on the entry into the CIS on the rights of one of the founders.
  • The Director of the Federal Central intelligence service (TSSR) Yevgeny Primakov headed the Russian intelligence service.
  • Vice-mayor of Moscow Yuri Luzhkov following the meeting, Yeltsin said that the reason for the resignation of mayor Gavriil Popov is no more, because the Russian leadership is ready to consider the law on the special status of Moscow.
  • The head of LDPR Vladimir Zhirinovsky in the air of the Belarusian television said the need to eliminate Belarus and turn it into one of the Russian provinces. After that was held in Minsk unauthorized rally, which was fighting supporters and opponents of the policy.

Chronicle December 1991

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