Talk:1993 Russian constitutional crisis

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New article[edit]

I wrote this article on my MS Word browser. When I logged on Wikipedia earlier today, the server was down. Eager to post the new article, I completed it on a Wiki clone throughout the day [1]. Now that Wiki's online, there's still more work to be done; I'll be completing the notes, linking this to other articles, and adding some pics over the next couple of days. 172 05:32, 20 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Featured Article candidacy comments (successfuly promoted)[edit]

Russian constitutional crisis of 1993[edit]

(Contested -- July 6)

Self-nomination. Wikipeida's articles on post-Soviet Russia are dreadfully underdeveloped. Perhaps this is the one article in this area that's complete enough to go through the featuring process. I hope that a feature will act as an impetus encouraging some much-needed substantial work on recent Russian history and politics. 172 09:22, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Images need source information at the very least. Morwen - Talk 09:40, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Oppose. NPOV. Please be careful with using phrases such as "this brutal episode" over and over again. Let the readers form their own impression. While I do not necessarily disagree with any of the views expressed, I believe that the text as it stands is far too tendentious to be featured. Please put in greater analysis of Yeltsin's motivation, instead of setting him up as the straw man for your own theses. It is not for Wikipedia to state that Russia is or is not a democracy, whatever that overflogged word may mean. The trick of hiding potentially difficult points in the footnotes is old and, excuse me, cheap. WITHDRAWN -- see below. 17:25, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC), i.e. A. Shetsen 17:38, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC)

So the references and notations make the article less credible? Come on. There are no "difficult points" hidden in the footnote that belong in the main body of the text. Yes, it's called a brutal episode in a passing remark, but the sparing use of emotive references in this article is evident when compared to, say, the article on the Tiananmen Square crisis. 172 16:38, 7 Jul 2004 (UTC)
No, the existence of the footnotes is not the problem. The problem is the basic assumption in the article that the (brutal) episode "proves" anything. Since I've begun to review, it would be entirely inappropriate for me to make changes -- but I would suggest the following points be considered:
The basic fight was over whether Russia was to be a presidential system or a parliamentary system. It was not proven, but rather made the outcome, that Russia is to be a presidential system.
Yes, while tremendous power was effectively concentrated in the hands of the president, in theory Russia is not a presidential system but rather a dual executive system along the lines of the French Fifth Republic. The constitution calls the president head of state but not head of government. Although the president's nominee for prime minister (the head of government) must be confirmed by parliament, the president can appoint and remove deputy prime ministers and other ministers without needing parliamentary consent. These decisions are, nonetheless, to be made upon the proposal of the prime minister. On this point the president's power is the same as that of the French president, and the language of the relevant provisions of the two constitutions the same. As in France, therefore, the Russian constitution seems to allow a good deal of room for variation in the possible relationship between a president and a prime minister. The key difference is that the power-sharing arrangement does not really work in Russia, with its weak party system. Although the sentences that you're calling into question can e clarified, they are statements of the discrepancies in real and nominal presidential powers. 172 00:23, 9 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Consequences of the crisis included the present constitution, the present system of economy, and -- quite important -- the contiued weakness of political parties in Russia.
The first of the three can be addressed in detail in this article, and it is toward the end of the entry. The second and third points are better addressed in history of post-Soviet Russia and politics of Russia, as they are.
Prvatization was allowed to come in the fashion then favoured by the USA (which strongly supported Yeltsin's actions at the time). 172 00:23, 9 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Again, this is addressed in history of post-Soviet Russia, and politics of Russia. 172 00:23, 9 Jul 2004 (UTC)
The other comment I have is about the general style of the article. It reads like telejournalism, with Yeltsin being the villain of the hour. Not for something ten years old, surely. No generalizations of it can yet be proven, but may I suggest restructuring the article on the following top-level sections:
background (political, economic, external pressures)
events (internal: event/reaction, external reaction)
consequences (political, economic, external relations)

And please, please, don't make villains of anyone.

The content on the background and consequences is there; you seem to be ignoring everything but the middle part of the article on the shelling of the White House. The first section clearly establishes this as a two-way power struggle, so you can't say that someone is being picked out to be "made a villain" in the article. 172 00:41, 9 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I should say that the text is quite as exciting as not-bad telejournalism -- that's a plus -- but I still have doubts on its impartiality. A. Shetsen 16:40, 8 Jul 2004 (UTC)

"Telejournalism" is now a term of derision? I usually get attacked for not following "news style" (by User:Maveric149, a strong advocate of news style, in particular). But now I'm getting attacked for following news style? At any rate, go look through the other English-language overviews of the crisis online, and you won't find anything better: you'll only find worse examples of "telejournalism." Just about everything else online is going to be a hell of a lot more slanted than this article-- the only difference is that it's slanted against the parliament, painting it as a another hardline communist coup attempt (like 8/91), not the mutual power struggle that it really was. I make no apologies for not bothering to spew the Yeltsin propaganda line as matter-of-fact. 172 00:23, 9 Jul 2004 (UTC)
"Now I'm attacked" - this is about the article, not about you personally. That's an important distinction to keep in mind, particularly on FAC - David Gerard 09:19, 9 Jul 2004 (UTC)
With all due respect, you make it sound worse by cherry-picking this line out of the context of the more complicated point that I'm trying to make. I'm not taking the criticism personally, as you strike me as suggesting. But I was suggesting that critiques of the styles of articles might be based on personal stylistic preferences.
Fair enough. Sorry.
For example, one user criticized Origins of the American Civil War for not following news style. But on this article the text is being criticized for following news style. Some users simply prefer news style; others do not. When it comes to articles like these, there is probably no way to please everyone. 172 10:18, 9 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Welcome to FAC, here's your accordion ;-) - David Gerard 11:49, 9 Jul 2004 (UTC)
  • Support - Great lead section and summary of events! There are some NPOV issues but I don't think they are bad enough to block featured status. Oh and 172 - I support summary style, not news style and I've never attacked you. Summary style, BTW, allows the reader to have a choice between different sized summaries; short vs long. People who want the short summary will read the survey article whose sections ideally all contain a short summary and a 'Main article' link. People who want a complete article on the topic that the survey section covers can go directly to the article on that topic. And so on and so on until a topic is very thoroughly covered without overwhelming users with too much detail up front. That way both user types are served. --mav 08:59, 10 Jul 2004 (UTC)
It's great that the article's getting support from the user who taught me news sytle summary style, which is definitely the best way to approach recent history on WP, I'm finding. BTW, I meant that you criticized the article because of stylistic concerns, but I might not have been clear. 172 12:46, 10 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Until (1) all mentions of "illegality" are put into neutral language (not "something is illegal", but "something contravened article xxx of yyy", (CHECK!) (2) all mentions of "brutality", etc are eliminated (and replaced with figures, presented in neutral language, "XXX wre killed"), (CHECK!) (3) the legal aspects of both the parliament's position as well as the presidents's are dealt with in the same way ("supported by xxx, opposed by yyy", where xxx and yyy are (a) laws, (b) internal entities, (c) external entities, (CHECK!) (4) longer-term consequences are analysed, as close as possible to the present day (or, if not analysed, fully linked to), my objection remains. WITHDRAWN - see below. A. Shetsen 19:54, 10 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I fail to see where the article makes emotive references to the street fighting (BTW, the word "brutal" no longer appears in the article). Once again, the article's prose is quite plain spoken in this regard next to that of Tiananmen Square crisis of 1989. And it already explicitly states a couple of times that 187 had died in the conflict and 437 had been wounded, according to Russian police figures released on 10/8/93. Longer-term consequences are also already analyzed. There is an overview of how the government is structured under the constitution passed in 1993 and the strong presidential system toward the end. The crisis certainly laid the groundwork for Yeltsin's privatization scheme in the mid-1990s and the further weakening of parties, but this broader view is more appropriate for the articles on post-Soviet Russian history and politics, to which this article is linked. 172 04:38, 12 Jul 2004 (UTC)
To achieve NPOV, you must not say that "A proves B" or "A serves to prove B": political history is not mathematics. Everywhere you are tempted to say it, QUOTE somebody saying it. Not that it will necessary make the article balanced (I note others have chimed in), but it would be enough. Since history did not end in 1993, Fukuyama notwithstanding, you'd better put in a little about what the longer term effects were. If you think well, two sentences should suffice. Too bad such conclusions can't be written news-style. Do that and I'll swallow the objection if not all of my reservations.A. Shetsen 04:58, 13 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I couldn't agree with you more. (As a historian, BTW, I have tried to argue countless times myself that 'A does not prove B' in history to often deaf on Wikipedia-- and I'm sure that Mav, among others can attest to this. And no one has ever insinuated that I buy into Fukuyama's thesis.) Moving on from this digression, there were indeed a couple of sentences suggesting that the crisis was emblematic of executive-legislative balance in what observers like Guillermo O'Donnell call "delegative democracies." They were indeed hastily and poorly worded and misleading (keep in mind that I was trying to make this understandable and accessible to the broadest audience possible), but they were already revised/removed thanks to your observations. I also agree that two sentences written in news style do not suffice when it comes to analysis of the longer term effects. That's why the article goes into the longer term consequences in far greater detail than you suggest and links to several articles that can offer this broader view (economy, history, politics of post-Soviet Russia). 172 05:26, 13 Jul 2004 (UTC)
OK. Fair enough. OBJECTION WITHDRAWN. A. Shetsen 05:44, 13 Jul 2004 (UTC)
  • Object. Some nitpicks: 1) The "Yeltsin's suspension of parliament" and "Origins of the crisis" section need one or two more subsections to break up the lengthy text. 2) "After ten days, Yeltsin fell back on his support in the army seized the White House by force." — currently doesn't quite make sense; not sure what the intended meaning is otherwise I'd correct it myself. 3) There are a batch of one or two-sentence paragraphs in "The shelling of the Russian White House"; could these be merged into larger paragraphs? Comment: After a naive reading of this article, I get the impression there's an anti-Yeltsin POV, but since I know nothing about Russian history or politics I won't sustain an objection over it. — Matt 01:51, 13 Jul 2004 (UTC)
    • Thanks for the observations. I took a look and was able to make some changes. 172 04:00, 13 Jul 2004 (UTC)
      • Thanks — the subsections make it quite a bit more accessible. — Matt 02:04, 14 Jul 2004 (UTC)
  • Oppose. 1. There is no "References section." I noticed at least one external link in the middl of the article; this, in my opinion, should not appear in the middle, but rarther at the end. 2. Sections should not have just a single subsection. The subsection "December 12, 1993 Duma elections" should be merged with "Yeltsin's consolidation of power." Perhaps all sub-subsections of "The intensifying executive-legislative power struggle" can be merged as well, but this is not required. -- Emsworth 15:27, Jul 15, 2004 (UTC)
    Good observations. [2] The notes (renamed notes and references), though, is a references section. IMHO, this is better than just listing the references, as it allows a reader to look up the sources point by point, making it much easier to verify. The external link in the middle of the article was integrated into the notes. 172 17:42, 15 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Protected, presumably on m:the wrong version as per policy. Image sources and status shouldn't be that hard to sort out. Please sort it out before either of you unprotect - David Gerard 00:35, 23 Jul 2004 (UTC)

There is no edit war. See . I was just the last one to find out what's going on, that's all. 172 00:48, 23 Jul 2004 (UTC)

"the country's highest legislative body, form which the Supreme Soviet members were drawn"?

Opps. It should've been "from," of course. Thanks. 172 05:20, 23 Jul 2004 (UTC)

The chairman of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions, formerly dominated by trade unions, was also sacked, and the president took the opportunity to deprive trade unions of many of their administrative functions so as to whittle away their direct working ties to their rank-and-file membership.

a bit repetitive maybe? Thepedestrian 19:14, Jul 23, 2004 (UTC)

Lots of copyedits[edit]

Sorry I didn't catch this one as it was going through FAC... a number of sentences needed rework. And some npov tweaks -- a handful of epithets removed where inappropriate, certain duplicated phrases removed. +sj+ 04:01, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)

A question to 172:

I tried to add the following sentence: "It was widely reported that those fighters came from paramilitary units of Neo-Nazi Russian National Unity party"

near the end of section "Mass protests in Moscow"

The addition was prompty removed.. Why?

Did you find it irrelevant? Incorrect? POVish?

Sources for Russian public opinion polls[edit]

The polling data is from pollster's website [3], except for 1993 poll about responsible parties which is from [4]. Andris 12:43, Jul 26, 2004 (UTC)

Yes, VTsIOM is often used and comes up twice as much on google (5,000 hits vs. 2,300 for VCIOM). Their own site spells them as VCIOM, though. I have no preference which of those should be in the text. Minor note: 2003 poll was actually conducted by VCIOM-A which broke away from VCIOM a few months earlier after government-forced management change at VCIOM.

I agree this needs context. I have some of it but there are some Russian language sources that I would still like to look up before writing. Andris 07:34, Jul 27, 2004 (UTC)

Good observation. I wasn't aware of the VTsIOM breakup. Perhaps we should write an article on VTsIOM for context. I don't know whether or not it should be VTsIOM or VCIOM, though, given the Russian language conventions on Wikipedia. I bet User:A. Shetsen will know. I'll go ahead and ask him. 172 07:49, 27 Jul 2004 (UTC)
    • Thanks a lot, 172! So, here's my take on it. Sorry if I'm duplicating known information... R Всероссийский Центр Изучения Общественного Мнения (ВЦИОМ) /vs'eross'ijsk'ij tsentr izutS'enija obS'estv'enn@v@ mn'en'ja/ lit. "All-Russian Centre for the Study of Public Opinion". The letter in question is Ц /ts/. Wiki-SAMPA and the Google test, therefore, call for VTsIOM. However: the C transliteration is quite common in Russia today for the Ц, especially in several computer-latinizations of Cyrillic (which are used if nothing but a Latin keyboard is available). C=Ц is traditional: the Russian reading of the letters of the alphabet used to write Latin has been /a/, /bE/, /tsE/, etc., since at least the eighteenth century, and was given further support by C's former use in German: 18th c. accent > 20th c. akzent /aktsEnt/ "accent". Self naming and a known historical tradition therefore support VCIOM. My conclusion? almost a coin toss, but... Go with VCIOM or VTsIOM (Rus ВЦИОМ) for the first reference, VCIOM for all the ones following and for the title. I can very easily see someone coming across that entity for the first time in Wikipedia surfing over to V..IOM's web site if they are really interested. A. Shetsen 18:03, 27 Jul 2004 (UTC)
      • Wow! Thanks for all the help! I'll get ready to write the article. 172 01:24, 28 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I wasn't ready to start a VTsIOM article, but I started a sandbox at User:172/VTsIOM sandbox. I don't know Russian, so help will be much appreciated. 172 10:03, 28 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Good work! I corrected a few small details. Andris 15:19, Jul 28, 2004 (UTC)

Sources for future[edit]

Some sources for myself/other Russian speakers:

  • Oktyabrskoye vosstanie - in Russian, pro-parliament, memoirs of Khasbullatov and others (14 books/chapters total), includes some information from the other side (like chapters from Yeltsin's book marked by "CAUTION: LIES" disclaimer).
  • October coup - in Russian, very detailed timeline plus pro-parliament articles. Originally published as "Vek XXI i mir" ("21 century and the world") magazine special issue in 1994.

Andris 14:51, Aug 2, 2004 (UTC)

Question as to why we are calling the Former Soviet Parliment "elected".[edit]

It was a one party vote, these folks were no way in hell "elected". Id like to see this changed but Im not going to do anything if somebody has a good reason for it. Sexington7-Aug 19, 2006.

We proceed to the Congress of Soviets article and read: "The fundamental difference from previous elections in Soviet Union was that elections were actually competitive. Instead of one Communist Party-approved candidate for each seat, multiple candidates were allowed. A variety of different political positions, from Communist to pro-Western, were represented in the Congress, and lively debates took place with different viewpoints expressed."
The RSFSR Congress we are actually talking about here was elected in a similar fashion in 1990. The great "democratic reformer" Yeltsin, a hardcore liberal fanatic who ruined the country was the RSFSR Congress chairman himself in 1990-91, so the whole thing must have been pretty democratic too, eh? It helps to check history before sticking black-and-white labels to things. The crazy, chaotic fight for power that was happening during that time (and during any time anywhere, actually) is much more complicated than the mainstream favorite binary "democratic elections"-"opressive KGB dictatorship" one-size-fits-all explanation. Guinness man 22:11, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Reasons of popular unrest[edit]

"The demonstrators were protesting against the new and terrible living conditions under Yeltsin." To the best of my knowledge, the demonstrators in question were protesting against the dissolution of the parliament and a broadening of presidential power. If thete are no citations no prove this, then it is an opinion, and certainly not a neutral one. If I do not get a convincing answer to this, I am going to edit the section accordingly.


The article takes a decided pro-Yeltsin view, doesn't adequately present opposing points of view, and gives little in the way of other groups positions except Yeltsin and the Parliment.

To me, on the other hand, it reads like an anti-Yeltsin rant. (talk) 11:40, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
I agree. Doesn't seem very balanced or objective to me. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:53, 7 March 2008 (UTC)


How did this article get FA status, let alone time on a main page, when it has so few sources? --DMCer 00:29, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

Possibly because it has been promoted in 2004, when the criteria were much lower? Errabee 10:08, 17 April 2007 (UTC)


Article has major neutrality issues. A lot of unattributed commentary on the events, lack of citations, etc. Maybe would be better to start from scratch or to revert to an older version that was better. But we all know that it's not how Wikipedia works.--Sir Anon (talk) 12:09, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Since no specifics are provided about "major neutrality issues", "unattributed commentary", or "lack of citations", I suggest that the neutrality message box be removed. (talk) 03:52, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
I don't think specifics is needed, the article is full of emotionally loaded negativity. I did a minor change where I removed one place where it said "illegal" and changed the loaded word "neoliberal reforms" to "economic" reforms, as examples of what could be done do make this article a bit more neutral. --OpenFuture (talk) 13:46, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
I fixed some more things. It's still not particularrily neutral, though, and the article for example completely fails to mention that the congress consisted to 86% of old soviet communists, memmbers of the dictatorial and antidemokratic russian communist party, that was the only allowed party in the 1990 elections. This *is* rather relevant and should me mentioned somewhere, --OpenFuture (talk) 06:49, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
OK, I think I've cleaned up most of the emotionally laden POV wordings now. Next step is to actually find references and fact check the whole thing. If somebody has some good references that would be handy. If not, I can't do much, and the article will have to stay in it's current, bad, condition. --OpenFuture (talk) 10:06, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

fUSSR conflict box[edit]

I removed it from the article, makes it sound like it was a civil war or something, when in reality it affected one building in Moscow...--Kuban Cossack (По-балакаем?) 16:08, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

New Beginning[edit]

The article looks dreadful. I have rewritten the beginning to get rid of all emotional nonsense "first blood shed", "red-brown coalition", etc. and excessive capitalisation. Please, keep only the most necessary information in the beginning. All details should go the main body of the article. DR2006kl (talk) 13:51, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

The article is not dreadful. Improvements are always welcome, of course. --Miacek and his crime-fighting dogM. se fâche(woof!) 14:07, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
"On Sunday, October 3, demonstrators broke through police cordons and urged by Rutskoy and Khasbulatov, started storming objects in Moscow. The army had initially declared its neutrality. But in early morning hours of October 4, troops loyal to the president stormed the Supreme Soviet building and captured the leaders of the armed resistance." is dreadfully POV. "armed resistance" is too revolutionary; "urged" is too emotional... Then I am not sure why it is necessary to mention the storm of Ostankino in the introduction at all. The beginning and the end are NPOV-historic facts. Ostankino may be the turning point but only in POV pro-Eltsin interpretation: "the bad guyz started shooting first, so we retaliated". DR2006kl (talk) 13:30, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
I regard mentioning the October 3 riots as essential. Otherwise, a reader wouldn't understand, why was it necessary to shoot the white house. --Miacek and his crime-fighting dogM. se fâche(woof!) 16:07, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
And why was it necessary to storm Ostankino? Where do we stop? Emphasizing one of the events in the chain is POV: someone else may want to emphasize the switching off hot water and electricity at the parliament building. The beginning and the end are indisputable facts: I dont think you can pick a single undisputed event in the middle of the chain to include in the introduction. BTW, does anyone claim that Eltsin decided to storm the parliament after the Ostankino? It seems to contradict what I can read in the only reference. DR2006kl (talk) 12:33, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
“Emphasizing one of the events in the chain is POV” - which POV am I pushing then? Communist, nationalist, pro-Yeltsin?
“ someone else may want to emphasize the switching off hot water and electricity at the parliament building″ - switching electricity on and off is not as essential as the start of the armed rebellion, wouldn't you agree? So, why highlight the 3 October then? In my opinion, for obvious reasons. Whereas there had been both support and opposition to Yeltsin' activities up to this point, the public opinion changed in favour of Yeltsin, once his opponents started storming buildings in Moscow. E.g. both Yavlinsky and Gorbachev, previously critical of Yeltsin's handling of the crisis, expressed support for Yeltsin via Russian television, let alone Gaidar and other Yeltsin loyalists. Whether there was indeed provocation involved, is a matter of dispute. Storming the mayor's office and Ostankino did offer some pretext for getting the army involved, on the other hand, after those events, Yeltsin's team didn't have much choice either, but to suppress the Rutskoys and Makashov's activities by using armed forces. Miacek and his crime-fighting dogM. se fâche(woof!) 13:52, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
Pro-Eltsin, off course. Switching off electricity and cordoning off the parliament building is, by any means, extra-ordinary events in a democratic state. You create an impression that the sides followed normal political discourse when suddenly the parliament leaders got mad and stormed a television station. If you are not prepared to describe the full sequence of escalating events in the introduction, please leave only undisputed events in the introduction. DR2006kl (talk) 14:29, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
I recently read an interesting article on the subject, written by a Yabloko politician. I've cited the article in our text and suggest you take a look, too, in case you speak Russian. If you do not read Russian, don't worry, I'll summarise it tomorrow for you. Did you know that the talks held under aegis of the Russian patriarch initially led to agreement on lifting the blockade and at the same time disarming the Supreme Soviet supporters & the building. As there was electricity switched on again and the blockade practically lifted by October 2, the Supreme Soviet leadership could publicly denounce the very protocol their emissaries had signed, and demand bluntly annulling Yeltsin' degree 1400. --Miacek and his crime-fighting dogM. se fâche(woof!) 14:44, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
I have just read it but is not a NPOV-source. And it is irrelevant to the discussion of whether the storm of Ostankino needs mentioning in the introduction DR2006kl (talk) 14:57, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
Miacek, you have no desire to discuss it here and keep reverting my edits. I repeat the introduction should be short and only include indisputably essential stages in the development. Your edition presents the events as the parliament is suddenly snapped and stormed Ostankino. If you insist, we can add the storm of Ostankino but then we should mention that Ostankino was controlled by Eltsin and the leaders of the parliament have no access to television. I think all of this is too irrelevant for the introduction DR2006kl (talk) 09:44, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Dates of the crisis[edit]

The only reference [5] sates the dates as 21 сентября - 4 октября 1993 г. but the page used to state 5/10/1993 as the end. Why? The white house was stormed on 4/10. Were there any significant developments on 5/10? DR2006kl (talk) 13:45, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

I didn't add it, yes, it needs checking. --Miacek and his crime-fighting dogM. se fâche(woof!) 16:07, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

Intensifying executive-legislative power struggle[edit]

The section starts with "As part of Russian economic reform...", followed by anti-Eltsin's rant. 92 was a tough year, indeed, but 93 was much better than 92 or 91 or 90 or 89. It sounds like blaming a surgeon for the cancer. The reference to economic reform goes to economy of Russia for no particular reason. If other people around think that the economy is crucial to the crisis, I suggest someone should write a proper balanced section on it. Otherwise, we should just say that there was a significant political opposition to the economic policies without all this nonsense such as "prices skyrocketed" and "protracted recession" DR2006kl (talk) 12:55, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

“As part of Russian economic reform during the 1990s, Yeltsin's program took effect on 2 January 1992.[2] Soon afterward prices skyrocketed, government spending was slashed, and heavy new taxes went into effect.″ this is factually correct and I see no neutrality issues here. This sentence adds some background: inflation skyrocketed indeed (over 1000% in 1992), as the state control of prices was lifted (within the framework of transition from socialism to capitalism). --Miacek and his crime-fighting dogM. se fâche(woof!) 14:00, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
The first sentence is factually correct but it creates a false impression that everything was fine in 1991 and then Eltsin came and screwed it up. "Prices sky-rocketed" is a half-truth: you could not buy anything at the official "prices" in 1991. How do you compare 2rb/kg 1991 sausage which you cannot buy with 200rb/kg 1992 sausage that you can buy? In particular, the third sentence "A deep credit crunch shut down many industries and brought about a protracted depression" is POV. The depression started in 1988, in my view DR2006kl (talk) 14:39, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
Yes, adding information on the state of planned economy during the Perestroika (in Russia, also known as Katastroika) era would be useful. Regardless of that, the transition was a very painful one and, obviously, millions of people rapidly lost whatever benefits the socialist economy had to offer, falling to misery, which of course fuelled the national-communist opposition. As for economic depression, you are right, but note that the decline had been 'mere' -3% in 1990, compared with -13, -19, -12% in 1991, 1992 and 1993, resp. ([6])--Miacek and his crime-fighting dogM. se fâche(woof!) 15:01, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
Miacek has posted on my talk page, asking me to have a look at the article, I am only too happy to. The first thing, I am astounded that it was ever a WP:FA; was that status really that easy to reach back then? Instead of worrying too much about neutrality and the like at the moment, the thing that would most concern myself both as an editor and as a potential reader of the article, is that it is hopelessly missing sources. The event occurred long enough ago that there will be plenty of scholarly sources on this, both in English and Russian, with which can be used to build a sourced article. But as it stands right now, it seems to me that the wrong issues are being discussed. First and foremost, the way the article stands now, an editor such as myself who ensures their own writing is sourced, could very well come along and remove around 95% of the article as it is hopelessly under-sourced. Try to find scholarly sources which discuss the crisis and use them (use media sources as a last resort). I have found that the peer-viewed journals from are quite neutral, and provide objective insight into Russian events; not having looked at all the documents they have, I am not sure if they have documents which cover the crisis, but it's worth a look. Without sources being provided, it is in my opinion somewhat pointless to worry about other things, until such time as the article is sourced. I working on something else at the moment, but when this is done, I will be more than happy to lend a hand on this article if still needed. --Russavia Dialogue 08:46, 11 February 2009 (UTC)


I recently came across such a thing:

В сентябре 1993 руководство СВА/НПП поддержало президентский указ N 1400 о роспуске парламента, из "афганцев" - сотрудников охранных предприятий были сформированы дружины, участвовавшие в блокировании Белого Дома.

This might merit mentioning in the article, but as of now, I haven't found any further information on this topic (and haven't noticed any acts of certain NPP militants in videos of the events). Note also that this 'People's Patriotic Party' is not identical with this. --Miacek and his crime-fighting dog (woof!) 08:26, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

I've started an article here. --Miacek and his crime-fighting dog (woof!) 18:13, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

Comparing with corresponding russian pages[edit]

I have just read the russian pages [7] and [8] They are of considerably higher quality, with the good amount of citations. Both of them are rather NPOV in my view, although one has a POV tag. I propose to get rid of most of what is written here and translate the russian pages. Any thoughts? DR2006kl (talk) 14:01, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

I disagree. I've read corresponding Russian pages, some are more neutral, but most of them want to push through the view that Makashov's rag-tag army that attacked public buildings was in fact just group of 'demonstrators' etc. See also [9]. The article there has npov tag for reasons. And we have English Wikipedia here. I've introduced some things here that would get lost, in case we replace the page with a translation. --Miacek and his crime-fighting dog (woof!) 15:24, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
It is still better with 50+ reference and the second page has no POV tag!! I am sorry but most of the things you introduced here is either Eltsin's propaganda or of no encyclopaedic value. It just makes the article too long. DR2006kl (talk) 15:31, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
I don't think adding info on the relevant politicians choice on October 3 is “Eltsin's propaganda or of no encyclopaedic value”. I'd say none of your edits here has any particular encyclopedic value. You should first try to add some sources instead of engaging in 'neutralizing' the text in the manner of just removing relevant information (WP:IDONTLIKEIT). --Miacek and his crime-fighting dog (woof!) 16:09, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
Do you seriously think that Okudzhava and Gorbachev are relevant politicians? Gaidar and Luzhkov are, indeed, relevant but the nature of this change as well as other your changes make me suspect that you are pro-Eltsin guardian of this page and not a serious editor. A serious NPOV editor would have tried to analyze which regional leaders supported which side. And thanks for blocking me, it undoubtly proves that Okudzhava is a relevant politician. BTW, I took another page at the russian page. One is, indeed, POV and I would not put some of their emotional statements in but it has a clear structure. I still propose to change the format of this page to a similar of russian one but without POV statements DR2006kl (talk) 06:40, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for your (yet another) straw man argument! Okudzhava and Adamovich are indeed no politicians, but I think they are what Russians call общественные деятели (the Civic Union, on the other hand, was a major player).
Besides, it's sort of hypocritical for someone whose contributions to the Wikipedia's content have been absolute zero so far, to come and start ad hominem attacks against a user who has created a number of articles (hopefully NPOV enough) on the topic of Russian politics and has added most of the references the page at hand has.
Instead of soapboxing here, you might want to start looking for your own sources by using, say, I have also invited constructive users to join in, but as for you, well, I think for some time it's EOD indeed. --Miacek and his crime-fighting dog (woof!) 10:43, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
This article requires not only references but also clean-up and NPOV-revision which I am trying to do. I am glad for you that you have enough spare time to contribute to Wikipedia but your personal attacks are not acceptable. I dont have a luxury of a lot of spare time and I contribute only to articles of special personal interest.

Adamovich is someone who wrote one excellent screenplay, Okudzhava is a popular song-writer, Gorbachev is a discredited (by the time of the events) politician. Their opinion are as relevant as opinions of Michel Houellebecq, Bob Geldof and Margaret Thatcher on the war in Iraq. Where is the straw-man argument? DR2006kl (talk) 11:51, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

Pathetic... "NPOV"? I guess the Holocaust article is also "NPOV". Yeltsin's troops massacred almost 2,000 unarmed protesters in cold blood. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:28, 27 October 2012 (UTC)

Edit War[edit]

Miacek, I suggest you write your new edit of the introduction here. Please, do it without laying a blame on any side. If I find it NPOV, we can ask to unlock the page. BTW, I have checked older version 1993_Russian_constitutional_crisis&oldid=4866799le from the day the article was featured. It is very pro-parliament and contains the surviving phrase "The ten-day conflict had seen the most deadly street fighting in Moscow since the Bolshevik Revolution in October 1917". As far as my recollection goes, 1917 revolution was relatively quiet in Moscow as oppose to 1905 revolution. I suggest changing it to 1905 revolution.DR2006kl (talk) 14:12, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

NPOV tag[edit]

I have removed the NPOV tag as the dispute has grown stagnant, and the section in question appears to be neutral. If the dispute arises again, contact me before re-adding the NPOV tag.Drew Smith 06:06, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Images required[edit]

If possibly, article need more images of this event, not only White House photo, and factions of CPD. Seryo93 (talk) 12:47, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

There's always the problem with copyright. Theoretically it would be easy to add screenshots from movies available at youtube or rutube. --Miacek and his crime-fighting dog (woof!) 00:31, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
Can images from be used here under fair use? I think, it's better variant, if it's possible. Seryo93 (talk) 15:14, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
“I wouldn't buy that”, though I've considered this option, given what abundance of good images the VisualRIAN has (yeah, price in rubles standing next to them, too :)). True, I've seen some of those used in Ru wiki, but there's no certainty, that the images won't be deleted by some sysop. --Miacek and his crime-fighting dog (woof!) 15:18, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
Sorry. I've not seen, that it's (photos) for sale. I think, there is more free images around internet Seryo93 (talk) 17:46, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
Yep. By 'not buying that' I actually didn't mean it literally of course, in that I have not considered buying the images they offer :). But yes, a sum next to an item indicates they 'mean business' in defending their ownership rights. --Miacek and his crime-fighting dog (woof!) 18:34, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
It's possible to colorise grayscale photo from infobox using AKVIS coloriage? I think, it's will be good, if this possible. Seryo93 (talk) 11:38, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

Finally found colored picture. Now, it's more impressing. Seryo93 (talk) 16:21, 7 April 2010 (UTC)

Cleaning up[edit]

The quality of this article has deteriorated a bit over the years. I have restored an earlier draft of the article, while keeping some valuable more recent additions. If any salvageable content has been lost, please let me know so that I may assist in restoring it. Thanks in advance. 172 | Talk 07:10, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

First, you don't own the page. That it 'has deteriorated in the meantime' is your opinion based on no evidence. How can it have deteriorated from the point when there were basically no sources at all, as pointed out by another user?! Second, you didn't do any clean-uo, but basically made a blind revert to the time you last edited the page years ago [10], you also erased sourced material other users and me have added in the meantime. Instead, you re-introduced unsourced paragraphs. There have been plenty of disputes in the meantime and now you come up with your years' old version, removing - sorry, this is not clean-up, vandalism rather --Miacek and his crime-fighting dog (woof!) 11:37, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
I'll list some of the points that show your newest version is likely a blind revert and caused loss of information
  1. without any reason, the infobox was deleted
  2. you deleted reference to the information on what side politicians like Yavlinsky took and what they opined
  3. not surprisingly, you managed to delete the passage on Rutskoy-Khasbulatov 'war cries' at the balcony of the White House on October 3
  4. you even managed to delete my totally neutral additions to the economics/statistics section (GDP growth etc)


All in all, your 'clean-up' effectually threw into dustbin other people's work on the article. Thus, please do not revert anymore, but try to find new sources; if you think that something ought to be removed, pls discuss here first. --Miacek and his crime-fighting dog (woof!) 11:45, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Yes, I did removed some references material that was irrelevant or from inappropriate sources, e.g., I am working in good faith to improve the quality of this article. I did not blindly revert any new material.

  1. I removed the "battle box" because the summary has the effect of over-simplifying the conflict. "Battle boxes" may be fine for summing up conventional conflicts where the combatants are easily identified, and the start dates are clearly identifiable through a declaration of war. For similar reasons, a few years ago I built a consensus against inserting a "battle box" in the Cold War article.
  2. The content on Yavlinsky's opinions was placed in an inappropriate section of the article. That content was unbalanced. The way the content was inserted, it struck me as if the article was making an extended apologia for Yeltsin's actions.
  3. I am open to restoring your graphs on the state of the Russian economy and the composition of parliament. Given my own knowledge, I understand that your material is accurate. However, please insert sources for the data at the bottom of the charts. 172 | Talk 17:24, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

By the way, yes, the quality did deteriorate from "the point when there were basically no sources at all." The quality of the writing, not all of which was mine, was superior and the foucs tighter. References were not required when this article was orginally wrtitten. However, there are sources for all the material, which I can provide on request ... By the way, I happen to be one of the first users to start inserting references in articles. This practice was not universally accepted at the time, given that conventional encyclopedias normally do not include footnotes and endnotes. 172 | Talk 17:36, 12 July 2009 (UTC)


I have restored the infobox pending further discussion. Please do not revert my recent changes. I did not revert back to an earlier version, but rather drafted a new one. Instead, I created a new draft merging the better aspects of both recent edits and an order version of the article. [11] I wish to work with you in good faith to improve the quality of the writing and tighten the focus of the article, while salvaging any past useful contribution. 172 | Talk 19:06, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Restoring more old content[edit]

Miacek, I think I've restored almost all of the old content. See the additions here. Much of the content had to be edited for style. It was apparent that non-native English speakers drafted much of the writing. Please do not take offense to my comment. Your English is much better than my Russian, which I have almost entirely forgotten after taking classes nearly 40 years ago. 172 | Talk 20:36, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

The best way to fix style is just to use the draft page I created. Most of the additions since late 2008 are very likely from me, most of those translated from Russian and therefore obviously in need of revising esp by native speakers. However, stylistic problems normally would not require more than just fixing. --Miacek and his crime-fighting dog (woof!) 20:54, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
The draft page is an unnecessary step. I think I've restored/edited the vast majority of your additions since late 2008. The article is now better than it was a few days ago. If I've missed anything, I'll be happy to edit it and restore it. 172 | Talk 20:57, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
I have just re-added a para on Constitutional court decisions. It might look as trivia, but actually illustrates the situation much better than general statements that by that time there was dual power in earnest or similar. --Miacek and his crime-fighting dog (woof!) 21:14, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
I aggree. Thanks for the addition. 172 | Talk 21:21, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Last stable version was indeed much better. I reverted to it. Let's start from last version, instead of reverting everything.Biophys (talk) 01:49, 15 July 2009 (UTC)


Regarding the recent removal of three flags from the infobox: I think having the flags there is justified (with the exception of the Andreyevskiy flag perhaps, this was less frequently used).

It is common to use in our infoboxes the unofficial flags of the opposing sides in case of a civil war. Both the Red Flag and the so-called Romanov Flag were widely used by the rioters, whereas the Russian tricolor remained hoisted on the Supreme Soviet building but was not used by their supporters. Additionally, we should list (next to the flags) some of the organizations that actively participated in the protests. At least I would add National Salvation Front. Miacek and his crime-fighting dog (t) 13:42, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

Actually, NSF had a flag of their own, but I think this was rarely used. The image is copyrighted. Miacek and his crime-fighting dog (t) 13:51, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

Whilst I fully agree that we should list the major organizations that actively participated in the riots, I don't think that "their" flags are useful here. The infobox shouldn't convey any extra information, it should only be a summary of the article. And IMO the flags they used are of very little consequence anyway. The purpose of the flags in the infobox should be to help our readers identify the participants. This is only possible if they are recognizable as the flags of these entities (or at least occur several times in the article). If they are not and if they serve only decorative purposes (or are just an overly cryptic way to encode their ideology), they probably shouldn't be used at all. The obscure flags from the other side, albeit "official", should probably go as well for the same reason, but with the Supreme Soviet supporters the situation is worse, as the wrong impression may be created that they are somehow affiliated with the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union. If one needs to know what their flags were, that information should be in the articles on these entities, with due explanations. Personally I don't think it is a good practice to use such flags (and this is not about the distinction official vs. unofficial, btw), no matter how common it is, but if you think it is a common practice in our infoboxes, go ahead. Colchicum (talk) 10:27, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Section: Public opinion on crisis[edit]

Most people who opposed Yeltsin were democratically elected representatives.

The Opinion is largely focused on pro-Yeltsin factions than largess. Also number of people polled is hardly stated. There is a deception going on here that, most Russians supported Yeltsin Action

I remember the reactions from International press, they were very critical of Yeltsin yet there is no section on International Reactions

— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:27, 23 August 2013 (UTC)

Public opinion survey data supplied in that section is not referenced. I have attempted to find relevant sources, but have not been able to do so. VCIOM does not appear to have asked this question in 1993. Instead, they asked "Who was responsible for violence in Moscow?". Therefore, references should be supplied or the section removed. (talk) 00:14, 24 August 2010 (UTC) Jevgeni Ossinovski
I agree that there are problems with verifiability. When I first started editing the page in late 2008, there were hardly any footnotes at all, as the original version was written during the early days of Wikipedia, when the verifiability policies were different. As the unsourced material in the article mostly seems correct, it has not been removed, but once contested, it can be done so easily. I'd welcome if you'd change the data based on sources, e.g. by using the corresponding article in, that has many more sources listed. Miacek and his crime-fighting dog (t) 09:50, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

Dead link[edit]

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Dead link 2[edit]

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The apparent impeachment of Yeltsin by the Congress is a major element in this story. Yet it never happened. There was no quorum, so any purported impeachment was as invalid as Yeltsin's dissolution of parliament! (talk) 08:46, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

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