In Moscow in 1993, in Eastern Ukraine in 2014 and now in the US. Capitol, there was a similar dress code and display of banners supporting seemingly lost causes

MOSCOW – For anyone who has covered the political turmoil in the wreckage of the former Soviet Union over the past three decades, the mob that stormed the Washington Capitol on Wednesday seemed shockingly familiar, right down to the dress code and the Embrace of banner trumpets seemingly lost causes

In zeal and style, the mob resembled the Ragtag bands, who took control of the parliament building in Moscow in 1993 and shouted after the revival of the Soviet Union.Similar scenes occurred two decades later when self-appointed militias stormed the regional assembly in Donetsk, one large industrial city in eastern Ukraine and today the capital of a secessionist, pro-Russian “people’s republic” ”

Spare military equipment – shabby jackets, old boots, black woolly hats and headscarves – was a lot to see at the time, as was the flags of long-dead and, as we all suspected, safely buried causes

In Donetsk, this included not only the red flag of the late Soviet Union and the black-yellow-white tricolor of the long-forgotten tsarist empire, but sometimes also the symbol of an even more distant, failed company, the Confederate States of America (none of they knew a lot or really cared about the Confederation, but they knew it was hated by the kind of people they hated)

But what was most familiar to the Washington insurgents on Wednesday was their assurance, an unbending belief that no matter what anyone else or the law might say, law was on their side. A cabal of elitist traitors had seized what rightfully theirs – whether the country they grew up in, their economic and physical security, or simply their sense of how society should be organized

“Victory is ours, we just need courage,” shouted a self-appointed commander of the “Army of Patriots” who helped to take control of the White House in the fall of 1993, which at the time was the Russian legislature Bank of Moscow was housed and then led his followers on a suicide mission to seize the Ostankino television center (Scores died in a hail of gunfire by troops loyal to President Boris N Yeltsin)
When riots began in Moscow in 1993 and eastern Ukraine in 2014, failure seemed inevitable.The leaders, along with their supporters, seemed confused, intoxicated with nostalgia, wild conspiracy theories, and fantasies about the depth of their public support

But they believed in eastern Ukraine the people who went to the barricades in front of the regional administration building were sometimes drunk, often belligerent and disconnected from reality. But everyone had no doubt that their cause was fair

A spate of propaganda on Russian television, the main source of news for much of the population, spread fear and anger and founded the belief that anti-Russian protesters in the distant Ukrainian capital of Kiev would soon come to Donetsk with weapons and knives to wreak havoc

I remember sitting in the salon of a Donetsk economics professor, a serious and meek man who ran into the bedroom in the middle of an interview to comfort his wife, who suddenly started screaming while she was ironing Russian television and, frightened by the bloody reports of Ukrainian “fascists” on the march, was sure that “they are coming to cut our throats. The couple, both of them just before retirement age, hurried off to join the barricades

The following war now lasted six years and killed more than 13000 people, almost all civilians, people who did not want to have anything to do with the “Donetsk People’s Republic”, which, according to opinion polls that were carried out shortly before its declaration, represented a large majority, have largely left the “republic” that no other country , including Russia, recognizes that has only left true believers, the elderly, and those too poor to move about

In Moscow in 1993, the uprising quickly came to a standstill, at least in the streets, if not in one’s head

Aleksandr Rutskoi, a former Soviet bomber pilot who led the uprising against President Boris Yeltsin, vowed to “fight to the end” but surrendered barely 24 hours later. In military clothing, he and his captured allies were bundled into a battered bus and drove to Lefortovo prison

Mr Rutskoi, who was highly decorated for his service in Afghanistan, made a pathetic figure. Defeated and dejected, he was unmistakably a loser

But the winners squandered the victory, sparked a wave of crooked privatizations, and ran a deeply flawed 1996 presidential election that left a frail and increasingly unpredictable Mr. Yeltsin in the Kremlin for a second term. When that was almost done, he turned power over to Vladimir V. Putin

A former KGB officer who believed in order above all else, Mr. Putin didn’t have time for riots, but he embraced the revanchist cause and revitalized Russia’s ambitions as a world power, the reach of security services, the music of the Soviet national anthem, Soviet-era emblems for the military, and patriotism as a stick against his criticism

Two decades after he came to power, the word traitor has become one of the Kremlin’s most popular abuse terms Democracy is the buttocks of ridicule Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the House of Lords Foreign Affairs Committee and Putin loyalist, commented on the turmoil in Washington and ridiculed American democracy as “limping on both legs” ”

“The celebration of democracy is over. It has unfortunately bottomed out, and I say this without a trace of joy,” he added with evident joy

Washington Riot

World News – CA – In Washington Riot echoes of post-Soviet uprisings

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/07/world/europe/in-washington-riot-echoes-of-post-soviet-uprisings.html