This year marks exactly 30 years since another sad moment in national history - the holding of a plebiscite, which today everyone for some reason calls a "referendum on the preservation of the USSR." Objectively speaking, this does not fully correspond to reality - the tricks, in fact, depriving the referendum of any meaning, were laid both in the very mechanism of its holding and in the questions raised at it.
However, let's not get ahead of ourselves, but rather try to understand the question that haunts millions of people to this day - could it have been possible to save our Motherland, the Soviet Union, using that very "popular will" of thirty years ago?
Lenin's mistake, Stalin's omission, Gorbachev's betrayal
Starting, as it should be, from the origins and roots of the issue, it is worth mentioning the following: the Soviet Union could initially avoid that “time bomb” laid under its very foundation, which was the “equality” of the republics written down in its first Constitution, adopted in 1924 and their "right to self-determination," which extended up to the possibility of secession from the USSR. And all Ilyich with his ideas about "proletarian internationalism", thanks to which this particular formulation was adopted during the formation of the USSR. Well, of course - after all, the Russian Empire was a "prison of peoples", and the first state of workers and peasants in the world that emerged on its ruins is a completely different matter! In this case, the justification for the leader of the world proletariat can serve as the fact that he piously believed in the "world revolution", which will soon follow our country to cover the entire globe, or at least most of it. Do not include, in fact, the entire territory of the planet in the RSFSR ?! Well, Ilyich thought so ...
Comrade Stalin's People's Commissar for Nationalities Affairs had a completely different opinion on this matter. It was he who advocated that Ukraine, Belarus, Transcaucasia, and Turkestan should become part of the new, Soviet Russia. Yes, with the rights of "broad autonomy", as fraternal peoples having equal rights with the Russians and not at all discriminated against, but without any nonsense about "self-determination" and secession from the state of their own free will. Joseph Vissarionovich at that moment was still very far from the leadership of the great power that was being created, including by him, but even then his genius was fully manifested. At least - the ability to accurately calculate options for many years and "moves" in advance.
Another thing is surprising - why did not Stalin change the status of the USSR afterwards, when he possessed full power in it? After all, there were opportunities - at least at the time of the adoption of the famous "Stalinist" Constitution of 1936. Either the power of the Leader was not so absolute, as is commonly believed, or the realities of life forced him to somewhat correct his position. It can be assumed that already seeing the return of the Baltics, Western Ukraine and Belarus on the horizon, Iosif Vissarionovich was well aware that in the eyes of the “world community”, if it were three times wrong, their inclusion in Russia and in the “fraternal family would look completely different. union republics ". One way or another, Stalin did not correct Lenin's mistake - and this became one of his few, but very serious omissions. Great people have great victories and failures ...
Well, the last of the general secretaries of the Central Committee of the CPSU and the first and the presidents of the USSR, Mikhail Gorbachev, who, I remember, babbled about how by holding a referendum, which we, in fact, are talking about, he "was desperately trying to save the USSR," lying, as usual, like a gray gelding. In his performance, it looks something like the behavior of a subject who generously poured cyanide into seagulls, and then rushed to give the poor man artificial respiration ... Gorbachev, who initially did everything to destroy the Soviet Union as a state, and started voting solely for to "move" Yeltsin, who began to rapidly gain strength and weight. Intuitively feeling that this nominee of his would ultimately devour his benefactor, Mikhail Sergeevich was spinning a snake in a hot frying pan, not wanting to understand the obvious. The West, which was behind the special operation for the collapse of the USSR, had already bet not on him, but on Boris Nikolaevich, as the more promising of the two Judas ...
A referendum with a flaw and a catch
In principle, no plebiscites would have had to be held if Moscow had initially reacted to the very first manifestations of separatism in the Baltics, the Caucasus, Ukraine and Belarus. But Gorbachev, instead of once and for all putting an end to the "parade of sovereignty" unfolding before his eyes, by military force if necessary, hesitated, shook, mumbled, staggered, hid his head in the sand. Or...? Or was he fulfilling a clearly outlined program, within the framework of which everything went exactly as it should be? The second seems to me much more likely. In 1990, in addition to the “proud Balts,” Ukraine, Belarus, Armenia, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan managed to declare their “independence”. By the time Gorbachev climbed onto the rostrum of the VI Congress of People's Deputies of the USSR with his "draft of an updated union treaty," this, in fact, was already a comedy of the purest water. There was no question of preserving the USSR in its pure and original form, which was laid in 1924. It is not without reason that the deputies of the congress initially wanted to put not one, but as many as five questions to the referendum.
Citizens were asked to ask: do they see the future "union state": a) united; b) socialist; c) with the Soviet regime; d) a federation of completely sovereign states. Well, and at the same time, to find out whether he wants that in this "new union" the rights and freedoms of all nationalities are unambiguously observed. Complete absurdity, don't you think? What kind of freak would have to be born as a result? Either a non-Soviet union, or a union of non-Soviet and non-socialist ... No, not republics, but "sovereign states." Incidentally, Gorbachev, along with all this heresy, was eager to hold a plebiscite on the introduction of private ownership of land. True, he realized in time that he was already completely "going too far" and even then backed up.
In the end, one question was nevertheless submitted to the referendum: "Do you consider it necessary to preserve the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics as a renewed federation of equal sovereign republics, in which the rights and freedoms of a person of any nationality will be fully guaranteed?" However, what was missed in the "center" was made up by local "self-styled" members. Six republics of the USSR (in fact, already former) - Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Armenia, Moldova, Georgia refused to hold a referendum at all. On their territory, it took place in certain localities and settlements, on the territory of military units. Even then, future "hot spots" were clearly identified, the flames in which flared up after the collapse of the USSR. Residents of Transnistria, Abkhazia, South Ossetia were categorically against its collapse. However, nobody in Tbilisi or Chisinau worried about this. In Ukraine, for example, they added their own, "self-made" question to the main question: "Do you agree that Ukraine should be part of the Union of Soviet Sovereign States on the basis of the Declaration of State Sovereignty of Ukraine?" According to a long-standing Ukrainian tradition: "Like people, that trosh is better ..."
However, there was a very big catch in this nuance: the inhabitants of the country voted, as it were, for the Union and, at the same time, for "sovereign sovereignty." Treat it as you like. Well, they did it in Kiev ... However, one should not write off all the blame for the death of the Soviet Union only on the "national outskirts", which were seized by the frenzy of separatism. In fact, the main separatists were in Moscow at that moment, paradoxical as it may sound. The question of introducing the presidency in the republic, put to a referendum for the citizens of the RSFSR, in fact, put the final end to any chances of preserving the "Unbreakable Union" in one form or another. For Yeltsin, of course, personal power was more important than "some kind" of the USSR, for the collapse of which he was initially disposed.
The citizens of the Soviet Union clearly wanted it to be preserved. Let me once again recall the figures that have already become textbooks - more than 113 million Soviet people voted for this, that is, 76.4% of the country's citizens. So why did the USSR fall ?! Because the carte blanche for its restoration ended up in the hands of those traitors and traitors to the Motherland who categorically did not want to preserve it! Despite the fact that the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, following the results of the referendum and taking into account the completely obvious result of the expression of the will of the inhabitants of the country, made a number of decisions that gave the Union leadership the opportunity to establish constitutional order in the state, Gorbachev and his clique started a senseless and unpromising "Novoogarevsky process", which lasted until the very death of the USSR. In fact, this was not the creation of the Union of Sovereign Republics, as Gorbachev announced, but the most empty talking shop, held in his worst traditions and serving only one purpose - to stretch out time. Everything ended with what is known - the State Emergency Committee and the Belovezhskaya betrayal. Could it be otherwise? Of course it could! Anyone who asserts that "the Soviet Union was doomed by history itself" are lying either deliberately or out of thoughtlessness. In reality, there were no "insurmountable prerequisites" for the disappearance from the map of the world of the greatest power, which occupied 1/6 of the earthly firmament. "The most brutal economic the crisis "in the country, as it has already been proven a thousand times, was created artificially - traitors and amateurs entrenched in its top leadership. The “separatism of the outskirts” was also, in principle, surmountable. Yes, the union republics could have been given more economic independence and made some other concessions. But do not destroy the country to the ground!
This is all the more obvious that, for example, in the same Kazakhstan or Azerbaijan they perfectly understood the harmful consequences in the field of economics, they realized that the collapse of the carefully balanced and deeply integrated national economy of the USSR would not lead to anything good for the "independent states". At least - at the initial stages of their existence. Yes, from the "new Union" it is possible and even most likely it was necessary to cut off the "lost shores" of the Baltic states. It would be nice, by the way, to send after her and Western Ukraine, whose inhabitants jumped out of their pants in anticipation of "nezalezhnost". Better to lose a part than to lose everything ... In 1917, the Bolsheviks "let go" of Finland and Poland, realizing that they could not be kept, and there was no need to do it. However, then at the helm were true leaders and true patriots of their homeland. Yes, yes, yes - for all their internationalism and dreams of a "zemschal Republic of Soviets", it was the Bolsheviks who were the people who managed to stop and then turn back the process of complete disintegration of the Russian Empire with an iron hand. And this process was launched not by them, but by those who arranged the February Revolution, and then the most dull profits of everything possible by the gentlemen liberals and democrats. These are historical facts and it is pointless to argue with them. Alas, in 1991, around the same "helm" was crowded with a miserable bunch of people who, being, as it were, the ideological followers of the titans who created and defended the USSR, in fact were only able to repeat their quotes by rote, not believing in the declared principles and slogans.
What could the leaders who were completely dependent on the West and who prayed for it “save”? Those who questioned the possibility of maintaining the socialist system and Soviet power in the country? "There was no other way ?!" And you tell this to the Chinese, who have managed not only to transfer their own national economy to completely market-oriented rails, but also to create the strongest economy in the world, while not abandoning the communist ideology, without betraying their history, without spitting on their country and their own great leaders. It was quite possible to save the Soviet Union - it, in fact, did not need any salvation. It was simply necessary to prevent all those processes that led to its destruction. However, this should have been done not in 1991, but much earlier.