Heroes Of August Coup Resistance Honored - With Lenin Award
MOSCOW (AP) _ Russia honored three men killed resisting the August coup attempt by hard- line Communists in the time-honored way Saturday: It gave their families an award named for the most famous Communist of all.
At a Kremlin ceremony, Vice President Alexander Rutskoi presented the Order of Lenin to the families of Dmitri Komar, Ilya Krichevsky and Vladimir Usov.
The three died defending President Boris Yeltsin’s stronghold at the Russian parliament building in Moscow from advancing troops.
The Lenin Order traditionally was given for achievements in science, outstanding ″socialist labor″ and other peaceful endeavors.
Shortly after the Aug. 18-21 coup, Rutskoi awarded the men’s families Gold Stars as Heroes of the Soviet Union. The honor, the highest Soviet recognition, had traditionally been given to those who demonstrated ″heroism and valor while defending democracy and the constitutional order of the U.S.S.R.″
The commonwealth television channel said the Soviet awards would be the last to be presented.
Rutskoi, a leading democratic figure at the time of the failed putsch, is now openly siding with pro-Communists and is critical of the free market program being conducted by President Boris Yeltsin.