Excerpts of Gorbachev's Secret Videotape From Captivity With AM-Gorbachev-Videotape and
Aug. 25, 1991
Excerpts of Gorbachev's Secret Videotape From Captivity With AM-Gorbachev-Videotape and AM-Soviet-Politics, Bjt
MOSCOW (AP) _ Here are excerpts of the videotape President Mikhail S. Gorbachev made secretly while in captivity. It was shown Sunday night on Russian television and translated from the Russian by The Associated Press:
I want the People's Deputies of the U.S.S.R., members of the Supreme Soviet, the Soviet people (and) public to hear what I am going to say now. I've decided to make the statement after watching a press conference of (Vice President Gennady) Yanayev and other members of the so-called State Emergency Committee.
First of all, I have to say that a gross deception of the people has taken place and has become the basis for an anti-constitutional coup. The vice president, referring to the bad condition of the president's health and for this reason the inability of the president to perform his duties, has taken over performance of the U.S.S.R. president's duties on himself. But I am in good health. Moreover, I am rested and it hasn't been a bad rest at all, although I've had a lot of work to do, and I had intended to continue my vacation.
That's why everything that has been said by comrade Yanayev and in documents of the committee is a gross deception, a fraud. In fact, a crime against the state has been committed. And therefore, the decision that Yanayev is taking over the duties of the president and all the decisions that followed, are all unlawful. This is the first thing I want to tell you. ...
The group on behalf of the so-called Emergency Committee suggested that I issue a decree on transferring my duties as president to Vice President Yanayev, which I rejected. Moreover, being aware of the reason and goal of these measures, I said that I was against a state of emergency in the country, though we have a lot of problems ....
We need a power acting decisively, but all this should be achieved on the basis of consensus. ... And we have to follow this particular path because confrontation - and the threat of confrontation we felt during winter and early spring - may throw our society into a catastrophe. We cannot allow this to happen. That's why I rejected this proposal.
Moreover, I said that I was not going to take part in this adventure and pointed out to them the unacceptability of such methods. I suggested that if some part of the leadership of the country thinks that the situation demands the most radical, urgent, extraordinary measures, to convene either the Supreme Soviet or the Congress of People's Deputies to discuss the situation and solve all necessary questions, including what has to be done and to work out mechanisms and, if necessary, to solve personnel questions. That was my proposal. Any other approach, a stake on a martial law, on a state of emergency, this is a stake on force. It is dangerous - it may throw the society into a national catastrophe, into a civil war. ...
All of those who are now here with me are also in fact under arrest. Thus, on the basis of deception, a crime ... has been committed. Moreover, the measures that could throw our society into an abyss are being taken already. ...
I demand that the Congress of People's Deputies and the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R. take all necessary measures to enable me to immediately proceed with the performance of my duties. And I think that either the Congress or the Supreme Soviet should immediately consider the situation and solve all the necessary questions connected with the situation.
Here is what I want to let you know from here, where I am now.