What would be Russia if Lebed in 1996 became President

Another 24/03/20 Wikipediayou would be Russia if Lebed in 1996 became President of the

In the presidential election of 1996 Alexander Lebed came in third place, losing only to Boris Yeltsin and Gennady Zyuganov. However, under certain circumstances, for example, when withdrawing the candidacy of Yeltsin and productive work of scientists, the General could count on a post of the head of state.


On the political horizon of Russia in the late 1980’s-early 1990-ies General Lebed was a prominent figure. Many important events of this period passed with his participation: Afghan war, the August 1991 coup, the unrest in the Caucasus, the conflict in Transnistria. As written by the journalist Pyotr Akopov, 1990 – the time of Alexander Lebed is a charismatic, but too independent to make a career in government.

In politics, he was guided by a specific, fairly straightforward logic. If the situation pushed him to Alliance, he was resolved to act alone, and when it was profitable to isolate themselves – he was forced to play in someone else’s team and someone else’s rules. Quite sensible reasoning it could be combined with a completely reckless action.

the Former Governor of Krasnoyarsk region Valery Zubov recalled how immediately after the election, Yeltsin appointed the authorized representative of Lebed flew to Chechnya for talks with separatists. According to Zubov, he assembled the generals and said: “Yeltsin’s Days are numbered – he will die soon. His successor is gonna be me. Here’s my plan: make the Chechens the world, hold new elections, and then will liberate Chechnya back.” Many experts believe the Khasavyurt agreements signed by Lebed and Aslan Maskhadov on 31 August 1996 a betrayal of the army. According to them, if Swan became the new President, his policy of flirting with terrorists would lead to disastrous resultsatam. It was difficult to expect that in the future he wants to reconquer Chechnya, the day before he called the entry of Russian troops there “foolishness and stupidity”. It is obvious that the President of the Swan Russia would have lost this part of the Caucasus.

Likes to shoot from the hip

In 1998 Lebed was elected Governor of Krasnoyarsk Krai. His work in this position has largely shed light on how the President could be a Swan. The first thing that was evident, – the General could not find a common language with influential people in the region. Almost immediately the new Governor had a conflict with the head of Norilsk Nickel Vladimir Potanin, then he did not get along with the owner of the Krasnoyarsk aluminum plant Anatoly Bykov. The desire of Alexander to be honest and uncompromising politician – of course commendable, however, the responsibility for the presidency among other things requires that the applicant for this place diplomatic qualities, without which the President quickly loses the control of the country.

during the governorship of the Swan was a lot of criticism in the address of his team, which was accused of incompetence and poor knowledge of the region. Collaborated with the Swan political consultant Alexei Sitnikov draws attention to the fact that with all the confidence the Governor listened to the advice and wasn’t ashamed to admit their mistakes, however his habit to shoot from the hip negates all his good beginnings.

the Chairman of the Commission on state building of Legislative Assembly of Krasnoyarsk region Alexey Kleshko noted that the failure of a Swan to solve economic issues and its attempts to manage the economic processes with the help of military methods would not have allowed him to lead the country out of crisis.

Almost as a Communist

the Main goal that was set before him Swan in the case of occupation of the presidential chair, – to restore Russia’s lost authority. Go to this purpose, he was going by establishing in the country a “fair order.” Just like the Communist Zyuganov. Swan pplaniroval were the following: to reduce the number of officials to take effective measures to combat corruption, to destroy the structure of organized crime, to deal with economic abuses, to reform the army, making it professional, and to lessen the tax burden on the population. Despite the fact that the emphasis on the social sector in the election program of the Swan was obviously weaker than that of the Communists, many were seriously concerned that the General wants to return the “Scoop”. For example, while still a member of the Supreme Council of the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic in 1993, he spoke in support of the proposal to revive the Soviet Union, including Transnistria. And the acronym appeared on the ruins of the Soviet Union and the CIS Swan scornfully transcribed as “a Bunch of abnormal States.”

However, three years later, together with Grigory Yavlinsky and Svyatoslav Fyodorov, he expressed protest against the intention of the Duma to denounce the Belavezha accords, but her decision was based on the view that the collapse of the USSR was illegal. Obviously, Alexander Lebed, whose business was often at odds with the words, as President, could expect anything. It is not excluded that in the near future such intergovernmental bodies as the CIS would come to an end, and “General rhetoric” is unlikely to be conducive to the normalization of relations between Russia and former Soviet republics.

General without an army

Swan was chosen as a strong personality, able to cope with pressing problems, improve living standards, fight corruption and bring in the end order in the country. The General was impressed by the personality of de Gaulle, but for some reason it’s been compared to Pinochet. In one interview he even had this to say about his positive attitude to the Chilean dictator, as he “brought his country right, which we do not have”.

the Press and the politicians managed to convince the voter that Swan could become a “Russian Pinochetm”. The media was saying that his policies “iron hand” instead of establishing the primacy of law and order will lead to the opposite result – the split of society, and this in conditions of instability will result in a new round of civil war.

a Lot of attention in his campaign Swan paid to the threat to Russia from NATO, which has risen due to the fact that it has stopped its existence the Warsaw Pact. Only a nuclear shield, according to Swan, did not allow Russia to slip to the margins of world politics. “The world respects the strong” – is not tired to repeat Alexander. And so there is no doubt that every attempt of the West to persuade Russia to conciliation would have a more than decent response to President Swan. Perhaps overly harsh.

However, Russia, Lebed was too heavy, his unpredictability was a bomb. Perhaps that is why public-spirited electorate willing to vote for decisive General, at the last moment voted for another candidate. Yes, and the Swan have repeatedly said that maybe the state is only useful in critical situations.

Taras Repin

© Russian Seven

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