October 3-4, 1993: Moscow uprising against U.S./Yeltsin counter-revolution and Black October massacre
By Greg Butterfield
October 3-4 marks the anniversary of the heroic 1993 uprising against Boris Yeltsin’s imperialist-backed attack on the Supreme Soviet in Moscow. The uprising’s defeat represented the final overturn of socialist relations and the restoration of capitalism in Russia and the USSR.
Several years of counter-revolutionary developments within and without had seriously demoralized the Soviet working class. Generations of non-combative, revisionist leadership left the Soviet people unprepared to fight back to defend socialism.
Yet for several weeks in September 1993, as the crisis deepened, demonstrations had been growing in defense of the Supreme Soviet and for the restoration of the USSR in accord with the referendum of May 17, 1991, when 70 percent of Soviet voters supported the continuation of the union, which was later illegally dissolved by Yeltsin & co. in December 1991.
On the night of October 3-4, 1993, thousands of communist militants, workers and youths battled Yeltsin’s fascist OMON troops and other counter-revolutionary elements in the streets surrounding the “Russian White House” (seat of the Supreme Soviet). Hundreds of defenders were mowed down by automatic gunfire and the building was shelled by Yeltsin’s tanks in what has come to be known in Russia as “Black October.”
In scenes reminiscent of the 1973 fascist coup in Chile, an unknown number of defenders were later taken as prisoners to a Moscow stadium and shot. Afterward the stadium walls were riddled with bullet holes. Estimates of the dead and disappeared are in the thousands, though Yeltsin claimed only 151 people died.
In the aftermath, leaders of the resistance, including communist militant Victor Anpilov, elected Supreme Soviet deputies, and other Yeltsin opponents were imprisoned. Revolutionary organizations and newspapers were banned by “democrat” Yeltsin, with hardy approval from U.S. President Bill Clinton.
We will never forget the heroic martyrs of the October uprising. ¡Presente!
“Victor Anpilov Speaks: The Red Flag Will Fly Again,” based on interviews conducted by Bill Dores, Workers World Party, 1996 (View or download pamphlet in PDF format)