WORLD REPORT EXTRA: The Coup and Beyond : Voices : Watching the Putsch

From Times Wire Services

The Soviet coup that alarmed the world for three days generated millions of words around the globe. Here is a selection:

"The policy of reform initiated by M.S. Gorbachev, conceived as a means to ensure the dynamic development of the country and the democratization of the life of society, has, for a number of reasons, come to a dead end."

-- The coup leaders, in their first appeal to the Soviet people.

'Clouds of Terror'

"Soldiers, officers and generals! The clouds of terror and dictatorship are gathering over the whole country. They must not be allowed to bring eternal night."

-- Russian Federation President Boris S. Yeltsin, urging the military to withhold support from the new hard-line leadership.

'He Is Tired'

"He is very tired after these many years and he will need some time to get better. It is our hope . . . that Mikhail Gorbachev, as soon as he feels better, will take up again his office."

-- Vice President Gennady Yanayev on why he replaced Gorbachev.

'Misguided and Illegitimate'

"This misguided and illegitimate effort bypasses both Soviet law and the will of the Soviet peoples."

-- President Bush on the takeover.

'Justice in History'

"There is some justice in history. This had to happen exactly on the day Soviet tanks rolled into Prague 23 years ago."

-- Michael Zantovsky, spokesman for Czechoslovak President Vaclav Havel, the former dissident writer and the conscience of the anti-Communist resistance.

'The First Time'

"This was the first time ever that Hungarians worried about the well-being of a Soviet leader."

-- Dezsoe Jobbagy, a 42-year-old drummer, in Budapest, where the Soviets bloodily crushed a Hungarian revolution in 1956.

'Beginning of Civil War'

"What is a right-wing coup? It is the beginning of civil war. It is the end of peaceful coexistence and the start of a new Cold War, a new arms race."

-- Former Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard A. Shevardnadze, addressing crowds at the Russian Parliament.

'Remarkably Good Health'

"It seems to me that there are an awful lot of officials in the Soviet Union who were in remarkably good health three weeks ago that somehow now seem to be having serious health problems."

-- U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker III.

'On Way to Apologize'

"The members are on their way down there to apologize to Gorbachev or whatever they have to do."

-- Col. Valery Ochirov, chairman of the Soviet parliament's defense and security committee, on why Defense Minister Dmitri Yazov and KGB chief Vladimir Kryuchkov flew to meet Gorbachev in the Crimea.

'Leaving for Good'

"We're leaving. We're leaving for good."

-- Soviet soldier withdrawing from Moscow.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World