21 July 2021
Picture: Valery Borshchev, co-chairman of the Moscow Helsinki Group, co-signatory of the following letter, member of the organising committee “30 years of the people’s victory over the State Committee on the State of Emergency”
To the Mayor of Moscow, S. S. Sobyanin
Dear Sergei Semyonovich,
19-22 August 1991 is one of the most important episodes in our history. 30 years ago, Muscovites, citizens of Leningrad and other cities of the USSR opposed an attempted armed coup by the State Committee on the State of Emergency (GChKP) and in doing so, defended freedom and democracy. On 22 August, the Russian tricolour was raised over the Government House of the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic (RSFSR). These days marked the culmination of a peaceful democratic revolution.
We intend to hold a series of commemorative events. In addition to the traditional meeting of the defenders of the White House on Gorbaty Bridge, a rally in memory of the victims and ceremonial flag-raising at the memorial stele, we are also planning a round table discussion, an international conference and, on Sunday 22 August, a celebratory procession along a route with particular symbolic significance – from Gorbaty Bridge, where Muscovites took to the barricades, to Lubyanka Square. Many politicians, civil activists, human rights defenders, cultural figures and ordinary Muscovites have already expressed their desire to be involved in the preparation of these events. The formal notice will be submitted to the Mayor of Moscow’s Office within the legally established time limits.
Sergei Semyonovich, we expect that the organs of the Government of Moscow, which answer to you, will provide assistance and support both during the preparatory stage of these anniversary events, and for the full time they are taking place. For our part, we guarantee that all actions will be exclusively peaceful in nature, with unconditional compliance with hygiene and epidemiological restrictions and recommendations. At all stages of preparation, we are prepared to cooperate and coordinate with authorised representatives of the Government of Moscow.
From the Organising Committee “30 years of the people’s victory over the State Committee on the State of Emergency”
If you want to support this message and the upcoming commemorative actions, send a similar letter to Moscow City Hall’s online portal.
This letter was also supported by members of the Congress of the Intelligentsia.
Translated by Elizabeth Rushton