Split of ruling elites causes October 1993 events in Moscow - poll

Eighty percent of Russians remember the standoff between Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Speaker Ruslan Khasbulatov's parliament that resulted in disturbances in Moscow in October 1993, sociologists told Interfax.

Eighty percent of Russians remember the standoff between Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Speaker Ruslan Khasbulatov's parliament that resulted in disturbances in Moscow in October 1993, sociologists told Interfax.

Sixteen percent of the 1,600 respondents polled in 130 towns and cities in 42 regions in September learned about those events from the sociologists.

Most of the well-informed respondents are elderly citizens (54 percent) and the least informed are people aged from 18 to 24 (43 percent).

Thirty-eight percent said the events were too brief for them to choose a side and 20 percent could not answer the question (they were either too young or the event happened before they were born). Twenty-six percent supported the president and 16 percent sided with the parliament.

A relative majority of the respondents informed about the October 1993 events blamed a split of the ruling elites. Twenty-two percent said the disturbances resulted from different viewpoints of the president and the parliament. Nineteen percent argued it was a fight between advocates for democratic values and the Soviet system remnants. Five percent suspect it was a mere coincidence.

Most of the respondents (69 percent) called the use of force unfounded in the October 1993 events. The opinion was expressed chiefly in small and medium-sized cities and villages (70-73 percnet).

Some 17 percent well-informed respondents gave the opposite opinion.

The 1993 political crisis in Russia caused by altercations between President Boris Yeltsin and the parliament led by Speaker Ruslan Khasbulatov developed into an armed clash and a tank shooting at the parliament building on October 3-4.

About 200 people died and no less than 1,000 were injured, according to various sources. The conflicting sides disagreed over constitutional reform, the new constitution and ways of Russia's socioeconomic development.

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