D+23 (1 August, 1987) 0215-0240 Zulu

*Authors Note: Shorter post today, unfortunately. Time has been at a premium this weekend. Next post will be up Tuesday. Happy Father’s Day!*

Moscow, USSR

0215 Zulu (0615 Local)

The meeting was conducted at the rather modest, by the standards of Soviet elites, dacha of Vladimir Dolgikh in the Lenin Hills. Dolgikh and two other Politburo members, as well as a handful of lesser government officials were present. These men represented the bulk of the opposition leadership as it currently stood. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss the progress being made in efforts to solidify opposition to General Secretary Romanov within, and outside of the Kremlin. Headway was being made and Dolgikh expected to have every political piece positioned properly by the afternoon, with one notable exception: Boris Yeltsin.

Yeltsin, the man who had been suspended from the Politburo after Romanov seized power. His political independence caused concern and suspicion. His Russian nationalism and lack of loyalty to the USSR was a source of alarm for enemy and supporter alike. Even here, Yeltsin’s inclusion in plans was polarizing. Dolgikh, who understood the man’s appeal and admired his organizational abilities considered Yeltsin to be an invaluable asset despite his drawbacks. Others in the group reluctantly agreed. However, questionable loyalty towards the Soviet Union prevented most other opposition members from trusting him fully. The KGB’s inability to track Yeltsin down and arrest him only contributed to the man’s growing legend and mystique. He was an appealing figure to the average Soviet citizen, a fact that made the political elite despise and fear him more. This was even true for some of the men in the room.

“How much longer will we be forced to wait on Yeltsin?” Nikolai Ryzhkov wondered aloud. The full Politburo member had been a rising star in Gorbachev’s eyes. Following Romanov’s arrival, Ryzhkov’s responsibilities and privileges were unchanged. Partly owing to his expertise in economic matters and also to the fact Ryzhkov was adept enough to publicly denounce Gorbachev’s Glasnost and Perestroika policies not long after Romanov’s hold on power was consolidated.

“Be patient, my friend,” Dolgikh counseled. “Boris Nikolayevich will be ready when the time comes.”

“That brings up another point,” Ryzhkov said after a moment of contemplation. “A large part of our plan depends on Yeltsin. If he is arrested or his efforts fail to bear fruit, what is our alternative plan?”

Dolgikh hesitated until he noticed his unease becoming apparent to the other men in the room. “We have discussed this already. The preference is to stop Romanov in the Politburo. If this fails, the time will come to rely on other means to ensure the survival of the Motherland.”

“Yeltsin?” Ryzhkov asked incredulously. Dolgikh shook his head.

“The military,” he corrected calmly. “More accurately, elements of the armed services. But they are not prepared yet and require at least an additional twenty-four hours. So, as you can see, comrades, we cannot move early even if we wished to. We will continue to prepare and buy additional time for Boris Nikolayevich and our allies in uniform if need be.”

6 Replies to “D+23 (1 August, 1987) 0215-0240 Zulu”

    1. Nope, Marshal Neutron is becoming antsy. In fact, General Sarin is just about ready to roll. It’s getting serious now

      Like

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