04 October 2008

Constitutional Crisis



Fifteen years ago Russia seemed on the verge of civil war. President Boris Yeltsin had dissolved the parliament while they, in turn, voted to impeach Yeltsin. A week of public protests ensued in Moscow and parliamentary supporters barricaded  themselves inside the parliament building (known as the White House). On October 3 the clash turned violent as demonstrators attempted to take over a local television station. The following morning the Russian army, remaining loyal to Yeltsin, surrounded the parliament building and began to shell it to drive the protestors out. By the end of the day the “second October Revolution” had ended, leaving hundreds dead.

I was in Moscow at the time taking a Russian language course. I took photographs of the protests and the barricades at the parliament building that week. I happened to have a return ticket for October 4, and while I was on the bus to the airport the highway was jammed in the other direction with army tanks and personnel carriers headed into the city. It seemed to be a fortuitous time to be leaving.

Below are a few of the images I took. These photos were taken with a cheap camera using Russian film and have numerous imperfections, but I personally like the rough look they have. 




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