Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: Kalmykia had been, was and would always be

Policy is made during congresses and parliamentary sessions. Political issues are resolved in meetings and interviews. It is there that the details are settled, coalitions, blocks and groupings are formed, and political trendsestablished. Political, economic and personal interests are all cooked up secretly in the same pot and this is what gives decrees, laws and directives their political flavour.


I did not belong to any coalition, bloc or tendency. Many times during sessions and congresses of the Supreme Soviet I was invited to join representatives of this or that block:

- "Come on, Kirsan, join us, we have real power. We control the industrial regions. We have our finger on the country's pulse."
But I would answer that groupings, tendencies and blocks could come and go, but Kalmykia had been, was and would always be. The interests of Kalmykia did not belong to any group.
Later Yeltsin would say laughingly: "that Kirsan walks all alone."
Yes, Kalmykia had its own agenda to unite the regions and the nations and put a stop to the disintegration of the country, to create a state. The peace-maker's path.
Within the republic we have united religions. We offer to host peace negotiations between warring parties. We supply bread and food to war-tom populations. We do our best to prevent man from killing man. I was certain that a compromise solution could be found to the conflict between Yeltsin and Khazbulatov. This is why I tried to meet Yeltsin.
According to Oriental legend a pilgrim-monk once came to visit his ruler. However, the ruler's courtiers would not give him access. At long last, after much effort and bribery of the servants, the monk managed to gain admittance into the palace. He bowed low to the viziers and nodded casually to the ruler.
- "Hey, monk!" exclaimed the enraged Shah. "I am the ruler here and those you bowed to are just my servants! You have made a mistake."
- "No," replied the monk. "I can see who runs this palace. The viziers decide everything here. As for you, you only carry out their commands."
By the end of September the Moscow White House had already been cordoned off. The final days of peace were passing unnoticed.  Something had to be done, urgently, since the situation was flying inexorably out of control. There was still time to prevent tragedy.
The chairman of the Supreme Soviet of Buryatia, L. Potapov, and the chairman of the executive committee of the Leningrad Soviet V. Gustov, along with two other administrative heads and myself approached the White House. The colonels standing at the cordon tried to talk us out of entering. The White House had already been fenced off with barbed wire and it brought to mind a palace erected in a prison-camp zone.
We entered the building and met Rutskoy and Khazbulatov. A session of the Supreme Soviet was going on in the conference hall. I took the floor and asked the deputies to show reason, agree to negotiate and, above all, to resolve this conflict in a peaceful manner. I said that we were neither with the president nor with Khazbulatov and Rutskoy. All we wanted was to protect the unity of Russia. Now our main goal was to preserve the Russian Federation as an integral whole and prevent bloodshed.

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov

The President's Crown of Thorns, 1995