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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Security Minister Admits Errors

The Security Ministry, successor to the former KGB, was too slow in collecting the intelligence needed to prevent the bloodshed in Moscow earlier this month, its two top ministers said Thursday.


"With hindsight we realized that decisive measures should have been introduced earlier to enforce public order", Security Minister Nikolai Golushko told a press conference.


"More intelligence should have been collected to identify the forces that were preparing for the riot", he said.


Golushko said the ministry should constantly monitor political parties - like the ones that defended the White House and have now been banned - that advocate violence.


"I don't mean the progressive parties which arose in the Russian context", he said. "We all support the pluralism of political parties now. But I am speaking about those organizations and parties that have resorted to violence".


Golushko was confirmed in his post just two days before President Boris Yeltsin issued a decree dissolving parliament on Sept. 21.


The army, police and Security Ministry all drew criticism for failing to stop White House supporters breaking the cordon round the parliament building on Sunday, Oct. 3 and starting an armed revolt.


Golushko's new deputy, Sergei Stepashin, also admitted errors, saying they had expected mass demonstrations, but not armed attacks.


"What the gunmen did at Ostankino and especially the Mayor's Office was not foreseen", he told reporters.


Stepashin was one of the parliamentary deputies who went over to the government side after Sept. 21 and was rewarded with the job he had formerly held at the Security Ministry.


Throughout the news conference, held in a third-floor paneled room of the former KGB's infamous Lubyanka headquarters, Stepashin appeared sharper and more confident than his boss, prompting him and supplying him with words.


The two ministers said that they had given the government detailed intelligence "virtually on an hourly basis" about the strength of the opposition both inside the White House and in Russia's regional centers through their "regional divisions".


Golushko, 56, formerly head of the Ukrainian KGB, skated over questions of reforming his organization of 128, 000 employees and improving its reputation, saying only there would be a "reorganization".