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Like It's 1991: Knesset Speaker Seems to Think Israel Is in the Soviet Union

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From 1991 to 1993, an economics professor, Ruslan Khasbulatov, served as speaker of the Russian parliament. Actually, for the first couple of months of that stretch, he was speaker of the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.

But even after the changeover, the Russian parliament was a holdover of the Soviet Union’s constitutional system, which did not recognize the principles of separation of powers. Parliament assumed political authority that was essentially unlimited, including numerous powers belonging to the executive branch.

Under Khasbulatov, parliament – the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Federation – became the focal point of all the reactionary political forces in the federation: the pro-Communists and nationalists alike, including anti-Semitic groups. These groups opposed the breakup of the Soviet Union, rejected the de-Sovietization processes that the country’s first elected president, Boris Yeltsin, sought to promote, and stuck spokes in the wheels of reforms and democratization.

The political confrontation between the essentially Bolshevik Russian parliament under Khasbulatov on one side, and Yeltsin and his supporters in the liberal democratic camp on the other, reached its peak in September and October 1993. In early October, in response to a September 21 presidential order directing the anachronistic and confrontational Supreme Soviet to disband so that a true parliament could be established in the spirit of the separation of powers, Khasbulatov and his people tried to depose Yeltsin.

First they occupied the government building in Moscow, also known as the Russian White House, and on October 3, a........

© Haaretz