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Mini-INSIGHT - RUSSIA - Black August Syndrome

Released on 2012-05-10 01:00 GMT

Email-ID 5475735
Date 2009-08-03 19:58:26
**this is more for fun.... but wanted to send it on...
ATTRIBUTION: Stratfor sources in the Kremlin
SOURCE DESCRIPTION: Senior within the Kremlin circle

Have you seen RIA's story on the "Black August Syndrome"? I would not
forward such articles if it weren't timely.

So brace yourself. August is upon us. In Russia, it has been a time of
coup attempts, debilitating economic crises, financial meltdowns,
bombings, and wars.

The trend, of course, started on August 19, 1991, with the attempt to oust
Gorbachev. For almost two decades, Russians have learned to expect the
worst from the eighth month of the year, with 1991 seeing a coup and 2008
war in the Caucasus.

The other part to add is that Russia's current political era began in
August. It was on the morning of August 9, 1999 when Yeltsin appointed
Putin prime minister and anointed him as his chosen successor.

From RIA:

The litany of August chaos and woe reads like this:

August 19, 1991 - Communist hardliners disgruntled at Soviet leader
Mikhail Gorbachev's reforms launch an unsuccessful coup attempt that leads
to the break-up of the Soviet Union.

August 14, 1992 - The Georgian-Abkhazian war begins, with the conflict
involving large numbers of Russian citizens.

Early August 1994 - The notorious MMM pyramid scheme collapses, leaving
millions of Russians without their life-savings, a sum believed to be up
to $1.5 billion.

August 24, 1995 - The Russian interbank credit system breaks down, leading
to the ruin of 28 Russian banks.

August 29, 1996 - A Russian Tupolev TU-154 crashes over the Arctic Ocean,
all 141 people on board die.

August 17, 1998 - The Russian government defaults on its foreign and
domestic debt and the ruble loses two-thirds of its value in the next four

August 7, 1999 - Chechen fighters invade Dagestan, signaling the start of
the second Chechen war.

August 8, 2000 - A bomb explodes in a pedestrian underpass in central
Moscow killing 13 people.

August 12, 2000 - The Russian nuclear submarine Kursk sinks in the Barents
Sea; all 118 sailors on board die.

August 8, 2002 - Floods and strong winds kill 59 people in the Russian
Black sea city of Novorossiisk.

August 19, 2002 - A military Mi-26 helicopter is shot down over Chechnya,
126 servicemen die.

August 1, 2003 - A suicide bomber attacks a military hospital in the
Russian North Ossetia town of Mozdok, killing over 50.

August 24, 2004 - Two Russian passenger planes are blown up by Chechen
terrorists, over 90 people die.

August 31, 2004 - A Chechen suicide bomber blows herself up outside
Moscow's Rizhskaya metro station, killing 10. The next day, September 1,
sees the start of the Beslan school siege.

August 21, 2006 - Nationalists explode a bomb at Moscow's Cherkizovo
market, killing 13.

August 22, 2006 - A Russian Tu-154 plane crashes in Ukraine, 170 lose
their lives.

August 8-12, 2008 - Russia and Georgia fight a war over South Ossetia
after Georgian forces attempt to bring the republic back under central

Lauren Goodrich
Director of Analysis
Senior Eurasia Analyst
T: 512.744.4311
F: 512.744.4334