Jana and Yury Krasnurotsky (Peaceniks), 1992

Krasnorutsky, Jana and Yury Interview in Moscow, 1992
Interviewer — Metta Spencer

We will start with the description of their participation in the coup defence.

Jana: So, with those August events, Irina, with her car, we printed this paper, we made a xerox of Yeltsin’s appeals to give to soldiers and common people. What to do without car? To drive a car to the soldiers in tanks to give the papers out quickly and to run away. Sometimes we were afraid, because nobody knew what would happen. Maybe some soldiers will shoot or kill the people or something else. So all those days we were together. Irine, Yury, and me. And after that, T___ didn’t know. He said, Yes, yes, yes, I know. And nothing else.

And at the convention sometimes I didn’t like Irina’s ideas, so _____________ ________________ but T____ became (curious?? furious??) It is like relations between people, I don’t know how to say it in English. Like how my husband would feel if I become interested in another man.

Spencer: Jealous?

Jana: Jealous, yes. He was jealous because we and Irina were together. He began to tell bad things about us in the liaison committee and in other groups. That it is not such a great thing to drive the car near tanks, and that it was stupid, and other things. And after that I asked him why he told bad things about us and why he told people that we are not ______. He said, no I didn’t tell people this, and if you want to come to Civic Peace, you can. To us it was a blow because Civic Peace was a big part of our lives. After we left the Trust Group it was the big part of the peace movement for us. But we decided that we must go out from Civic Peace and T____. Because he would smile but behind you tell bad things. Some people told us what T____ had told them. They said T____ told us that you had left Civic Peace. That was before we had left Civic Peace. We said, why? They said, T_____ told us that you don’t want to be in the peace movement.

And after that we decided that we must make another choice. The Trust Group is not strong now. The other people don’t want to have any social life as people. Because our country began to ______ so we decided that we need to ____ money. That is why we became business people.

Yury speaks in Russian.

Jana says, we thought about the future of our business and the peace movement. But now after the August putsch, everything is topsy turvy. No communist party, no Gorbachev. It was a great step and a victory for our people, but now we must work in our country for the economy. And maybe if we have enough money we can build a clinic for poor people. And if you want, you can name it in your own name, if you want. But ____ money from other organizations.

And now people want to leave. The struggle for human rights and for peace is ______. Because people ______. Yes, they want peace, but it’s not so urgent now. There are groups we have now, Civic Peace or ___ or other groups, they are not so powerful now.

Spencer: That is true with us in the West also.

Jana: Of course, it has to do with the economy.

Spencer: Yes, there is a recession. I don’t feel it personally, but people in business do. Many people have no jobs.Students who graduated from my university one year ago still do not have work.

Jana: Don’t forget ___. And remind us of our ___ now work in ____. I think you know him. Yury ____. He also was in the convention.

Spencer: I don’t remember him.

Jana: Now, he is in construction to help students. Students save to get money to go abroad. ….. Of course, students who want to study, they need money. Now to work means ____ in daytime and no time to study. So ___ how to give students work in the colleges and at the same time to ____. And also get some money for their textbooks or new computers or…

Spencer: Have you started to do that yet or is it something you are hoping to do sometimes?

Jana: We are only hoping, but we have the project on paper now. We have ____ and now we want to go to the rector of this institute and speak with him. It is a technical institute and we know this rector because he was one of the teachers of mine, and also this college has many empty rooms, many cars and maybe they can drive them. So we can help them. Step by step it will be good for our college. And maybe after our college, another one and another one. Many people have finished our college, now they are businessmen or business women. Some of them, like Yury, President. (We laugh. This young couple is a company, and he is the president!) And we want to gather them and to create something like a club for people who finished our college, who have money, and who want to help our institute.

Spencer: That is a good idea!

Jana: And we think that we can gather ____ from them 3.5 million rubles.

Spencer: Also, that will be good for you. Maybe not all of this, but business people have a network of other business people whom they trust. And you can exchange ideas and helpfulness in this way.

Jana: Yes.

Spencer: Does the Trust Group still exist?

Jana: No. We still see some of the people as friends, and we sometimes discuss matters, but we don’t make demonstrations.

Spencer:Who are some of those people?

Jana: Asya Lashiver. She is the oldest.

Spencer: Oh, she is a friend of Olga’s. But I wasn’t sure that she was a member of the Trust Group.

Jana: And do you know Alexander Pronozin?

spencer: Yes, I met him last time.

Jana: Now he is a broker.

Spencer: That is so funny! When I first heard of it, it was explained to me that he is working as a volunteer to create a stock exchange!

Jana: When I called him, I asked him, what are you doing now? He said, I’m a broker. I said, Oh yeah!!!

Spencer: He’s a very scruffy-looking broker. You started saying that some of the peace movement people did go to the barricades and some did not . Can you explain the difference?

Jana: —————-. … ______ … We were the first people from the preparatory committee who understood what was happening because we got up very early. and so we began to call to our people on the preparatory committee and we told them that there was a coup and we must decide what to do. We had a meeting. Some people said we must go to the streets with flowers from the gardens and hold a demonstration. We don’t want any more _____ in our Moscow. But other people said, oh, no, let’s go and (sit on the sofa???) and ___ something will happen and so make an appeal to peacemakers, rally and say that we don’t like what has happened and we will struggle against it. But it was not so strong; it was softer. The text was softer. Some people were really afraid so we do an ___ paper, not so strong. And those people decided _____ and after this we saw them at the barricades near the White House, but what other people did we don’t know. Maybe they went home. You know ____?

Spencer: I’m sorry. I don’t remember all those people.

Jana; She said, Oh, no. I must not go to the street. I won’t sign this paper because, if I sign this paper the KGB will kill me. I guess if you think so, you cannot sign. The question is not whether people came to the White House or stayed home, but the situation after those three days was very rude. Those people who went home began to tell us that we were wrong, that the struggle was (?for our future?).

Spencer: Afterwards!!!

Jana: Yes, they said that we were crazy. Why, why? What could we do to tanks? What did you show to the people? Nothing! So it was better to sit at home!

Spencer: Wasn’t it clear to everyone that the reason the coup failed was because of the people who went to the barricades, among other things?

Jana: For some people, for example, for us, it ___________ (how you call it?) revolution. We are not leaving this country. It would be impossible for us to leave this country. So for us it would be better to go to the barricades, with a stone or a stick against tanks or soldiers. It was not so, but a lot of people expected that it would be that way.

Spencer: I’m not sure you understood my question. Everybody around the world understood that the coup failed because you people went to the barricades, among other reasons. You succeeded. So why would these people, your friends, not say that you succeeded and that you should be thanked?

Jana translates for Yury, consults him, then says________

(end of side )


Jana: _____ After those events, the people from the preparatory committee told us, why are you at the barricades in the streets? You’ll be killed. There is no sense for you to go to the barricades because everything is so stupid. But for us, those days were the best days of our lives. We understood that we could do something. In our country we are not alone; we have good people in our country. About the preparatory committee, I feel sorry for them. Poor people. They lost everything, they missed everything.

Spencer: I am a poor person too because the day before I went home. I felt I should be here.

Jana: After the convention, [Valcourt??] — he’s from Holland, he’s from the Liaison committee. He also stayed in Moscow and he was in shock because they day before, everything was so nice in the convention. And we told him that in our country, everything can take place.

Spencer: So the liaison committee split.

Jana: yes, I think so. They were split but they also have some fights now. I speak not about the preparatory committee but about the liaison committee. The liaison committee is composed of people from different countries who ____ to one country. Preparatory committee is to prepare for a convention. This woman Ruzana ______. ____________________________.

(This is not the same person as Ruzana Ilukhina, but some woman who lives in Toronto, according to them. )

I tell them I had lost the tape from our first visit, dealing with the history of the Group for Trust. We will go over it again now. They had joined the Trust Group in 1986.

They reminded me that it was split after the Medvedkovs left. The issue was over strategy. … … .

Krivov said that the Trust Group had ended, and began to publish articles in a magazine. Krivova also left the country, and after that the Trust Group began another kind of life. Perestroika was declared in 1985 and Krivova left in 87. It was impossible to go to demonstrations as before but we could go to meetings of other groups. Thousands of groups. Political, economic, peace. After that, Yury left with Tairov and it was funny. Somebody speaking English called our apartment and said they wanted to have a meeting with the Trust Group. But Yury’s English is so poor, he said “I’m sorry, none of us speaks English.” So this man said he wants ………….

So all our ideas went to Civic Peace.


I ask how they were drawn to the Trust Group. They said that when she was nineteen and Yury was 20, they were invited by some young people who said that it was interesting, a place where people could talk freely about the problems of their country. One of those girls who invited them was Natasha ____. Jana doesn’t know where she is now. She wanted to go abroad. Maybe she is in Sweden. We have no information about her.

Spencer: So you were part of those young people who were nonconformists?

Julia Kalinina was part of that group too.

Jana: I knew Alexander Kalinin when he called and said he wanted to be a member of Civic Peace. I took him a copy of our declaration.

Spencer: Can you say that that movement had any influence on public opinion or on officials at all?

Jana: yes. That’s why we put our future into the Trust Group. Because if you just see the results of your work, of your struggle, for you it has interest. So people saw our work and began to answer us. Not always with letters, but sometimes we saw articles in the newspapers against the trust Group, against our activities, and against members of the Trust Group. One of our members was was a conscientious objector, a member of “Prisoners of Conscience” who did not want to serve in the army. I am speaking not about Alexander Pronozin but about other groups.

(Later they tell me that there was an official of the Russian government who was interested in their work and was quite supportive. I think they said his name was Fedorev. I don’t seem to have this on tape.)

The Russian Quest for Peace and Democracy, by Metta Spencer, published by Lexington Books