In Russia, completed a week of voting on amendments to the Constitution. This document, adopted in 1993, was created in the difficult conditions: the decline of the economy, the struggle for power between Boris Yeltsin and his opponents from the Supreme court hanging over the country the threat of separation areas and the most tragic episodes — the fighting in the capital of Russia. “” has decided to recall, as was established by the Russian Constitution and that the events of those years told by those on whom depended the fate of the country.


Work on the new Constitution began immediately after the adoption of the June 12, 1990 at the I Congress of people’s deputies of the Declaration of state sovereignty of the RSFSR, which was tasked to create a new basic law based on its principles, including the principle of separation of powers.

For this 16 June, established the Constitutional Commission, which included about 100 members. The Chairman of the Commission became the head of the Supreme Council Boris Yeltsin, his Deputy Ruslan Khasbulatov, the Secretary of the Commission — Deputy Oleg Rumyantsev.

the Viktor Sheinis, in 1990-1993 the people’s Deputy of the RSFSR, member of the Constitutional Commission and the constitutional Council:

“the Congress was enormous — over a thousand people. Representatives of the regions believed that each region should be represented in the constitutional Commission. As if the constitutional interests and constitutional representation of the Kaluga region differ from those in, say, the Tula region. So the first time, a constitutional Commission was elected in an amount of about 70 people, as some regions simply have not found people they could send”.

In line at the store in the early 90’s, Gennady Bodrov / “Kommersant”

Work on the new Constitution of the RSFSR was conducted in a complex environment. It was nearing the collapse of the Soviet Union, the economy was going through difficult times, the shelves disappeared, even the most traditional goods like cigarettes and socks. Have become a common occurrence in long queues. All this was accompanied by a weakening of the Central government, and eventually began the parade of sovereignties, and the collapse of the vast country.

of Sergei Shakhrai, since may 1993, — the official representative of the President in the Constitutional Commission, of 3 June of the same year, the government representative in the constitutional Assembly, one of the main authors of the Constitution:

“When a country is in crisis, economic or political, is absolutely can not touch the text of the Constitution. We are in 1992 and 1993 on the skin is experienced. Then the Constitution has been amended more than 400 amendments, the amendments were a form of political struggle, and it ended the episode of the civil war”.


The outcome of the political struggle between the last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin was the collapse of the Soviet Union. Winning fixed Belavezha accords Yeltsin turned out to be in the position of its recent counterpart: he had to deal with a continuing parade of sovereignties, but in the Russian Federation: the Autonomous national regions, raised its status to that of republics and wished independence.

the Ruslan Khasbulatov, in 1991-1993 — Chairman of the Supreme Council, Deputy Chairman of the Constitutional Commission of Congress of people’s deputies, one of the main opponents of Boris Yeltsin in the political crisis of 1993:

“I began systematically to collect at the meeting in the White house, chairmen of regional, regional, Republican and all the time they said "Look what happened with the Soviet Union. Do you want the same? What will you do with your "States"? The country we will lose, and you become poor and useless, besides kick you out instead of you, others will come — you and the month is not usidish on their posts. Don’t you see where this is going? If we are not going to provide and protect each other and our country, the Russian Federation, we will lose everything. Do you want it?"”

The outcome of the work of the Constitutional Commission of Congress of people’s deputies of the RSFSR was the draft of the basic law, which, as became clear in the summer of 1993, had no chances to pass successfully the approval procedure.

the Victor Sheinis:

“the Final result of this three and a half years — I’m not going to tell you all these troubles, there was quite a dramatic event — a project that could not be adopted, as in its support it was impossible to collect two thirds of the deputies. By the way, by the time there are still a few projects, but the official considered only the project of the working group of the Constitutional Commission. To obtain a two-thirds majority could not one project. There have been numerous measurements, polls, voting in the Supreme Council, the Congress — never any project, not only ours, but also the competing (only the Communists have made two or three projects), has not gained the required amount.”

During 1993, while work continued on a draft new Constitution, the country has been exacerbated by a political crisis due to the growing confrontation between the President and the Supreme Council.

Alexander Rutskoi, in 1991-1993 — Vice-President of the Russian Federation, one of the main opponents of Boris Yeltsin in the political crisis of 1993:

“April 25, 1993 referendum with rigged results of the vote gave Yeltsin the opportunity to deal definitively with the Soviets. 1 September 1993, again narosev the Constitution, Yeltsin issued a decree suspended me from the post of Vice-President, hoping that I will come with a bow to apologize. I had to work in his field office, which was in the Supreme Council.”


The Kremlin has decided that the way out of the stalemate could be the creation of a new body that will continue to develop the basic law, but not under the auspices of the Congress of people’s deputies of the RSFSR. This body was convened by the President of the Constitutional meeting.

of Sergei Filatov, in 1993-1996 — head of the presidential Administration of Russia, one of the organizers of the violent suppression of the Supreme Soviet of Russia in 1993:

“in the Summer of 1993, a draft of the new Constitution, which is then sent for consideration to the regions. First, there began to receive positive reviews on it (of course with amendments and additions), but then suddenly there was silence. It turned out that Khasbulatov, using his powers on financing of local councils, ordered to send all local councils in the regions for the summer holidays. It became clear that he and his supporters gradually recovered from the shock caused by the results of the April referendum, and decided to sabotage the adoption of the new Constitution”.

RIA Novosti

Meanwhile, the political crisis in the country was growing: in September 1993, the President signed Executive orders removed from the post of Vice-President Alexander Rutskoi, dissolved the Supreme Council and appointed a public vote on a new Constitution that was a violation of the fundamental law. After that, Yeltsin was de jure automatically impeached the President in accordance with article 121.6 of the current Constitution, the constitutional Court concluded that the unconstitutional actions of the President.

the Alexander Rutskoi:

“Yeltsin to abandon his post of the President, not Congress, not the Supreme Council and highest judicial body of the country — the constitutional court. To this day it is the decision of the constitutional court is not cancelled. So from 1993 to 1999, Yeltsin held the position of President illegally. Here we have a legal country”.

The confrontation between the two branches of government ended with the shooting of the Parliament in October 1993. Further editing of the draft Constitution was made by the President.

of Sergei Shakhrai:

“There is the Constitution, which are a very good format of the agreement public consent. For example, the Constitution of Spain. In October of 1993, no public consent was not. There was an episode of the civil war in the capital of our country.”

A nationwide vote on new Constitution was held on 12 December 1993. Was 58,43 aboutcent voted “against” — 41,57 percent. The new basic law came into effect from the day of its publication in the “Russian newspaper” — 25 December 1993.


The results of the vote caused a lot of controversy regarding their credibility. Authorities on the questions raised had failed to give comprehensive answers.

the Victor Sheinis:

“When the Duma three times spoke to [Chairman of the Central election Commission Nikolai] Ryabov to provide protocols of all the regional commissions, he first gave a vague explanation, and then said that, in accordance with the law, all these materials are destroyed.

When I asked his assistant to raise the issue, he reproduced the words of one of Yeltsin’s, I certainly don’t remember whose it was: "do You want to start a civil war?"

Of course, the civil war no one wanted. The Duma was elected, the Communists received their mandates, the Republic also received representation. And, in General, ended the story peacefully, it was down all on whom it depended.”