Acting President of the Russian Federation
An air force military officer renown for his participation in the Afghan War, Col. Aleksandr Rutskoy was selected to run for vice president on Boris Yeltsin's successful election ticket of 1991. After the successful elections, Rutskoy assumed the office of vice president on July 10, 1991.
Confrontation between Yeltsin and the conservative parliament, headed by speaker Ruslan Khasbulatov, reached its apotheosis by the fall of 1993. Rutskoy, put in charge of projects on agriculture production and anti-corruption measures, sided with Khasbulatov and opposed advanced reforms promoted by the Yeltsin's administration. On September 1, 1993, Yeltsin decreed suspension of the Vice President on charges of corruption. Two weeks later Yeltsin declared that he would agree to early presidential elections provided the parliament also called elections. On September 21 the president dissolved the Congress of People's Deputies and the Supreme Soviet. In the evening, Rutskoy and Khasbulatov announced that Yeltsin violated the Constitution and should be dismissed. At 00:17 a.m., September 22, the Supreme Soviet approved the dismissal of Yeltsin (votes 136-6) and at 00:23 a.m. confirmed Rutskoy acting president (votes 137-5, 3 abstentions), who immediately took the oath on the constitution.
The political impasse developed into an armed conflict in the afternoon of October 3 after Moscow police failed to control a demonstration near the White House. The crowd, urged on by Rutskoy and Khasbulatov, who had barricaded themselves inside, sacked the mayor's office and routed the troops inside. Demonstrators then marched toward a television center. A pitched battle ensued that resulted in many fatalities. Khasbulatov called for the storming of the Kremlin. The military equivocated for several hours about how to respond to the president's call for action. Army tanks began to shell the White House on October 4. Hostilities were stopped several times to allow some of those in the White House to leave, but Rutskoy and Khasbulatov stayed to the bitter end before surrendering at about 6:30 p.m. on October 4.