By sending in the tanks, Mr Yeltsin has placed the generals in the realm of politics something else that would be democrats should strive to avoid). The army is already too influential in Russia’s foreign policy. It has been behind Russia’s increasing readiness to throw its weight around in the rest of the former Soviet Union. The flash of gold braid is discernible in warnings to Poland and other members of the ex Warsaw Pact not to join NATO, and in Russia’s desire to rewrite the treaty governing conventional forces in Europe. At home, Mr Yeltsin’s need for armed support will make the generals harder to defeat in budgetary matters.
The Economist, editorial 9 Oct 93