Veterans of the 1991 Soviet collapse met at Harvard University to mark the 25th anniversary of their disparate efforts to take down the USSR.
Gennady Burbulis (right) was Russian President Boris Yeltsin’s right-hand man who was instrumental in arranging for Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia to secede from the Soviet Union on December 8, 1991, thus collapsing the USSR.
Burbulis is shown with Dr Waller (left), who was in the Kremlin on that day; and with Anne V. Smith, then responsible for Soviet policy on the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee under Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC). Smith was an important source of pressure on the George H. W. Bush administration to recognize the independence of Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine.
With Burbulis at the Harvard Faculty Club event were Yeltsin’s foreign minister, Andrei Kozyrev; and the two surviving republic presidents who joined Yeltsin at the Belavezha forest on that historic day: Belarusan president Stanislau Shushkevich, and Ukrainian president Leonid Kravchuk.
Burbulis was one of the signatories declaring the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
Waller was in the USSR at the time to help Russian democrats attack the foundations of the Soviet KGB internal security apparatus, while researching his doctoral dissertation.
The delegation gathered in Washington, DC, to meet with policy leaders and address the Atlantic Council, and then went to Harvard.