by • December 26, 2007 • TransitionsComments (0)687

“Orange People: A Brief History of Transnational Liberation Networks in East Central Europe,”

The idea for this article arose at Oxford University, when PhD students Alisa Voznaya and Nadiya Kravets hosted me to speak about trans-national liberation movements in East-Central Europe. Because it was shortly after the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, somewhere along the line it occurred to me to call these agitators (many of them my friends) “Orange People”—the name of the presentation and the subsequent two articles. The first was for STAIR (St. Antony’s International Review). The second is an expanded version later published in Demokratizatsiya. The aim of the article was to expose the string that unified all the main revolutions in the Soviet and post-Soviet area. Even participants of those revolutions were somewhat surprised to see that indeed there was a common string and a “one degree of separation” from other epic events. During research, even I was surprised. I had a hunch, since I noticed before how many key players from the region knew each other personally and in the most unexpected ways.

Orange People: A Brief History of Transnational Liberation Networks in East Central Europe


Abstract: Democracy activists in East Central Europe have transformed the region in fun- damental ways, as both dissidents and rulers. This article examines their lesser-known transnational cooperation efforts (or “contagion”) from 1968 to today and their use of inter- national support and inspiration. This article also explores the differences between these “Orange” people and the regimes they struggle against, speculating on the reasons for those differences and their sources of motivation.

Keywords: Democracy activism, transnational revolutionary networks, transnational influ- ences, regime overthrow, logotherapy, anticommunism, antisocial personality disorder

“We have underestimated completely the processes taking place in Poland, Hungary and espe- cially recently in East Germany, and their effect and influence on our society.”1

—Milo∆ Jake∆
Deposed Czechoslovak communist leader November 25, 1989


This article broadly traces a specific aspect of the transnational “effect and influence” (in Jake∆’s words) of the processes of liberation in the past half-century in central and east- ern Europe. It explores the origin of the transnational Orange networks, their interactions behind the Iron Curtain, their zenith in 1989 through 1991, reappearance in the partially reformed postcommunist space, and ends with their latest activities, before outlining a few generalizations in search of a theory for their origins and motivation. Undoubtedly, the con- tagion effect from abroad is but one in the constellation of factors (mostly domestic) that

Fredo Arias-King—the son, grandson, and great-grandson of activists and dissidents—has studied and advised democratic forces in the Americas and in postcommunist Eurasia for almost two decades. He has published two books: Sloboda!: Czechoslovakia’s Road to Freedom (ed., 1991), which compiles original chapters by some of the main architects of the Velvet Revolution; and Tran- siciones: La experiencia de Europa del Este (2005), a compendium of the main lessons of the tran- sitions. He is also the founder of Demokratizatsiya. This article is an expanded version of an earli- er piece published in the Oxford University journal St. Antony’s International Review. Copyright © 2007 Heldref Publications



make these liberations possible.2 And within this factor, the transnational Orange networks are also but one element. This article will focus on this specific aspect—the main Orange people that transcended borders to reach out to other Orange people.

Because the numerous individuals and groups that have organized to overthrow com- munist and neocommunist regimes have a multiplicity of ideologies and goals—from lib- eral to patriotic to anarchist to religious to social-democratic to reformed-communist to simply outraged citizens—for simplicity, and despite its recent discomfiture, the label “Orange” to describe them collectively is used for this article. Besides Ukraine’s event in late 2004, orange has been used by several opposition forces in the region, the most evi- dent being Poland’s “Orange Alternative” as well as Hungary’s “Orange Appeal” and the journal Magyar narancs (Hungarian Orange).

Similarly, because the regimes targeted by the Orange people also span different cate- gorizations—from communist to pseudo-fascist to corrupt neocommunist to sultanistic to ultra-étatist to simply illiberal—in this article I also continue with an earlier hypothesis that the nature of such regimes cannot be easily defined by ideology or any well-constructed system of values. Their common denominator instead is a compulsion to engage in illiber- al and antisocial behavior, perhaps carried over from a combination of Marxist-Leninist ide- ology and self-selection to and training in their respective nomenklatury. Not all Commu- nist Party members engaged in antisocial behavior and some were quite constructive to the reform process and human rights (in fact, regime moderates who played key liberating roles are also defined as Orange people here). It is also true that, with few known exceptions, the key individuals conforming the antisocial regimes were either communists or had actively participated in antisocial activities from within the apparat even after the liberalizing trends began. Such individuals change ideology and political orientations quite rapidly (the most common venue is from communist to either ultra-nationalist or unideological corrupt net- works), I use the label “antisocial” to describe the nature of such individuals and their regimes rather than “communist” or other labels, because it captures their collective essence in one word. The American Psychiatric Association defines antisocial as:

fail[ure] to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behavior . . . such as destroying property, harassing others, stealing or pursuing illegal occupations. Persons with this disor- der disregard the wishes, rights or feelings of others. They are frequently deceitful and manip- ulative in order to gain personal profit or pleasure. . . . They may repeatedly lie, use an alias, con others, or malinger. . . . They may have an arrogant and inflated self-appraisal and may be excessively opinionated, self-assured and cocky [yet] may display a glib, superficial charm and can be quite voluble and verbally facile.3

Václav Havel captured the essence of the nonideological struggle between Orange peo- ple and antisocials, while reflecting on the Velvet Revolution ten years later: “I wouldn’t answer that it was the victory of one ideology over another, of one state over another state. . . . But I say certain values triumphed. Freedom triumphed over oppression. Respect for human dignity triumphed over humiliation.”4

If gaining profit and pleasure at others’ expense is the goal of the antisocial, the moti- vation of the Orange people is more elusive and seems unique in each case. Classic eco- nomic theory, with its emphasis on profit maximization by individuals, fails to explain Orange behavior. After all, the dismal science is meant to explain how people act, not nec- essarily why. Political science is probably not much help either, because it is still divided

Orange People 31

as to the role played by agency in political transformations—and in any case assuming, as economics does, that public figures are maximizers. Despite this shortcoming, some polit- ical theorists have come around to noticing that “exemplary individuals” also play a role in the struggle against authoritarian rule.5

Psychology may be a better place to find theories. Viktor Frankl spoke about the power of involvement and its relation to self-esteem, which he called “logotherapy”—from the Greek logos, or meaning. Challenging previous theories of motivation, Frankl wrote that “it is one of the basic tenets of logotherapy that man’s main concern is not to gain pleasure or to avoid pain, but rather to see a meaning in his life. That is why man is even ready to suf- fer, on the condition, to be sure, that his suffering has a meaning.”6 Adam Michnik, one of the key Polish dissidents, echoes Frankl when writing that “The ethics of Solidarity are based on the [premise] that there are causes worth suffering and dying for. Gandhi and [Mar- tin Luther] King died for the same cause as the miners in Wujek who rejected the belief that it is better to remain a willing slave than to become a victim of murder.”7 Why this univer- sal theory fits the Orange people, who are a distinct minority, is not simple to answer.

Risking the label of Manichaeism, this article follows the broad groups established by Timothy Garton Ash when describing events in the 1989 revolutions: Us, Them, and the Out- side World.8 But to explain Orange-antisocial interaction, the article follows the classic framework on transitions as resulting from the complex relations between regime hardlin- ers, regime moderates, opposition moderates, and opposition hardliners, where the final breakthrough often occurs as the result of pressure of the respective hardliners, which enables the moderates in both camps to negotiate, following a complex perception of mutual power and game theory.9

Because I have been cooperating with the Orange people and studying their activities for almost twenty years, much of this article answers to this direct exposure. However, this article is entirely broad and preliminary, as a more serious study of the dense and complex issues here would take many more years and more space to complete.10 Only fractions of this article will surprise those who follow the Orange people closely, as it is meant for a more general audience.

Genesis of the Orange Contagion

The evidence points to the 1968 Prague Spring as an important source of the Orange con- tagion that spread throughout the bloc, causing the eventual demise of communism, and later continuing to have ripple effects in the postcommunist period.

After the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968 and Alexander Dub∞ek’s internal exile, a handful of individuals who contributed to the brief liberaliza- tion experiment continued carrying the Orange torch. Those who had an impact beyond their borders were Zden eˇ k Mlynáˇr and Jiˇrí Hájek. The latter was the main figure who con- tinued the advocacy of the Prague Spring and its mystique, and was the nexus between the Prague Spring and the Velvet Revolution. Mlynáˇr played a similar role as Hájek, except that he was eventually exiled to Vienna whereas Hájek remained in Czechoslovakia, and therefore could continue being more influential in the ensuing dissident activities.

Hájek, a social-democrat who joined the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia when both parties were forced to merge in the late 1940s, became foreign minister as part of a group of noncommunists and reform-communists appointed by Dub∞ek to lend credence to the


Prague Spring’s reform spirit. In his memoirs, Dub∞ek calls Hájek a man of “solid liberal reputation.”11 Immediately following the Soviet-led invasion in August 1968, Hájek flew to New York to denounce it before the UN General Assembly, before returning to Prague. Not surprisingly, Hájek was one of the first leaders the Soviets demanded be removed. He later became one of the original authors and spokespersons of Charta 77, along with the play- wright Havel, Pavel Kohout, and the philosopher Jan Pato∞ka, and a few others. When Pato∞ka died during detention and Havel serving various prison sentences, it was Hájek (whom the authorities could not overtly repress because of his popularity with the Scandi- navian and other social-democrats in power as well as Euro-communists) who carried the Charta 77 torch for much of the time before 1989. It was forbidden in the Czechoslovak press to even mention his name, and Husák was far more concerned (at least initially) with figures such as Hájek than with regular dissidents such as Havel.

The Orange Contagion into Poland

The Orange contagion between Czechoslovakia and Poland is complex and took a back- and-forth motion, with activists influencing and feeding off one another mostly through the “demonstration effect” and limited personal relations.

On March 8, 1968, five thousand students at Warsaw University assembled to protest the expulsion of their fellow student Adam Michnik. An attempt by police to scatter them ended in the quick spread of student disturbances throughout the country, in what became the largest civil movement in all of Eastern Europe since 1956. Many students shouted “Poland is waiting for her Dub∞ek!”12 Michnik was arrested for those uprisings and later, in 1985, wrote “To this very day, the myth of Dub∞ek and the Prague Spring has played an important role in Poland,” but then explains why this myth is nuanced. For Michnik, it represented the fragility of totalitarian stability and the desperation and ruthlessness of an empire under threat, but also that change can come from within and not have to wait for changes in the USSR.13

Jacek Kuron ́ and Michnik formed KOR, the Committee for the Defense of Workers (later renamed KSS-KOR, KSS standing for Committee for Social Self-Defense) in Sep- tember 1976 with figures such as priests and writers, largely as the result of clashes between workers and police that June after drastic price hikes. This followed in the heels of another group founded that January, the “Manifesto of the 59,” which sought to press the authorities to abide by the Helsinki Final Act as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Even before the founding of KOR in 1976, Poland was awash in turmoil because of the economic mismanagement and the legendary incompatibility of commu- nism to Poland, where private agriculture, the Catholic Church, and a history of rivalry with Russia (unlike with the Czechs) made it prone to instability. The Czechoslovak com- munist authorities were more concerned with Polish influence in their country than that coming from the German Democratic Republic or Hungary. The border was especially well guarded, and Husák curtailed economic, tourist, and other contacts with the northern neighbor.14 Despite the regime’s efforts, KOR influenced Charta 77, which was officially revealed in January 1977. Apparently, Charta author and spokesman Hájek drew much inspiration from KOR, seeing it as the “ideal” to follow.15

One of the key players in the Polish dissident movement since its inception, Zbigniew Romaszewski, who headed the Helsinki Committee but was also in KSS-KOR and later Solidarno ́s ́c, recounts the many tribulations of cooperating with the Czechoslovaks.16 In

Orange People 33

1978, the KSS-KOR members organized a clandestine meeting with some of the Charta 77

activists in the Sniez ̇ka-Sneˇzˇka mountain at the Polish-Czechoslovak border, which was the

largest of the hitherto three meetings, and the first at the border (the others had involved

Poles visiting Czechoslovakia). The approximately twenty attendees included Michnik,

Kuro ́n, Antoni Macierewicz, Jan Lity ́nski, Romaszewski, Havel, Petr Uhl, Václav Benda,

and other future Orange leaders. They wrote a joint declaration and agreed to continue coop-

erating, including in the printing of samizdat. Later that year, the Poles organized a hunger

strike to protest the arrest of Chartists. It was not until 1986 that the broader group met again

at Sniez ̇ka-Sneˇzˇka. The third time was in March 1990, when Havel was already president

and his interlocutors were in power in Poland. Romaszewski, as well as other former dis- sidents, however, emphasize how difficult and rare those personal meetings were until 1989. Jaroslaw Guzy, the first leader of the Independent Union of University Students (NZS), who cannot recall any personal contact with Czechoslovaks, shares this opinion.17 Srp, whose Jazz Section was somewhat more radical and confrontational than Charta 77, mentions that his inspirations were largely domestic and modest, and also cannot recall initial meetings with Polish dissidents. He was encouraged by the “demonstration effect” nonetheless, such as the selection of Karol Wojtyla as Pope, by Voice of America and especially by the Helsin- ki Final Act, which “was our Bible.”18 Srp does not recall much inspiration from KOR, but thought that Solidarno ́s ́c was by far the main event in the region.19

Although it is difficult to trace a direct external influence on the genesis of the events that sparked the founding of Solidarno ́s ́c (the workers’ protest at the Lenin Shipyard over the unjust firing of crane operator Anna Walentynowicz), the adhesion of Kuron ́ and Mich- nik to the workers’ movement led by Lech Wale ̨sa transformed it into a formidable force and brought the foreign Orange influence with it. The Prague Spring had a moderating impact on Solidarno ́s ́c. At the height of the strikes in Gdan ́ sk and on the Baltic coast, the Solidarno ́s ́c Strike Presidium (which included Wale ̨sa and Walentynowicz) was formulat- ing its demands for negotiation with the Communist government. Original demands for the abolition of censorship and free elections were edited out of the “Twenty-one Demands” after a member of KOR, Bogdan Borusewicz, cited the fate of the Prague Spring for venturing into that taboo ideological territory.20

These hitherto limited contacts greatly intensified in 1989, when in July 1989 a Soli- darno ́s ́c delegation (which had just won the Sejm elections) headed by Michnik, Kuron ́ , and Zbigniew Bujak went to Czechoslovakia to visit Havel, Dub∞ek, and others, and the regime arrested and deported several young Hungarian activists who participated in the Prague demonstrations in August.21

The Orange Contagion and Hungary

Hungary, of course, was another major center of Orange activity, and the events and per-

sonalities leading to its breakthrough in 1989 were no less important than those in Czecho-

slovakia and Poland. Although considered a bit “freer” than its northern neighbors even after

the crackdown in 1956 and the advent of Kádárism, some liberalization measures by the

regime (apparently internally driven) coincided with the Prague Spring. The Orange conta-

gion also found ground there, when university students in Budapest protested the August

21 invasion.22 Several Czechoslovak, Polish, Hungarian, and GDR dissidents, including


Hájek, Havel, Ján Carnogursky ́, Jirˇí Dienstbier, Árpád Göncz, Václav Maly ́, Martin Palou∆, Jan Ruml, Kuro ́n, Jan Lipski, Michnik, and the Romaszewskis cosigned an appeal on the


thirtieth anniversary of the 1956 revolution.23 Shortly thereafter, Romaszewski and his wife, Zofia Romaszewska, who was Solidarno ́s ́c’s spokesperson, organized a human rights con- ference near Krakow in 1988 that aimed to network activists and was attended by Hungary’s future prime minister Viktor Orbán, who wrote his dissertation on Solidarno ́s ́c and its social self-organization ability.24

Although chronologically preceding the Prague Spring, the 1956 Hungarian revolution did not have the same influence on subsequent events in the region for several reasons. Few significant Orange ripples come from it, aside from the natural sympathy it generat- ed. One exception is Boris Pustintsev, who spent years in Soviet prisons because of his protest against the 1956 invasion.25 He later became one of the key democrats in St. Peters- burg, where he was vice-chair of Russia’s Choice, and also in the early 1990s won the highest order bestowed by the Hungarian government for his prior solidarity with them.

When asked, some intra-Party reformers as well as Orange people have mainly cited two factors as to why their inspiration came mostly from the Prague Spring. As a Slav- ic language, Czech is understandable for Russians and especially for Poles, unlike Hun- garian. The Czechs and Slovaks were perceived as emotionally close to the Russians after World War II, and Russians (as most others) recognize the Czechs as a developed Slavic nation. Second, both events were perceived differently abroad. One key pere- stroika architect mentioned that, in his view, which closely mirrors Khrushchev’s own official explanation for the intervention,26 1956 represented a loss of control and a “provocation” by nationalists and Imre Nagy, whereas the Prague Spring, in his mind, represented “reform and freedom” within universal values attempting to breathe life into the socialist idea.27

The failure of the Hungarian revolution to spread its ideals lends credence to the advo- cates of nonviolent resistance,28 as the violent nature of 1956 was used by its antisocial opponents and propagandists in dissuading others to follow its example.

Ironically, however, many of the spontaneous civic movements that sprung up in Soviet Russia resembled more closely the Hungarian idea of 1956 than the Czechoslovak one of 1968. Whereas Charta 77 and Solidarno ́s ́c originally aimed to widen the sphere of inde- pendent activity in society and thereby push the state out of certain realms of social life, in Russia most of the new political parties and trade unions formed in the late perestroika peri- od aimed explicitly to overthrow the Communist regime (see figure 1).29

The Orange Contagion into the USSR

In the literature on liberations and democratization, transnational influences are seldom discussed. Even then, there is debate as to of what that influence consists, what role it played, and what domestic factors are needed for it to work.

When speculating about what it would take for Poland’s regime to collapse, Michnik wrote that

all those who believe in the democratic evolution of the countries of Eastern Europe and who are waiting for another Twentieth Congress of the CPSU [Communist Party of the Soviet Union] or for another January plenum of the Central Committee of the Czechoslovak Com- munist party are deluding themselves. . . . They are wrong because these days joining a rul- ing Communist party is the choice of opportunists. Those who believe in the ideals of liber- ty, equality, and the freedom of labor can be found only in the ranks of the antitotalitarian opposition. It is from them that the impulse for democratic actions must now arise.30

Orange People 35

Prague Spring

Poland 1968 Michnik, et al.


Charta 77


Romania 1989

Romania 1996

Slovakia 1998

Yugoslavia 2000

Georgia 2003

Indirect exposure Direct exposure Direct involvement


Gorbchev, Yakolev, “Prague Group”




Estonian Popular Front

S a ̨ j u ̄ d i s

Ukrainian Rukh

Moldovan Popular Front

Polish elections

Bulgaria 1989

Bulgaria 1996–97

Solidarno ́sc ́

Democratic Russia Movement

Orange Revolution

Velvet Revolution


Moldova 2005

FIGURE 1. Orange Tree, 1968–2006.


Michnik was underestimating the possibility for the USSR and, more specifically, the CPSU, to become the catalyst of East-European liberation.

When studying the transnational influences between the USSR and its East European subjects that led to 1989, Archie Brown, in contrast to Michnik, calls the Soviet influence “decisive,” arguing that much more than whatever Western influence (including the Pope, Ronald Reagan, and Margaret Thatcher) could have had on Eastern Europe, Gorbachev’s democratizing reforms within the USSR itself, especially after the nineteenth Party Con- ference in mid-1988, were the main catalyst.31 Brown also argues that the Prague Spring’s and Solidarno ́s ́c’s influence on Soviet reform could have been counterproductive, because it frightened the conservative Soviet elements into further tightening the screws domesti- cally. However, Brown’s otherwise precise analysis oddly omits the ways in which the Prague Spring influenced Soviet reform positively, both through the “demonstration effect” and, more important, the effect it had on specific people inside the Soviet regime.

When asked during Gorbachev’s visit to Prague in early 1987 about the difference between perestroika and the Prague Spring, Soviet spokesman Gennady Gerasimov famously answered, “nineteen years.” More than intellectual coincidence in an attempt to reform communism from above, there were several direct links or “action channels” that spread the Orange contagion from Czechoslovakia to the USSR: Soviet system insiders directly exposed to Czechoslovakia; system insiders indirectly exposed to the Prague Spring; and system outsiders indirectly exposed to the Prague Spring.32

The first group, Soviet system insiders directly exposed to Czechoslovakia (and even the Prague Spring or its aftermath), is the most important group of the three, and also sur- prisingly large in terms of numbers but also in terms of the influence it had on subsequent events in the Soviet Union and its relations with its satellites.

Several of the key architects of the Soviet “new political thinking” in foreign relations had been exposed to Czechoslovakia during the 1960s. This “Prague group” included, among oth- ers, such future notables as Georgy Shakhnazarov, Aleksandr Bovin, Yevgenny Ambart- sumov, Fyodor Burlatsky, Gerasimov, Georgy Arbatov, Yegor Yakovlev, Oleg Bogomolov, Anatoly Chernyaev, Yuri Karyakin, Merab Mamardiashvili, and Aleksandr Tsipko.33 Many were working on the journal Problems of Peace and Socialism, which was considered an oasis of relatively free thinking in the bloc under the aegis of the former Pravda editor Aleksei Rumyantsev, who was described as a “system dissident.”34 Some of them mention that even before the Prague Spring there was far more freedom in Czechoslovakia than in the Soviet Union, and that they could not help but be infected by it.35 Shakhnazarov and Chernyaev were apparently the informal leaders of this group.36 The first was the architect of the institution- al changes in the mid-perestroika period that were crucial to the democratization of the USSR—free elections and the creation of the Congress of People’s Deputies and the Soviet presidency,37 but also played a key role as Gorbachev’s advisor on East European issues.38 The second was Gorbachev’s adviser on foreign policy and known to be sympathetic to the collapse of allied regimes and Soviet disengagement abroad.39 Bogomolov, who became the director of the Institute of the Economics of the World Socialist System, wrote in the official CPSU journal Kommunist as early as 1985 that the USSR should respect “Specific national and state interests” of its East European allies, which at the time was a major break with pre- vious rhetoric on “proletarian internationalism” and basing international relations on class struggle.40 These writings by the “Prague group” grew bolder as time passed. Bovin, for example, a leading columnist in Izvestiya, advocated Soviet disengagement in Eastern Europe

Orange People 37

(and even German reunification in NATO), while Ambartsumov, who had ghost-written for Gorbachev’s book, Perestroika: New Thinking for our Country and the World (advocating sovereignty and noninterference), was essentially the first to openly declare the Brezhnev Doctrine “dead.” Many of them, ironically, had been protégés of the very un-Orange Yuri Andropov, who was instrumental in crushing the Hungarian revolution of 1956.

Aleksandr N. Yakovlev, the future architect of glasnost and perestroika, also described the Prague Spring as a turning point in his thinking about the Soviet system. As a young apparatchik, he was sent on the back of Soviet tanks to reindoctrinate the Czechs and Slo- vaks away from their “communism with a human face” (although he claims his role was mostly to coordinate Soviet journalists). Yakovlev later admitted that this deeply affected him.41 Similar to Yakovlev was Konstantin Kobets, who led one of the military divisions into Czechoslovakia. He later became the defense minister of the fledgling Russian repub- lic under Yeltsin in 1990 and took an active role in defending the White House and defy- ing the Soviet junta in August 1991.

But of all the system insiders exposed directly to Czechoslovakia, the most important was Mikhail Gorbachev. His role, although still being debated, cannot be underestimated. His reforms preceded the rise of the radical democrats and other effectively organized Orange elements inside the USSR.42 In addition, he actively encouraged and blessed the fall of most of the allied regimes in Eastern Europe in 1989.43 Much remains to be stud- ied of this period in history, and one can begin with the future general secretary’s expo- sure to the Prague Spring.

As with Yakovlev, the crushing of the Prague Spring affected Gorbachev directly through various channels. Gorbachev already had an emotional tie to Czechoslovakia, where his father was seriously wound-
ed near the end of the Great Patriotic

“When asked during Gorbachev’s visit to Prague in early 1987 about the difference between perestroika and the Prague Spring, Soviet spokesman Gennady Gerasimov famously answered, ‘nineteen years.’”

War. In addition, Mlynárˇ was reported-
ly Gorbachev’s best foreign friend at
Moscow State University, where they
studied together for five years
(1950–55) and even lived across the
hall at the dormitory some of that time.
In the summer of 1967, Gorbachev
recounts Mlynárˇ’s visit to Stavropol,
where they discussed in detail the lat-
est events in Czechoslovakia.44 Shortly
thereafter, at the age of thirty-seven,
Mlynárˇ became a high-ranking member of the Czechoslovak leadership and a key archi- tect of the Prague Spring. After its crushing, he suffered repression and house arrest (and finally exile to Vienna after he coauthored Charta 77). Gorbachev was then sent to Czecho- slovakia a few months after the invasion to work on reimposing conformity with Moscow, mostly through the youth groups. In his memoirs, he recounts how workers refused to meet with the Soviet delegates (one of which was his future alter ego and nemesis, Yegor Lig- achev) and how he came to many realizations, one of which was how events on the ground flatly contradicted the official reasons for the invasion.45 He later mentioned to Czech interviewers that he felt the utter resentment of common people toward the Soviets, how this “opened my eyes. I saw that we had humiliated a nation.”46 He traces the beginning


of the dreaded “era of stagnation” squarely on the crushing of the Prague Spring and even admits to having to follow orders from Brezhnev’s Kremlin to both praise the invasion as well as tighten the political screws in Stavropol against reformers (lending credence to one of Brown’s observations).47

In a conversation between Gorbachev and Mlynárˇ after the collapse of communism, the former admits to having followed his friend’s travails and suffering the crushing of the Prague Spring, after reminiscing about their time at university together where they were exposed to new and daring ideas from outstanding professors, especially after Stalin’s death in 1953. Gorbachev mentioned that while rising in the ranks of the CPSU, “the Czechoslovakia of

“But of all the system insiders exposed directly to Czechoslovakia, the most important was Mikhail Gorbachev.”

1968 was for me a major impulse toward critical thinking. I understood that there was something in our country that was not right. But this impulse came from the outside world.”48

That “impulse” may have also come from inside the USSR. Analysts and participants point to Stalin’s death, the Thaw, the twentieth Party Congress (and Khrushchev’s famous secret speech denouncing Stalin), and the more liberal atmosphere that ensued, as the seeds of the enthusiasm in many

Soviet circles for the events in Czechoslovakia in 1968. Rather than learning from Dub∞ek’s experiment for the first time, many Soviet “closet liberals” were looking anx- iously at the Prague Spring and its evolution for cues as to how they could behave in the USSR. “A generation of Party officials was infected with a vision analogous to that which, in Czechoslovakia, was known as the Prague Spring.”49 Of course, this contagion stalled after Brezhnev’s crackdown in both Czechoslovakia and the USSR, only to reemerge under Gorbachev, who has described himself as a “child of the 20th Party Congress.” This time, in 1985, it was the turn of the East European dissidents as well as expelled Party reform- ers to closely look eastward.50

Immediately after taking power, Gorbachev pronounced himself on the Prague Spring and intrabloc relations more generally. At Konstantin Chernenko’s funeral in March 1985, he warned the attending Warsaw Pact leaders there would be no more Brezhnev Doctrine.51 He repeated this in a speech that April.52 In 1987, during the celebrations of the Bolshe- vik Revolution’s seventieth anniversary, he remarked that the USSR needed to reexamine the Prague Spring, characterizing Soviet relations with its allies as an “arrogance of omni- science.”53 In Yugoslavia in March 1988, Gorbachev was more forthcoming. The joint dec- laration disavowed the legitimacy of interference in the internal affairs of another state “under any pretext whatsoever.”54

The second group affected by the Prague Spring involved those system insiders that were indirectly exposed. The “demonstration effect” of the Prague Spring and its end affected other parts of the Soviet establishment. For example, Len Karpinsky, a rising star in the party and protégé of both Mikhail Suslov and Boris Ponomarev, and whose father had been close to Lenin, had broken with privilege to protest the invasion, which had become his breaking point after a series of disappointments with the system.55 Another

Orange People 39

child of party privilege, Pavel Litvinov, the grandson of Stalin’s foreign commissar, after following the Prague Spring for months and shocked at its destruction, participated in a small but stunning protest in Red Square by the Kremlin, carrying banners in Russian and Czech denouncing the invasion, for which he was sent to Siberia.56 A third system insid- er that wrote critically of the 1968 invasion and was therefore banished from his institute (along with another two hundred sociologists) was Yuri Levada. He wrote that “You can- not solve ideological issues with the help of tanks.”57

Karpinsky was key in the formation of the Moscow Tribune in 1988, one of the ear- liest “clubs” that sought to deepen perestroika under Sakharov’s leadership, which also included Yuri Afanasyev, Leonid Batkin, Karyakin, and other intelligentsia on the verge of playing a major role in the Soviet transformation.58 Some of these figures also found- ed Memorial, and later the Democratic Russia Movement. Levada was a key founder of VTsIOM, the All-Union (later all-Russia) Center for the Study of Public Opinion, which played a leading role during perestroika by bringing into the political equation (initially under the guidance and protection of Tatyana Zaslavskaya59) the art of public opinion research. (Levada more recently faced problems with Putin’s Kremlin for the same reason.)

How the Prague Spring (and its demise) was affecting Soviet Ukraine, as well as masses of common people throughout the Soviet Union—including examples ranging from Latvian fishermen wearing black armbands in solidarity with the Czechoslovaks to elements in the Soviet military forming underground democratic circles—has been documented previous- ly.60 Aleksandr Solzhenytsin, for example, may have been influenced by the “socialism with a human face” ideas of the Prague Spring by his close friend Roy Medvedev.61 But of all these “system outsiders” moved by the Czechoslovak events, the main one was Andrei Sakharov. Sakharov is a “system outsider” because he had started unequivocally breaking with the system at the time of the Prague Spring.

Although he had already started gradually breaking with the system since partaking in annual protests since 1966 against Stalinism, Sakharov, the father of the Soviet hydrogen bomb, coincided his fateful “stepping forward” as a dissident with the events underway in Czechoslovakia in 1968 when he wrote his essay “Thoughts on Progress, Peaceful Coex- istence, and Intellectual Freedom,” which became an instant samizdat classic, with more than eighteeen million copies distributed in several countries.62 Apparently, his motivation was not mainly connected to the Prague Spring, but instead driven by his desire to impress on the Soviet leadership certain concerns about nuclear weapons.63 Nonetheless, as he writes, “My work on Reflections happened to coincide with the Prague Spring,” recalling how through BBC and VOA he grew inspired with the reforms in Czechoslovakia, includ- ing Ludvík Vaculík’s “2,000 words” manifesto.64 “What so many of us in the socialist countries had been dreaming of seemed to be finally coming to pass in Czechoslovakia: democracy, including freedom of expression and abolition of censorship; reform of the economic and social systems . . . and full disclosure of the crimes of the Stalin era.”65 In a letter to Dub∞ek, Sakharov later wrote that the Prague Spring was a major inspiration for him. “The year 1968 influenced my fate. Spring brought hope. . . . But it is impossible to think without bitterness of the years that followed on the heels of the storm of 1968, years during which time stood still. But fire burned beneath the ashes. I am convinced that the breath of truth that the Czechs and Slovaks inhaled . . . is the prologue to today’s blood- less revolutions in the countries of Eastern Europe.”66


Yelena Bonner, a leading dissident who later married Sakharov, was also affected by that invasion and it was likely a chief reason for her decision to quit the CPSU and step forward against the Soviet system.67 After their release from internal exile on December 22, 1986, Sakharov and Bonner went on to become the leaders of the fast-growing anti- communist and anti-Soviet movement in the late perestroika period, especially after the first Congress of People’s Deputies was convened in the spring of 1989. There, USSR Peo- ple’s Deputy Sakharov and his allies organized a faction of like-minded deputies, the Inter- regional Group, which later became the genesis of the Democratic Russia Movement, the group that propelled Boris Yeltsin to the Russian presidency in June 1991 and extirpated Russia from the USSR. This movement was formed shortly after Sakharov’s passing, but was founded and led by his disciples: the sociologist Galina Starovoitova, the physicist Lev Ponomarev, and the dissident priest Gleb Yakunin, among others.

Some of these system outsiders also later became directly exposed to Solidarno ́s ́c activists. Sergei Kovalev recalls receiving numerous materials from Solidarno ́s ́c through- out the 1980s.68 An unofficial survey conducted by dissident sociologists in 1981 found that significant levels of Soviet workers, students, engineers, technical workers, and humanists sympathized with Solidarno ́s ́c.69 Romaszewski went to visit Sakharov in the USSR in 1979. He insisted on speaking about physics with the Pole (who speaks Russian fluently) for almost an hour before turning toward politics, as it was a way of verifying that he was not a secret-police provocateur.70 Tatiana Yankelevich, Sakharov’s stepdaugh- ter, calls this meeting “one of those unique, rare contacts” between East European and Soviet dissidents.71 Apparently, Romaszewski ventured to see Sakharov because his recent meeting and cooperation with the Czechoslovaks inspired him.72 This small circle grew to include other Russian dissidents, such as Aleksei Lavut and Tanya Vilkanova. As a result, in July 1979 the Moscow Helsinki Group, Sakharov, and other dissidents such as Yarim Agaev, signed a protest letter in defense of Chartists that had been repressed. But when the Russians were working with Polish dissidents on a joint statement on the Katyn ́ mas- sacre, they were arrested and imprisoned. This is when Solidarno ́s ́c was founded and the Poles were distracted with organizing it. After the crackdown in 1981, it was Sakharov who appealed for the release of some Polish activists, such as with the 1984 arrest of Romaszewski. He found a way to channel some of the money he obtained from the Cino del Duco Prize to the children of the jailed East European dissidents.73 Five years later, when Sakharov was running for the Congress of People’s Deputies, he invited some Sol- i d a r n o ́s ́c a c t i v i s t s t o v i s i t h i m , b u t t h e y w e r e r e f u s e d e n t r y i n t o t h e U S S R . A f t e r t h e P o l i s h dissidents won the June election for the Sejm, contacts were no longer clandestine. Sev- eral attended Sakharov’s funeral that December, and Romaszewski was the main Pole to speak before the assembled crowd of three hundred thousand—which included Gorbachev, Yakovlev, Vadim Medvedev, and other Soviet officials. (The Poles have remained friends with Bonner and even participate on some joint projects concerning Belarus and Cuba.)

The Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania were significant because in many ways they were the conduit of much of the Orange contagion from the collapsed outer empire into the USSR itself. Before the collapse, the Prague Spring affected the Baltic dis- sidents, as they were more exposed to material and information from Eastern Europe than were other Soviet republics. This is another important channel through which the Prague Spring affected “system outsiders.” For example, one of the key Estonian activists and future cofounder of the Estonian Popular Front, Tunne Kelam, translated and distributed

Orange People 41

in Soviet Estonia the secret protocols of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, which were pub- lished in the Czechoslovak press during the Prague Spring. He later did the same with Sol- idarno ́s ́c material.74 The founding of the Estonian Popular Front was the key event in the “thickened history” of the USSR at this time, providing the impetus of what an analyst called the “tide of nationalism” as well as the “mobilizational cycle,” because it preceded and inspired the Latvian Popular Front and Sa ̨ju ̄dis, plus several other such national for- mations throughout the USSR.75

T h e f o u n d e r o f S a ̨ j u ̄ d i s a n d f u t u r e L i t h u a n i a n P r e s i d e n t V y t a t u t a s L a n d s b e r g i s s a i d t h a t the main factors that shaped his worldview were the Hungarian revolution of 1956, the Prague Spring, and Poland, where he happened to be (as a musician) when the communist government gave in and made an agreement with Solidarno ́s ́c(presumably in 1980). He was also familiar with Gandhi’s teachings on nonviolent resistance.76 He specifically mentions that the idea for Sa ̨ju ̄dis was modeled after the Estonian Popular Front.77 Despite these for- eign influences, his memoirs underscore how local and Moscow-centered the liberation process was. Although he mentions Wale ̨sa and the Pope once each, his memoirs are replete with references to Soviet and Russian officials such as Yakovlev, Nikolai Ryzhkov, Boris Yeltsin, and, of course, Gorbachev—with whom he obviously had to negotiate the inde- pendence of Lithuania. Whereas the USSR was the source of much grief, the other inde- pendence-minded movements were a boon to him. For example, the first to recognize Lithuanian independence was Moldova, with a resolution of the Popular Front-dominated parliament (under the leadership of Iurie Ros ̧ca). Similarly, Landsbergis’s Lithuania was the first to recognize Russia as an independent country. Other republic leaders, including nomenklatura figures as far away as Central Asia, were not antagonistic to Baltic indepen- dence and often assisted it (even passively) at the all-Union forums such as the Federation Council, the Congress of People’s Deputies, and the Novo-Ogarevo negotiations.

Only a few analysts detected the important developments in the Caucasus and their broader impact. The de facto war between Armenia and Azerbaijan established several precedents for the USSR. Moscow did not initially challenge the Nagorno-Karabakh sovi- et vote on July 12, 1988, to join Armenia. Thus, it became a bold first act of self-deter- mination within the USSR and a major victory for one of the key popular fronts, the Karabakh Committee, led by Levon Ter Petrossian and several other civic and intellec- tual figures, that would soon play the leading roles in dismembering the Soviet Union.78 There were also contacts between Solidarno ́s ́c and Armenian activists, even before the breakthrough in Poland.79 The Russian democrats also cooperated closely with the Orange Armenians, as Sakharov traveled there to help with the 1988 earthquake relief and to denounce the pogroms, and Starovoitova represented Yerevan at the Congress of People’s Deputies. The Azerbaijani Popular Front, especially in its early, moderate days at the beginning of 1989, was founded by intellectuals inspired by the legalistic Baltic popular fronts.80

The Russian democrats also learned from the Baltics. Since the three Baltic republics were relatively freer than the rest of the USSR, several dissidents or pseudo-dissidents from the larger republics ended up living in the Baltics and partaking in their more liberal atmos- phere. This included several artists, writers, or filmmakers who had been pressed out of their institutes in Moscow or St. Petersburg. Of course, it also included Orange people. For exam- ple, Kovalev joined the fledgling Soviet human rights community and became a dissident in 1968 by working with the Lithuanians, especially those seeking to preserve Church his-


tory. Much of the strategy and tactics of the Baltic popular fronts were later copied by the Russian activists for Russia proper, which assisted them in the rapid dismemberment of the communist system there. The slogan used by Russian democrats toward the Soviet captive nations was “za nashu i vashu svobodu”—for your freedom and ours. The height of their power was the string of electoral victories from 1989 to 1991, coupled with large protests in Moscow that allowed Gorbachev to “sell” bitter reforms to the Soviet establishment, such as the abolition of Article 6 of the Soviet Constitution. Immediately after the failed coup of August 1991, one of the first actions of the extraordinary Soviet-Russian government was to recognize the independence of the three Baltic states.

“Immediatelyafterthefailedcoup of August 1991, one of the first actions of the extraordinary Soviet-Russian government was to recognize the independence of the three Baltic states.”

The Moldovan Popular Front con- ducted massive demonstrations in the summerof1989againstthelastBrezh- nevite holdover of the republic leaders, Semyon Grossu. He was replaced by the more pliant Petru Lucinschi, who promised to begin dialogue with the Front, making concessions in language policy and state symbolism. Although the Front began as ostensibly pro-per- estroika, it quickly evolved into an anticommunist and pro-independence sociopolitical movement almost as

developed and formidable as its Baltic counterparts. Although the genesis of the Roman- ian revolution of late December 1989 is mostly attributed to the accidental activism of Father László To ̈kés and fellow Magyars in Romania aware of developments in Hungary, few analysts noticed the role played by Moldova. Sharing language and history with Roma- nia and with a relatively porous border, glasnost in Moldova meant Romanians watched “corrupting” broadcasts, similar to East Germans with West German television, Azeris with Turkish television, and Estonians (in Tallinn) with Finnish television. Moldovan activists (including the leaders of the Front) routinely traveled to Ceaus ̧escu’s Romania for political activism.81

Perestroika and the agitation in the constituent republics affected the East European regimes, which fell in 1989. Their collapse, in turn, inspired the democracy and indepen- dence movements in the USSR, which finally collapsed in 1991 after a failed coup attempt that August and the signing of the Belovezha accords in December. Thus the “postcom- munist” era began.

The Post-Communist Uprisings

As small and marginal Portugal was the lark of what Samuel Huntington called the “Third Wave” of world democratization,82 small and marginal Bulgaria was likewise the lark of the “Second Regional Wave” of postcommunist revolutions in the Balkans, which is why it merits special attention.

Few analysts have traced the genesis of the postcommunist Orange contagion to Bul- garia, but that is where the causal links lead. Bulgaria was the unusual stage in late 1996 and early 1997 for the first successful popular uprising against not an openly communist regime, but a postcommunist one.

Orange People 43

Bulgaria underwent an incomplete transition. In 1989, one day after the fall of the Berlin Wall, a combination of popular uprisings and palace intrigues ousted longtime communist ruler Todor Zhivkov. Although increasingly large crowds gathered in Sofia demanding a repeat of the GDR and Czechoslovak events (with the chant “Yesterday Prague, today Sofia!”), the weakness of the democratic forces and the inability of their leader—com- munist-turned-dissident Zhelyu Zhelev—to negotiate a complete handover of power, con- demned Bulgaria to muddle through with Zhivkov’s former allies in power until the gen- eral elections of 1991. By then the democratic forces were better organized and had formed an unusually effective (for the postcommunist region) Union of Democratic Forces (SDS), which gained a plurality of seats in the new legislature, but needed the small party of eth- nic Turks to form a government.

Philip Dimitrov, a lawyer who had braved defending the ethnic Turks against the increasingly repressive illiberal nationalism and Bulgarianization campaign in the last months of Zhivkov’s regime, was catapulted into high politics when he gained the leader- ship of the SDS and became prime minister in 1991. However, the leader of the Turkish party withdrew his support a year into Dimitrov’s government—reportedly because of Russian pressure but also abetted by President Zhelev (and the unreformed political police networks)—and, after a brief interim government, the Communist Party, headed by Zhan Videnov, returned to power. Zhelev remained president but had little power.

While in opposition, the SDS began to strengthen and engage in serious party building by introducing the innovative (even for all of Europe) concept of primaries, helping to con- solidate the democratic forces.83 The SDS candidate for the presidency was selected through a primary, handing a defeat to the incumbent Zhelev (who had actually been expelled from the SDS because of his role in provoking the demise of Dimitrov’s govern- ment) and a victory to Petar Stoyanov, who went on to win the presidency against the com- munist candidate.

After Videnov’s disastrous economic performance laced with corruption and increasing repression, it was not clear if he would respect the scheduled elections. In late 1996 young activists began to stage protests in Sofia and set up a tent city in a plaza near downtown. In a scene reminiscent of that fateful November 17, 1989, in Prague, police with truncheons moved in on January 11, 1997, and began to beat up students. Dimitrov, who had been inspiring the Orange youths, (despite the coolness with which the rest of the SDS related to such protests), was also struck down by security forces that recognized him and had to be hospitalized.84 This action, however, did not cause intimidation but instead more social outrage and the involvement of parents and other sectors that otherwise would not have engaged in street protests. With little further resistance, Videnov stepped down and the elec- toral victory of the SDS was recognized. Ivan Kostov, the finance minister in the Dimitrov government, became the new prime minister, and Nadezhda Mihailova, the foreign minis- ter. Dimitrov was sent as ambassador to the UN and later to Washington. Vladimir Philipov, Stoyanov’s campaign manager, eventually became the Council of Europe’s representative in Moldova, where he later played a key role protecting Moldovan sovereignty.

Slovakia was the next postcommunist revolution. Like Bulgaria, it underwent a brief spell of freedoms followed by a reimposition of the vestiges of the old regime, which had lingered in the government and other structures and sabotaged the inexperienced democ- rats to engineer their return to power. Here, the anticommunist democrats and Dub∞ek in the early postcommunist days had appointed as interior minister a figure, which they


believed to be competent and self-assured, but also liberal, since he had been ousted from the Communist Party during Husák’s “normalization.” Vladimír Mecˇiar, however, unlike other purged Dubcˇekites, did not turn out as expected and began to change Slovakia into a pseudo-democracy, a key factor in the “Velvet Divorce” in early 1993. Slovakia was an anomaly in a neighborhood comprising the Visegrád trio of the Czech Republic, Poland, and Hungary, with political repression, electoral fraud, corruption, kidnappings, and a demoralized society. “Slovakia, you are turning Soviet!” was a slogan often chanted in the small street protests against Mecˇiar.

Slovakia was ripe for a peaceful revolt, and the Bulgarians helped provide a catalyst. The key organizers of Slovak civil society point to an event in December 1997 in Vienna organized by the Foundation for a Civil Society, when several nongovernmental organi- zations (NGOs) and student activists gathered in an auditorium to hear a delegation of Bul- garian and Romanian Orange activists describe their defeat of Videnov and Ion Iliescu, respectively.85 “So, what are you doing here in Slovakia in this regard?” asked the Bul- garians, among whom were Mikhail Berov and Dimitar Dimitrov.86 Apparently, there was only silence. The Foundation for a Civil Society began to prepare the civil campaign OK’98 and recruit other NGOs and hire some staff. One of the key ingredients in the OK’98 campaign was to mobilize youths through rock music, an idea of Mike Hochleut- ner, a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer. The Foundation hired Marek Kapusta, who went on to organize the “Rock volieb” (Rock the Vote) campaign.87

Slovak youths (as elsewhere) had a low voter turnout (just over 20 percent in past elec- tions), although they usually voted against the antisocials and in favor of liberal parties. So the key was to increase youth involvement, which was done through music and fun— as is often the case in Orange campaigns. With limited resources, Kapusta and a handful of colleagues organized a series of events at festivals and concerts, spreading thousands of stickers and T-shirts, placing video ads at movie theaters (finding a loophole in Mecˇiar’s media law, which prohibited his competitors from placing ads on “electronic media”) and getting domestic and international sports, cultural, and music figures (including American gangsta rapper Coolio) involved in what became a country-wide “cool,” yet nonpartisan, youth movement, which the regime could not bring itself to stop. In the 1998 elections, youth participation reached an astonishing 80 percent, handing Mecˇiar a defeat, which he received with tears on national television.

New York-based Freedom House organized a conference in Slovakia of youth activists from the region—many of who had left their countries for the first time—to spread the OK’98 gospel. The list of participants reads like a “who’s who” of future revolutionaries.88 Kapusta went to Ukraine and Croatia, working with NGOs that, in Ukraine, eventually formed Pora (It’s Time) in 2004. In Croatia, Kapusta met Slobodan Dinovic ́, one of the founders of Otpor (Resistance) in Yugoslavia, which was founded around the time of the Slovak breakthrough (October 1998). Kapusta traveled a dozen times to Yugoslavia to help train and motivate the Otpor leaders, including Aleksandar Mari ́c. Otpor was largely sui- generis, but it did borrow some strategies from Rock volieb and other OK’98 compo- nents.89 Otpor built itself into a massive organization, claiming to have between fifty and sixty thousand activists around the country. It was after building this formidable network that they used some of the get-out-the-vote concepts used in Slovakia. The only relevant external factor in building this powerful organization was material assistance from abroad, but the “brains” behind it were all Serbian90—except for extensive training in nonviolent

Orange People 45

resistance, courtesy of an American retired colonel, Robert Helvey. Another distinctive fea- ture of Otpor was their effective use of humor and parody to mock Milo∆evi ́c’s regime.91 Because it is difficult for antisocials to counter them, humor and mocking were perhaps the most effective weapons Otpor and other Orange groups had against Milo∆evi ́c and his regime until the NATO bombings (which started in March 1999) changed the political equation against him in complex ways.

Another Orange contagion into Yugoslavia came via Estonia. Mart Laar, the former prime minister and liberation figure, traveled to Belgrade twice in the mid-1990s at the behest of Margaret Thatcher to advise young oppositionists, mostly from the G-17 group of experts who participated in the revolution and would go on to take the financial reins of the country.92

The breakthrough came in October 2000 when the residents of Cacˇak under their openly

antiregime mayor Velimir Ilic ́ organized a large caravan of cars and trucks plastered with Otpor stickers carrying about ten thousand people (with many military-trained war veterans) to Belgrade. The caravan linked up with striking miners from Kolubara, who managed to storm the parliament building and overthrow the Milo∆evi ́c regime after breaking several police barricades along the way.93

After the breakthrough in Yugoslavia, Otpor activists traveled with Kapusta to Ukraine, working with the Freedom of Choice Coalition—whose key leaders later formed Pora. The Serbs also traveled to Georgia, training Kmara! (Enough!) activists, which perhaps was the most visible transnational cooperation of Orange activists in recent times (as the Geor- gian protesters were carrying Otpor signs still in Serbo-Croatian) and led to the peaceful revolution that ousted Eduard Shevardnadze after tainted parliamentary elections in November 2003. Perhaps more than Kmara!, the main venue of Orange contagion into Georgia came gradually over the years to its vibrant NGO sector, much of which was built up with foreign training and support. This civil society, together with a free press (espe- cially Rustavi-2 television), weak state authority (and the lack of coercion), and Georgians’ strong sense of nationhood, arguably provided the main ingredients for the breakthrough.94

Although the Kremlin and its sympathizers usually consider Ukraine a confused and inert geopolitical object of foreign powers (and treat it accordingly), the fact is that Ukraine has displayed an impressive drive to consolidate its sovereignty since the days of mass mobilization against the Soviet regime in 1989–91. Unlike Belarus, Ukraine reasserted its language and nationhood, even beyond the western regions. However, the country is “no Baltic state,” as it is divided on key issues needed to make it fully “European.” Happily for the Orange movement, Ukraine since the days of Rukh (and its overwhelming vote for independence in late 1991) has witnessed several attempts to rid itself of the corrupt and nomenklatura regimes of Leonid Kravchuk and Leonid Kuchma. A bubbling civic NGO sector, a national identity, elections (albeit imperfect), some successfully democratized neighbors, a semi-illegitimate-but-not-too-repressive government, and a respected alter- native elite, made Ukraine a prime candidate for a peaceful revolution. Unlike their Russ- ian equivalents, the bulk of Ukrainian youth activists and NGOs are committed to inte- gration with Europe and liberal values.95

However, despite rhetoric by the Kremlin and conspiracy theorists, the Ukrainian Orange Revolution was mostly the result of domestic factors combined with an ever grow- ing mass of outraged citizens, and not plotting by “dark forces” from abroad.96 This, how- ever, does not belittle the importance of the Orange foreigners who played a part in train-


ing their Ukrainian counterparts as well as in the operational success of the Maidan demon- strations. Several Ukrainians who had been involved in the “Ukraine without Kuchma,” “For Truth,” and other related movements were frustrated with their failures to oust that president and were inspired by Otpor’s success in Serbia and by their Web site, which detailed the philosophy that underpinned that victory. The experience of Ukraine’s NGOs with civic mobilization in the elections at the turn of the century was crucial. However, those elections had no real challenger to the Kuchma regime, and there was no real chance at a breakthrough. Nonetheless, NGOs put together the first big election-related nonpar- tisan projects. When the time was ripe and the Ukrainian democrats had a viable candi- date, they knew what to do. Later, Freedom House brought some of the Otpor leaders to Ukraine, including Stanko Lazendi ́c and Mari ́c.97 The latter made headlines after he was turned away at the border (despite having a valid visa) when the government got wind of his activities. Both Black and Yellow Pora, which were formed in late 2003 and early 2004, as well as Znayu! (I Know!), were the main beneficiaries of the Orange foreigners’ advice.98 Their strategies and symbolism largely echoed those of Otpor and other previous efforts, although they adapted the strategy to Ukraine’s specificities.99

Although there were some Orange links to Kyrgyzstan over the years, it is difficult to find an Orange causality to the Tulip Revolution of March 2005.100 Several analysts down- play the foreign connection in what was a spontaneous uprising in the impoverished south of the country after tainted elections, which caught both the regime and its formal oppo- sition in Bishkek by surprise—not to mention some Orange leaders abroad such as presi- dents Mikheil Saakashvili and Viktor Yushchenko, who actually spoke in favor of Askar Akayev’s disintegrating regime.101

Moldova is a special case, with its Orange people as with almost everything else. If Moldova is a case of what political scientist Lucan Way called “failed authoritarianism” rather than the consolidated type found in Belarus and other places, this is due to the cre- ativity and tenacity of its Orange people. They are gathered in a slew of parties and NGOs, but mostly the Christian Democratic People’s Party (PPCD), which is the successor to the Moldavian Popular Front, the liberation vehicle in 1988–91.

The PPCD wielded the most influence in the late perestroika and early independence periods, but was unable to capture the presidency, which went to the last communist leader, Mircea Snegur, who was followed by another ex-nomenklaturshchik, Lucinschi. The PPCD played various but minor roles in parliament during those ten years, while Moldo- va sunk into political and economic mismanagement. But it was forced to play a libera- tion role in the streets once again after the 2001 victory of the unreconstructed communist party (PCRM), whose president, Vladimir Voronin, threatened to imprison the opposition leaders (namely Ros ̧ca) and turn the country into a “European Cuba,” even speaking about joining the Russia-Belarus Union. This was the period of “red” Voronin. The “federaliza- tion” effort was key in this reorientation, a complex geopolitical game by Moscow to essen- tially crack Moldovan statehood by supporting the separatist region of Transnistria, with the active help of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). After looking inevitable for more than two years, this project died dramatically when, following a massive November 2003 demonstration in Chis ̧ina ̆u organized mostly by the PPCD, Voronin refused to sign the agreement at the last minute, prompting a break with Putin.102 After that November, Voronin started his “pink” period, broke with Moscow, and openly adopted much of the PPCD’s geopolitical and reform agenda. Nonetheless, the PPCD put

Orange People 47

up a spirited challenge to the Communists in the March 2005 elections, trading in its trade- mark yellow for orange, and threatening the revolution card if the vote was not respected. Orange foreigners came to Moldova, including Dimitrov, Dick Morris, Kapusta, Václav Maly ́, Tomásˇ Pojar, and various Georgians and Ukrainians. After the March 2005 elec- tions, however, Voronin and Ros ̧ca unexpectedly reached an agreement to isolate the pro- Putin “centrists” (the Moldova Democrata ̆ bloc) whereby the latter became vice-speaker of Parliament in exchange for the votes that gave the PCRM the necessary majority to reap- point Voronin as president.

Moldova experienced an “Orange evolution.” Perhaps there was no critical mass to orga- nize a proper Orange revolution, for several complex reasons that set Moldova apart in the region, and despite the almost heroic work of Noua Generat ̧ie (the PPCD youth branch), led by Victoria Cus ̧nir. One of them is that half of the active young population is outside the country working, most illegally.

Today’s Orange People

Most of the Orange people today are engaged in either “normal” politics (Laar, Dimitrov, Mejstrˇík, Landsbergis) or in nonpolitical and private life (Srp devotes himself to jazz, Kapusta to his bar-café, and Lagle Parek to her Catholic monastery). In other cases, they are taking a respite from active politics (Wale ̨sa, Havel, Gorbachev), have had their will destroyed by repeated physical or other attacks by the antisocial regime (Sergei Grigo- ryants), are attempting to liberate their countries once again (Shushkevich, Gaidar, Hrant Bagratyan, Gary Kasparov), have died of natural causes (Yakovlev, Hájek, Kuron ́ ) or were murdered (Starovoitova, Shchekochikhin, Sergei Yushchenkov, Zoran Dindic ́). Those who can, mostly still find the time to assist a new generation of Orange activists in the coun- tries that have yet to undergo a deep transformation. The Orange people are now mostly engaged in three countries—Russia, Belarus, and Cuba.

In Russia, the Orange forces are congregated in a multiplicity (although dwindling) of NGOs, mostly around the two main liberal parties—the Union of Right Forces (SPS) and Yabloko—as well as a couple of large sociopolitical movements, namely the People’s Democratic Union, led by former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov. Both democratic par- ties stem from the Interregional Group of USSR People’s Deputies and later the Democ- ratic Russia Movement (DDR), intermingled with some perestroika architects. SPS, occu- pying the liberal right of Russian politics, descends from Russia’s Democratic Choice (the renamed Russia’s Choice), and before that from a wing of the Democratic Russia Move- ment, together with smaller groupings such as a party founded by Aleksandr Yakovlev. Although they have not won any major electoral contest since DDR helped place Yeltsin in the Russian presidency in 1991, they are a steady force in Russian politics and have managed to remain despite the comings-and-goings of the “parties of power” (the CPSU, Our Home Is Russia and United Russia). Starovoitova was perhaps the key founder of this stream, as she helped pass the torch of the democratic forces of Russia to Boris Yeltsin after Sakharov’s passing in late 1989. The DDR never officially became a party and essen- tially dissolved after its chief goal—ending the CPSU’s monopoly of power—was achieved.103 For the next legislative electoral contest, the 1993 Duma elections, the lead- ership of the liberal right in Russia befell on the technocrats that Yeltsin brought to imple- ment economic reforms, key among them acting Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar. Then, Rus- sia’s Choice was the closest thing to an “official party,” which turned out to be a curse, as


it bore the responsibility for Yeltsin’s actions, but did not have Yeltsin’s (who declined to be associated with any party) authority. Russia’s Choice suffered a defeat in those elec- tions to the illiberal parties and Yeltsin replaced Gaidar with the former Soviet minister of gas, Viktor Chernomyrdin, although others associated with the liberal right remained in government (such as Anatoly Chubais). After that, former Nizhny-Novgorod governor Boris Nemtsov (whom Yeltsin once touted as “the next president of Russia”), Irina Khaka- mada, and Chubais essentially took over the party reins. Starovoitova later helped Yakovlev unify other smaller forces into Russia’s Democratic Choice, turning it into the Union of Right Forces. Its new leader is the young former vice-governor of Perm, Nikita Belykh.

“Although there were some Orange links to Kyrgyzstan over the years, it is difficult to find an Orange causality to the Tulip Revolution of March 2005.”

Three individuals formed Yabloko— Grigory Yavlinsky, Yuri Boldyrev, and Vladimir Lukin (thereby the convenient YaBL acronym)—although only Yavlin- sky continues at the helm of the party, which combines social-democratic with liberal views (and therefore can be said to occupy the liberal left of Russian pol- itics, with the illiberal left represented mainly by the Communist Party of Gen- nady Zyuganov, along with other groups such as the National Bolsheviks, which combine illiberal left with illiberal right

rhetoric). Yavlinsky became famous when he and then-economics advisor to Gorbachev, Stanislav Shatalin, proposed the “500 Days Plan” to privatize the Soviet economy in 1990, and for the “Grand Bargain” proposal, coauthored with Harvard professor Graham Allison, which were, respectively, rejected by the Soviet leader and not taken into account by the main Western leaders. Yavlinsky later became a staunch critic of Yeltsin and especially, the Gaidar government’s reforms. As with SPS, Yabloko derives most of its support from the large cities, especially Moscow and St. Petersburg, and is strong with the intelligentsia. Other Orange luminaries from the Soviet and Russian transition were attracted to its ranks, namely the famed investigative reporter Yuri Shchekochikhin (who in 2003 died under mysterious cir- cumstances) and Sergei Mitrokhin (who is still active in Moscow politics). Gorbachev in the early 1990s also flirted with Yabloko, attending some of its congresses and espousing sup- port for Yavlinsky. There was even talk that Gorbachev offered to withdraw his candidacy in the 1996 presidential elections in favor of Yavlinsky, which never materialized (later Gor- bachev went on to become honorary head of Russia’s tiny Social Democratic Party).

Neither Yabloko nor SPS and its predecessors have surpassed single-digit support in national elections, both failing to enter the current Russian Duma after the 2003 elections. Local elections are also not much better, and there are reports in the Russian press of numerous defections from Yabloko to Putin’s party.

The Ukrainian Orange Revolution greatly inspired the Russian democrats and injected some needed optimism into their ranks. Several of their youth activists assisted their Ukrainian counterparts in the events leading up to Maidan, holding regular seminars with them in Ukraine. One such seminar near Yalta in September 2004 united the leading youth- branch leaders of Ukraine, Russia, and Moldova. They shared strategies for the upcoming elections.104 Later, the Russians sent a strong contingent to Maidan during the height of

Orange People 49

the crisis, as did the Moldovan opposition, represented by about seven hundred protest- hardened youth activists that added perhaps the least-recognized contribution to the suc- cess of the Orange mobilization in Ukraine. From the Orange Revolution came the short- lived hope that something similar was also possible against Putin.

Another sign of hope that appeared was the much-awaited and certainly needed grad- ual cooperation of SPS and Yabloko, which began with their youth branches. Perhaps because of the long history of bad blood between the respective leaders of both parties, it was their youth branches that formed a common front named Oborona (Defense) in March 2005.105 This initiative was led by SPS youth-branch copresidents Yulia Malysheva and Ivan Antonov, together with SPS researcher and activist Sergei Zhavoronkov on the one hand, and the leader of Yabloko’s youth branch Ilya Yashin on the other. Its founding con- gress in March 2005 adopted Otpor’s (and Maidan’s) fist as its symbol and actively dis- cussed the strategies that had made possible the breakthroughs in Ukraine, Georgia, and Yugoslavia.106 Oborona made international news when it organized a large anti-Lukashen- ka protest in Minsk together with numerous Ukrainian Orange veterans in April 2005. Although they were swiftly arrested, it was the largest such protest in Belarus in numer- ous years. They had chosen the anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster as a way of adding a “catalyst” to see if the protest would spread through Belarusian society (knowing that these revolutions usually happen after such a catalyst, the last five of which were a disputed election). Malysheva, who is also an elected official in a regional soviet in Moscow, was released quickly but Lukashenka kept the Ukrainian activists in prison longer, perhaps reflecting his disdain for Yushchenko.

Another positive development that sprang from Oborona was the fielding of joint can- didates by Yabloko and SPS for the Moscow Duma elections, which some hoped (and oth- ers feared) would set a trend in other Russian regions and perhaps end with a pan-federa- tion merging of both democratic forces. The new SPS chairman, Belykh, reached out to Yabloko and seemed to distance SPS from the Kremlin.

Oborona, however, like many other promising Orange ventures in Russia before it, became mired in political intrigues and Yabloko’s participation dwindled with the with- drawal of its youth leader Yashin from the Oborona governing body. Malysheva and Oleg Kozlovsky (an emerging leader) are quick to point out that several nonpartisan NGOs and other Yabloko youth leaders remain in Oborona and even attempted to convince Yashin to return.107 In addition to her duties at SPS and Oborona, Malysheva was recently elected to head the youth branch of Kasyanov’s movement. Oborona and the party youth wings are accompanied by other youth groups such as Idushchie bez Putina (Walking without Putin) and Da (Yes)—perhaps unconsciously replicating the Yugoslavian (Otpor/G-17) and Ukrainian (Pora/Znayu) models of having a “good cop/bad cop” approach to challenging the regime. Da is led by Gaidar’s daughter, Maria, and its mission is not so much to chal- lenge the regime overtly, but to strengthen democracy and civil society.108 Nonetheless, in November 2006, Maria and other young activists caused a sensation by placing a large banner on a bridge facing the Kremlin reading “Give elections back to the people, bas- tards!” Other groups include the youth branches of the nondemocrats such as the Nation- al Bolsheviks and Vladimir Zhirinovsky’s Liberal Democratic Party.109

The Kremlin also formed youth groups of its own, including Idushchie vmeste (Walk- ing together) and later Nashi (Ours), which are described by their critics as mainly a sub- sidized collection of young careerists and thuggish elements that may be needed to break


up future Orange protests in Russia. Their sleek propaganda, showing smiling and uni- formed youths and proudly displaying bombed-out cities in Chechnya, smacks of pseudo- fascism, or what their critics call “nashism.” Nonetheless, the overt raison d’être for Nashi (a word that has racial overtones in Russian) is to “struggle against fascism.” Malysheva actually met with several “commanders” (as they fashion themselves) of Nashi to debate and was struck at how canned and repetitive their slogans were without independent think- ing or reasoning.110 Nashi is a futile attempt by antisocial leaders to create a “grassroots” antidote to genuine Orange mobilization. It is similar to Husák’s “anti-Charter” in Czecho- slovakia or Castro’s “actos de repudio” in Cuba, which suddenly disappear when the regime is overthrown.

In Russia, the Orange people are not as powerful and influential as in other countries that underwent successful revolutions. Four main factors account for this. First, most Rus- sians perceive that the “democrats” already had their chance in 1991, and they failed for various reasons. They figure that Putin more accurately reflects the Russian character with an emphasis on “order” and “respect for Russia” but without shunning democracy so overt- ly, as compared with his predecessors, who are seen as unleashing “wild capitalism” and “democracy” on Russia.

Second, “democrats” are usually associated in the popular mind with figures such as Chubais, the former and highly controversial privatization tsar who is active in the SPS party. In addition, the SPS is essentially divided into those advocating a direct challenge to Putin, and those who seek closer cooperation with him. Some SPS leaders such as Arkady Murashev previously contended that Putin should be supported as he has been good to the economic liberals,111 giving them the economic portfolios (even as he gave his fellow siloviki practically everything else)—such as with Chubais at the United Energy Systems, German Gref at the Finance Ministry, Aleksei Uluykaev at the Central Bank and, until his recent resignation, Andrei Illarionov as the economic advisor. Other SPS leaders such as Gaidar, Ponomarev, and (while she was at the party) Khakamada, are more criti- cal of Putin. Therefore, the SPS at times seems schizophrenic as to how it should relate not only to Putin and his Kremlin, but to issues of empire. It was Chubais, after all, who coined the term “liberal empire” to advocate energy dependence of the former Soviet space on Russia and has openly meddled in the internal affairs of other countries, such as with the controversial Valeriu Pasat case in Moldova.

Third, Russia is perhaps the one country in the region where the Orange people find it the most difficult to combine two of the traditional ideological weapons that bring success: liberalism and nationalism. Although Russian nationalism (both the civic as well as the chauvinistic varieties) was indeed useful against the Soviet state,112 after the Soviet col- lapse and the ensuing hardships, several elements of the previous regime and its repres- sive organs have monopolized the nationalist discourse and imbued it with their illiberal and antisocial inclinations.113 The Orange Russians are unable to find traction with a civic- nationalism discourse, instead falling back on basically a liberal argument that fails to find much resonance among the broad Russian population.

Fourth is the popularity of the antisocial regime, which was not the case in other suc- cessful revolutions. Putin’s aggression against the despised oligarchs and Russia’s strong economic growth (due mostly to past reforms such as the flat tax and petro-dollars), as well as effective PR and renewed voyeurisms abroad, have kept Putin’s popularity at high levels since he won his first election in 2000. In the 2004 elections, neither the Commu-

Orange People 51

nists nor the democrats ran their key figures against Putin, attempting to discredit the process but instead virtually capitulating to him. (Khakamada ran without the SPS’s con- sent.) His party has an absolute majority in the current Duma (under the new system of full party-list vote), and there is a feeling among the population that his “managed democ- racy” is bearing fruits. His popularity hovers around an enviable 70 percent.

The Russian Orange people face quite a different opponent in the Kremlin today than they did during perestroika. Unlike Gorbachev, whose grandparents were repressed by Stalin and who later was exposed to numerous ideas at university and certainly displayed impressive tolerance toward his democratic opposition (which often invited him to join it), Putin’s defining moments were essentially in opposing the Orange contagion. As a KGB officer stationed in East Germany during the 1989 revolution, Putin made no secret of his distaste and sense of failure, especially after the tanks he summoned from the local Sovi- et base failed to heed his call. He has openly lamented the collapse of the Soviet Union, famously calling it the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the twentieth century. With his judo theatrics, political bravados, and almost desperate attempts to project power and grandeur, Putin’s “issues” are perhaps driven by a Freudian “compensation” need. His pro- clivity toward bisexuality has been alleged numerous times.114

However, Putin’s vulnerabilities also cannot be underestimated.115 Traditionally, lead- ers in the region can fall unexpectedly. The Soviet system fell not to the radical democrats alone, but when they managed to swing enough moderates in the system itself to their side, as they did on several key moments in 1989 (the votes in the USSR Congress of People’s Deputies to remove the system’s hinges) to 1991 (Yeltsin’s election, system immobility during the coup, and finally the military’s support in dissolving the USSR). This is per- haps why Putin has concentrated on repressing not so much overt oppositionists, but oli- garchs, media, legislatures, and other regime elements that may defect to his open oppo- sition. That is why some believe that his former prime minister, Mikhail Kasyanov, is perhaps a more formidable figure than the traditional democratic oppositionists. Putin’s vulnerability was manifest with his disproportionate and almost hysterical reaction to “The Other Russia” conference organized in Moscow by several key Orange veterans and activists, including Kasyanov; Kasparov; veteran dissidents Lyudmila Alekseeva, Yakunin, and Ponomarev; youth leaders; Orange journalists such as Yevgenia Albats and Igor Yakovenko; and former regime reformers such as Illarionov; and also included some illib- eral figures such as Sergei Glazyev (who was beaten unconscious on his way to the con- ference), Viktor Anpilov, and Eduard Limonov. Although the leaders of both main liberal parties refused to attend, it was nonetheless considered a breakthrough that the foreign media covered generously (while the Russian did not), attracting several foreign digni- taries, including two U.S. assistant secretaries of state. The conference was meant to draw attention to the shortcomings of Putin’s regime days before he hosted the G-8 summit in St. Petersburg. A new rash of high-profile murders has again cast a shadow over the nature of Putin’s regime.

Like Bulgaria and Slovakia, Belarus also went through a spell of freedoms followed by a reimposition of the old antisocial networks, although with a higher degree of magni- tude.116 The unexpected independence of Belarus—which, unlike other Soviet republics, did not clamor for autonomy—was followed by three years of relative freedoms but accompanied by general paralysis of the government, which worsened the economic situ- ation. The liberal and accidental politician Stanislau Shushkevich—a nuclear physicist


who played a key role in the dissolution of the USSR (and who taught Russian to Lee Har- vey Oswald)—became the chairman of the Supreme Soviet and head of state, which were mostly ceremonial positions and had little power to implement the market reforms and state building that he advocated. The parliament was over 80 percent Communist, and gen- erally supported the prime minister, Vyacheslau Kebich, in his drive to re-Sovietize Belarus, cancel its statehood by merging it with Russia, and oust Shushkevich. Kebich was confident that he would win the elections for the new executive presidency against his lit- tle-known challenger, a kolkhoz manager named Alyaksandr Lukashenka. Contrary to pop- ular belief, the Belarusian electorate did not vote to return the past. They did, as even the European Community and the United States,117 see Lukashenka—with his vague anticor- ruption platform—as a better choice than the discredited Kebich.

Lukashenka has managed to remain in power for various complex reasons, not least of which is a weak sense of national identity in the country, the divisive opposition, strong- arm tactics, and support from Moscow.118 Twice the opposition managed to field a united candidate against Lukashenka, but only the latest one, Alyaksandr Milinkevich, posed a real threat, prompting the regime to engage in massive fraud in March 2006. Youth groups attempted to set up a tent city downtown and emulate a Maidan, which resulted in an even- tual police crackdown. The main youth groups in Belarus are Zubr, Mlady Front, and Praviy Alyans.119 The leading opposition parties along with numerous civic groups united in the “Five plus” coalition, which seeks to replace the Lukashenka regime and organize new elections. These include Shushkevich’s Social-Democratic Hramada, the national-lib- eral Popular Front led by Vinchuk Vyachorka, and the Communist Party.

In Cuba and Miami, numerous groups have sprung up to challenge the Castro regime. In Cuba the number of groups and resistance activities has multiplied in recent years, dou- bling every year by one estimate.120 Traditionally, it was the Cuban-American Foundation that dominated diaspora politics in the United States, although other groups have recent- ly emerged. The main ones are the Directorio Democrático Cubano (headed by Javier de Céspedes, who is a direct descendant of the liberator of Cuba, and Orlando Gutiérrez), the Center for a Free Cuba (Frank Calzón), the more scholarly Institute for Cuban and Cuban- American Studies (Jaime Suchlicki), along with others such as Brothers to the Rescue and the Cuba Project at Freedom House.

A plethora of organizations are pushing the limits in Cuba. Of these, the most formi- dable is the Proyecto Varela, a signature-collecting campaign that actually abides by a clause in the Cuban constitution, which permits citizen petitions to call a plebiscite. Rough- ly coinciding with Charta 77’s tactics, the leading force in the Proyecto Varela is the Movimiento Cristiano de Liberación, headed by the dissident and former political prison- er Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas. Although the Proyecto Varela, which calls for a referendum on Cuba’s present economic and political system, gathered more than twice the amount of signatures needed according to the constitution, the authorities nervously ignored it, then attempted to decapitate it by arresting most of its leaders in March 2003 when the world was distracted by the invasion of Iraq. This cost Castro several allies in Europe, who felt compelled to break publicly with him (later to return when the euphoria died down).

The Outside World

Although most Orange people are prepared for the loneliness of struggle and know suc- cess comes from domestic organizing and not manna from friendly foreigners (with some

Orange People 53

exceptions), international recognition provides, at the very least, a morale booster. When Pope John Paul II paid his first visit to Poland in 1979, Wale ̨sa, then a simple worker, recalls that “we couldn’t help feeling that we had been chosen by the rest of the world, as if the world had finally noticed us, finally elected us.”121 Czechoslovak dissident Jirˇí Ruml speculated that “the best form of defense for those movements must be to organize co- operation across frontiers,” where exiles can play a key role.122 Observers still debate the exact role of outside support, but all recognize its contribution.

Given the widespread awareness of this importance and of past successes, with so many democratically consolidated countries in Europe and with a U.S. administration ostensi- bly committed to helping democratic
movements, the difficulty in finding

support in the key Western capitals
when the going gets tough at home for
the Orange people is paradoxical. Only
after a major victory are Orange lead-
ers showered with praise, invitations,
and honorary doctorates—and maybe
attention by the Western bureaucracies.
At the same time, even more paradoxi-
cally, the widespread belief persists
that the Orange movements are
financed by shadowy forces in Wash-
ington or serve as fronts of America’s or Israel’s geopolitical and financial domination. In any case, proactive Orange people can benefit greatly from foreign assistance, keeping a few lessons in mind.

Orange people should not assume that official Washington will automatically help them. As one Orange leader who later became prime minister said, “The State Department offi- cials will not help you when you are fighting against the ex-communists or trying to join NATO—but that is only the beginning of the fun.” During the Cold War, a handful of leg- endary U.S. diplomats more aggressively helped dissidents in various countries.123 How- ever, changed times are frustrating current Orange leaders who are feeling cold-shouldered by “America” (read: Foggy Bottom). The State Department suffers from multiple and mutually contradictory objectives, only one (minor) of which is assisting democrats. Aware of Moscow’s opposition to Orange people, even in other sovereign countries, diplomats are loath to anger the Kremlin and compromise programs (disarmament, drug trafficking, counter-terrorism) requiring Moscow’s cooperation. Whereas we can speak of a “Wash- ington consensus” in reforming economies, such consensus for transforming countries needs active prodding. There are exceptions, as when an insistent high-level official takes on overthrowing an unfriendly regime as a personal project, as Madeleine Albright did in the case of Milo∆evi ́c.

How has a “Washington consensus” toward Orange people and their goals been prod- ded? Most tools are provided through four overlapping clusters: ethnic lobbies, NGOs (and semi-NGOs such as both party institutes), Congress, and the media. Key individuals play a role where institutions fail. These clusters to varying degrees form a “loose coupling” with the administration and can influence policy, assisted by what is known in Washing- ton as the “revolving door” (i.e., between government and think tanks).

“With his judo theatrics, political bravados, and almost desperate attempts to project power and grandeur, Putin’s ‘issues’ are perhaps driven by a Freudian ‘compensation’ need.”


Ethnic lobbying is part-and-parcel of American political tradition. An example of its effectiveness is the founding of Czechoslovakia, largely the result of Tomá ́s Masaryk work- ing with Pittsburgh Czechs and Slovaks to convince President Woodrow Wilson to support the project.

With few exceptions (namely Moldova, Russia, Mongolia, and the Central Asian coun- tries), most of these countries have strong ethnic lobbies in the United States and other Western countries. In addition, U.S. administrations are peppered with American officials from ethnic communities who lobby for the Orange movements in their ethnic homelands, as the geopolitical aspirations of these movements largely coincide with U.S. national security interests. This was evident during the Ukrainian crisis in late 2004, when officials of Ukrainian descent and their NGO allies lobbied a reluctant Bush administration. These include Paula Dobriansky (daughter of the legendary activist Lev) at the State Department, Nadia Diuk at the National Endowment for Democracy, Taras Kuzio at George Washing- ton University, and Adrian Karatnycky at Freedom House. One of these key Ukrainian- American activists is Katherine Chumachenko, the current first lady of Ukraine.

The leading ethnic lobbies from the area united under one umbrella—the Central and East European Coalition—during the Clinton administration as a reaction to Strobe Tal- bott’s “Russia First” policy.124 As these lobbies reached their “end of history” after EU and NATO expansion, they became available to assist the remaining cases, thereby continuing their raison d’être.

There are other NGOs in addition to Freedom House. The National Endowment for Democracy (NED), for example, is a government-funded grant-making organization that has both the resources and the capacity to act. Every second year or so, it organizes the World Movement for Democracy, the main world forum for networking Orange people from all over the globe. Although most of NED’s officials are well meaning and indeed constructive (especially the program officers), Orange people should exercise caution as some officials at NED have been known to take a hostile attitude to certain activists. Accordingly, Orange activists that are from the liberal right and live in a high-risk environment should instead engage the International Republican Institute (IRI) or the Heritage Foundation (Bridgett Wagner, Helle Dale, and Ariel Cohen) directly. Stephen Nix in Washington, DC, oversees the IRI offices in the regional troublespots, and country officers have conflicted with the State Department when assisting like-minded allies abroad. The same with the National Democ- ratic Institute (NDI), whose Moscow office was opened by Michael McFaul, a trusted sup- porter and advisor to the Soviet Orange people of the late perestroika and early-independence periods. The Jamestown Foundation was formed for high-risk cases, designed to give a forum and a home to high-level defectors from communist countries

This “loose coupling” between the NGOs and government becomes more ad hoc with other NGOs and think tanks, as they do not normally specialize in this activity. These include the American Enterprise Institute (whose Orange activity dwindled after the pass- ing away of Jeane Kirkpatrick, the “patron saint” of many Orange Latin Americans and East Europeans, and the departure of Radek Sikorski, who left to become the Polish defense minister), the American Foreign Policy Council (directed by Herman Pirchner, which included an ambitious project led by J. Michael Waller to assist the Russians work- ing to place the KGB under civil-democratic oversight), and others. The AFL-CIO was perhaps Solidarno ́s ́c’s best U.S. friend during the anticommunist struggle, but is not fully engaged in the region anymore.

Orange People 55

The ethnic lobbies and NGOs routinely work with sympathetic legislators from both parties and their staffers, as well as with journalists. In the end, the number of members of the second and fourth estates who are aware of Orange causes, albeit vocal, are quite limited. But that coupling in the end can make all the difference. An Orange leader men- tioned “The State Department can ignore everyone—except Congress.” Orange-friendly legislators include senators John McCain (R-AZ, who also heads the IRI) and Joe Lieber- man (I-CT), plus congressmen Tom Lantos (D-CA) and David Dreier (R-CA), with sev- eral staffers scattered about the foreign relations committees and in individual offices.

Media-wise, the handful of reporters savvy about Orange issues includes Anne Apple- baum and Jackson Diehl at the Washington Post, syndicated columnist Georgie Anne Geyer, and the New York Times Moscow correspondent Michael Schwirtz. A media outlet created specifically for the region (despite its refocus after 9/11) is Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, with its main offices in Prague and Washington, DC, featuring Don Jensen and Asta Banionis as the main contacts. Orange people who are more academical- ly inclined write articles for Demokratizatsiya.

Often, despite the clusters, coupling, and revolving door, institutions fail to act on behalf of Orange people. This is where activists such as Bruce Jackson and Dick Morris come in, following the institution-in-one advocacy tradition of Kirkpatrick and others. Jackson, who has “considerable, if ill-defined, influence within the Bush administration,”125 promotes the expansion of NATO eastward and helped form the Vilnius Group of Ten (similar to the Visegrád group) to facilitate this task. He also assists Orange activists in opposition— regardless of their views on NATO. Jackson and his allies in the U.S. and Europe have become successful in shaping policy, controversially jumping into the headlines in 2003 with the open letters in the Wall Street Journal Europe signed by eighteen European lead- ers who expressed solidarity with the United States and contradicted French President Jacques Chirac’s pretensions as Europe’s spokesman. A former defense intelligence offi- cial and vice president of Lockheed Martin, Jackson recently married Irina Krasovskaya, a Belarusian Orange activist and widow of a dissident murdered by Lukashenka’s regime.

Morris, the former Clinton aide and world-renowned elections advisor to established parties and leaders (i.e., Yehud Barak, Fernando de la Rúa, Junichiro Koizumi, John Howard), had his first major Orange mission (aside from Yeltsin’s reelection in 1996, which he assisted from the White House through three colleagues on the ground126) in Mexico, where in 1999 and 2000 he advised a struggling candidate then largely ignored and belittled by Washington, Vicente Fox.127 Morris then described his (essentially pro bono) experience south of the border as “a struggle not between two parties, but between good and evil,” mentioning later how “I see my mission in life more and more as a democ- racy activist.”128 From Mexico he jumped to east central Europe, where he advised lead- ers such as Yushchenko, Ros ̧ca, Orbán, and several key Russian democrats.

A third institution-in-one is the most famous and controversial. Although he prefers to work alone, financier and native Hungarian George Soros became deeply involved in his region’s transition before the collapse of communism and is said to be a generous contribu- tor to several colored revolutions, especially, for some unclear reason, the Rose Revolution.

Because of geographical and national realities, Orange supporters in Europe are more diffuse and less cohesive when compared with those in Washington but, nonetheless, effec- tive when organized correctly. Some of the principles of clusters, coupling, and revolving door as in Washington, also apply, although with specificities. Instead of a two-step cou-


pling to policy through ethnic lobbies or NGOs as in Washington, Orange activists visit- ing the EU find solidarity directly in government structures through officials from former captive nations or from the liberal right. The first stop should be the offices of the Euro- pean People’s Party (EPP) in Brussels, which includes Nadezhda Mihailova (who served as EPP vice president), and the Slovenian liberation-era prime minister Alojz Peterle. A former youth leader of the Orange forces in Ukraine, Galina Fomenchenko, was elected vice president of the EPP’s youth branch, the YEPP. She is the contact point for most of the liberal right and Orange leaders (in government and opposition) in the region attend- ing EPP summits, as well as the link to Brussels of its youth activists. The second stop is the German and Dutch Stiftungen (especially Konrad Adenauer) as well as the UK’s West- minster Foundation. As with their counterparts in Washington, the EPP and Stiftungen staffers leverage their influence on the EU Parliament. Laar informally coordinated the other Orange MEPs on behalf of Belarusian, Moldovan, Cuban, and other causes when he was one. Transnational solidarity and sentimentality play a part. MEP and former Sa ̨ju ̄dis activist Laima Andrikiene ̇ mentioned that her involvement in the Moldova Subcommittee of the Parliament and her assistance to the Moldovan democrats answers to a historical debt, as Moldova was the first to recognize Lithuanian independence.129 The third is the Parliamentary Committee of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg, which, like the EU Parliament, includes sympathizers and can pass resolutions of solidarity. Individual countries also play a part. Italy’s veteran Orange sympathizers, for example, include Rocco Buttiglione, the first biographer of Pope John Paul II (who spent time in Poland helping dissidents and religious activists)130 and former President Alessandro Pertini, who was a supporter of Sakharov.

“New Europe” also has a collection of institutions and activists oriented further east and

south. The Prague-based People in Need Foundation (CT) and its sister organizations in

Slovakia, People in Peril (CU) and the Pontis Foundation, are well-known. These founda-

tions’ programs are strongest in Cuba (where they took the leading role in forming the

International Commitee for Democracy in Cuba [ICDC]) and Belarus, but also in parts of

the former USSR, most notably Chechnya (CT actually began as an initiative of Czech

Television journalists concerned about the plight of refugees in Nagorno-Karabakh).

Tomás ́ Pojar ran CT until his appointment as deputy foreign minister, but its unofficial

patron is Václav Havel. The Slovak foundations are from the Velvet Revolution and the anti-Mecˇiar campaign and are run by Balasz Jaravik, Nora Benˇiaková, Milan Nicˇ, among others. The former Slovak dissident and foreign minister Pavol Demesˇ now heads the Ger- man Marshall Fund in Bratislava.

CT, CU, Pontis, and Havel led the formation of the ICDC, involving other transition fig-

ures from Europe (Göncz, Laar, Landsbergis, Dimitrov, Jan Ruml, and Petr Pithart) and Latin America (Patricio Aylwin and Eduardo Frei of Chile, Luis Alberto Lacalle of Uruguay, Violeta Chamorro of Nicaragua, and Luis Alberto Monge of Costa Rica). Nikola Horˇejsˇ and

the Chilean-Czech Carlos González at CT triangulate with the Directorio Democrático

Cubano in Miami, Payá in Cuba, Aylwin in Chile, and other Orange forces worldwide to run the virtual ICDC. Gutiérrez of the Directorio also built a network of sympathizers throughout Latin America, aided by the ODCA (the regional Christian Democrats), but especially the Chileans, many of whom were involved in the struggle against Augusto Pinochet, but also some Argentines emerging from the antijunta activism of the late 1970s and early 1980s, such as Gabriel Salvia.131 Because of its geography and recent liberation,

Orange People 57

Mexico became an important ally of the Orange Cubans and their friends, working mostly with the National Action Party, the long-suffering liberal opposition that finally won in 2000 and then again in 2006. Key among them are Cristián Castaño, René Bolio, Carlos Salazar, Adriana González, Tarcisio Navarrete, Fernando Márgain, and Gabriela Cuevas. This worldwide coalition managed to obtain the EU Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Payá, and since 2002 has annually nominated him (through Havel) for the Nobel Peace Prize as well.

Orange agitation reflects universal values laced with national hues. Whereas Czechs and Poles agree on a permanent revolution (as opposed to “Orangism in one country”), their deep-seated reasons slightly differ. The Czechs internalized Masaryk’s idea that an inde- pendent and democratic Czechoslovakia can only survive in a democratic Europe. Where- as Orange Czechs tend to trumpet democracy and human rights when assisting others, Poles, in addition, emphasize (even unconsciously) geopolitical calculations. Much of Poland’s elite consensus on assisting the Orange Revolution in Ukraine and previous Orange events strives on taking space from Russia’s influence—which translates into a buffer zone protecting its sovereignty and self-preservation. In the tradition of Adam Mick- iewicz, the “Polish idea” is largely defined in adverse relation to the “Russian idea.” The ultimate oppressed nation has produced remarkable Orange people and numerous libera- tion vehicles. Solidarno ́s ́c was the most effective, tied only by the Vatican of Pope John Paul II. A number of outfits carried this tradition forward, including the Institute for Democracy in Eastern Europe (IDEE), founded and led by Irena Lasota (from the 1968 protests), which organized Orange activists from Poland, the Czech Republic, Georgia, and Ukraine (including Crimean Tatars) as observers of the Azerbaijan elections in 2003, in Georgia in 2003, Maidan, and the Belarusian sham election. Its discontinued journal Uncaptive Minds was created for Orange people. The Lech Wale ̨sa Institute, directed by Piotr Gulczyn ́ski, spreads the gospel of peaceful resistance and labor’s role in liberation, and it is currently focusing on Cuba. The focus of the new Freedom and Democracy Foun- dation, led by Tomasz Pisula and uniting the various Solidarno ́s ́c factions in power, is regime change in Belarus.

The main Baltic Orange missionary (mostly on governance issues) is Mart Laar, and in Ukraine democracy-promotion foundations may emerge from Znayu! and Yellow Pora. Georgia may increase its activism to curry favor with NATO and the EU.

The Euro-socialists are cool to Orange people, as they associate them with the political Right. However, Orange social-democrats, such as the last four Czech prime ministers and Estonian President Toomas Hendriks Ilves, routinely break ranks with the socialist com- rades. In fact, genuine social-democrats (not renamed ex-communists) in power can be quite vociferous against communist and antisocial regimes in foreign lands. Regardless of their present ambivalence, some socialists did help Orange people during the Cold War. Former French President François Mitterand is highly regarded by former Czech dissi- dents, as he held a series of breakfasts with Havel, Srp, Petr Uhl, Václav Maly ́ (the current Bishop of Prague), and Rudolf Bateˇk to the open chagrin of the communist authorities.132 Mitterand also accommodated Sakharov. Wale ̨sa recalls with gratitude the support received by numerous labor unions worldwide. Similarly, the Euro-communists’ endorsement of respect for human rights was welcomed by Hájek for “banish[ing] the doubts of the active socialist-motivated citizens of the Warsaw Pact countries” seeking such goal, adding that Charta 77’s endeavor is “to induce the authorities of the socialist state to observe fully socialist principles in their relations with all citizens.”133


A case study of fruitful Orange-foreign interaction is Moldova. In addition to the domes- tic mobilization efforts mentioned earlier, the PPCD and civil society cultivated allies in Washington and the EU to achieve three modest goals since 2001: stay out of prison, avert a communist reimposition, and defeat Moscow’s “federalization” project on Moldova.134

At first glance, the task was not easy. A virtually forgotten country by the West, Moldo- va did attract the Kremlin’s unwelcome attention—specifically, to maintain its military base in the equally illegal statelet of Transnistria. At some point, the Organization of Secu- rity and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) as well as the U.S. diplomats handling Moldova decided to endorse Moscow’s designs on the small country for as-yet-unclear reasons

“Whereas Orange Czechs tend to trumpet democracy and human rights when assisting others, Poles, in addition, emphasize (even unconsciously) geopolitical calculations.”

(ironic, as Moldova was created by a similar great-power agreement, in this case between Hitler and Stalin). As a non-nation-state, Moldova lacks a diaspora with influence in Washington. Nevertheless, Romanian-American allies of the PPCD (medical doctors Anca Popa and S ̧ erban Olaru) formed the U.S.-Moldova Foundation (USMF) and coordinated several forces in the United States. They brought Ros ̧ca to Washington numerous times to make his case directly to friendly lobbies

(such as Baltic and Ukrainian), the media, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Bruce Jackson, Dick Mor- ris, congressional staffers, and, out of courtesy, even dismissive State Department officials. Jackson soon thereafter visited Moldova and symbolically met in private with Ros ̧ca, which the U.S. ambassador had refused to do for her entire tenure (shortly thereafter she was recalled).135 Back in Washington, Congress reacted to Morris’s article in the widely read the Hill—the first one there to have mentioned the word Moldova—exposing Foggy Bottom’s complicity with Moscow136

In Europe, allies at PACE and the EU Parliament passed four resolutions condemning Voronin’s oppression as well as Moscow’s violation of Moldovan territory. Here, the EPP chairman Wilfred Martens, an MEP named Berndt Posselt, and Orange Balts (which had taken over the relevant committees and rapporteur positions) played important roles. The PPCD leaders believe their main reason for avoiding prison was the Council of Europe (CoE) representative in Moldova, Vladimir Philipov.137 When Moldova became the rotat- ing chairman of the CoE at the height of the problems, Voronin received additional scruti- ny and “encouragement” by the CoE’s general secretary, Walter Schwimmer, to abandon repression and the “federalization” project. By then, analyst Vlad Socor and the Wall Street Journal Europe itself frontally engaged the U.S. and OSCE diplomats, accusing them of selling out to Russia.138 Once these clusters were mobilized and a debate was created, Voronin, Moscow, and their allies at the OSCE and the U.S. State Department found it dif- ficult to operate as before. Their “federalization” project essentially collapsed in Novem- ber 2003, even publicly pitting Voronin against Putin.

This brings us to Moscow—the other side of the foreign coin. Unlike the 1989 anti- communist revolutions, which drew inspiration from Gorbachev, the second-wave Orange people were aware their antisocial leaders enjoyed Kremlin support. Moscow supports all

Orange People 59

antisocial regimes regardless of type, including Videnov, Me∞iar, Milo∆evi ́c, Yanukovych, Lukashenka, Islam Karimov, and the late Turkmenbashi. (In the situations with no clear- cut repressive regimes, as in Georgia and Kyrgyzstan, Moscow’s relations were more com- plex.) Although generally confused about its motivations and goals in the region, Moscow’s elites have coalesced around the idea of a “great power” (derzhavnost’), that, while shed- ding some excesses of the old Soviet Union, nonetheless wields its inherent meddling rights in the former empire.139 Largely abandoning its hopes of military domination, Moscow now largely uses hydrocarbons and financial influence to coax elites elsewhere (even Western Europe) to acquiesce to its political designs. This behavior is pursued even as its costs not only outweigh its benefits, but is also mostly counterproductive to Russia’s (as opposed to the Kremlin’s) interests, and has led to some spectacular tragic-comic outcomes. For exam- ple, absent these provocations, many of the small countries on Russia’s periphery would unlikely be clamoring to join NATO.

Rebels with a Cause

As mentioned in the introduction, psychological theory probably explains Orange motiva- tions better than classic economic theory. As with economics and political science, histori- ography has also been slow to recognize that individuals shape international policy, especially in “nonrational” ways. Some historians are making headway in convincing their colleagues in the academy that “predispositions, attributes, motives, affects (or emotions), and other ele- ments that constitute personality, broadly defined, played a role” in key moments in interna- tional relations, where heuristics, groupthink, bounded rationality, biases, procrastination, rationalization, and other “nonrational influences” affect behavior and policymaking.140

When asked, Orange people find it hard to explain their goals or motivation—consider- ing it as “obvious.” Srp called it “justice through love.”141 Michnik explained “Solidarity has never had a vision of an ideal society. It wants to live and let live. Its ideals are closer to the American Revolution than to the French.”142 (Solidarno ́s ́c’s original goals were far more modest.) The complex philosophical (phenomenological) reasons for the Orange involvement of Havel, Pato∞ka, and other Charta 77 activists occupy an entire mono- graph.143 Noting its striking dearth of Slovaks, Dub∞ek speculated that Charta 77 was “a courageous initiative in the tradition of Czech political and cultural defiance going back to Austria-Hungary.”144 Ros ̧ca’s catalyst was to “save Moldova from extinction.”145 The abun- dance of Orange physicists can be explained by their scientific training—the “pursuit of pure truth”—clashing with the lies of the communist system. However, physicist Sakharov’s inspiration coincides with an epigraph from Goethe’s Faust:

He alone is worthy of life and freedom Who each day does battle for them anew!

“The heroic romanticism of these lines” he writes, “echoes my own sense of life as both wonderful and tragic, and I still consider them a fitting choice” for the Reflections essay, with which it opened. “Goethe’s lines are often read as an imperative call to revolutionary struggle, but that seems to me unjustified . . . Reflections rejected all extremes, the intran- sigence shared by revolutionaries and reactionaries alike . . . the battle I had in mind was nonviolent.”146

Paradoxically, original Orange people in the high-repression cases are the exception to the economic theory for which they fight. If, broadly defined, the Orange activists are asso-


ciated with the struggle for individual and economic freedom (classical and neoclassical economics), their spending time and risking freedom to fight for what is essentially a pub- lic good seems to contradict the central premise of neoclassical economics, of man as homo economicus whose goal is to maximize profit.147 Adding irony to paradox, it is usually the antisocials, and most definitely not the Orange people, that benefit the most economical- ly from the collapse of communist central planning and its coercive controls.148 Antiso- cials nonetheless, through Freudian projection (a usual feature of theirs), cynically tar dis- sidents with their materialistic brush. Havel wrote “the representatives of power invariably come to terms with those who live within the truth by persistently ascribing utilitarian motivations to them—a lust for power or fame or wealth—and thus they try, at least, to implicate them in their own world, the world of general demoralization.”149 The defense mechanism this cynical accusation creates in the Orange mind is perhaps the reason why after overthrowing the regime they stupidly attempt to rid their powers as fast as possi- ble—instead of using that totalitarian power to dismantle the totalitarian system, as pre- scribed by Yakovlev. Not wielding power when they have it is perhaps the biggest Orange tragedy, Yushchenko being only the latest in a string of missed opportunities. The second Orange tragedy is allowing “converted” antisocials use them for the breakthrough, only to then discard them once in power.150 This fate befell the Orange Russians with Yeltsin, but there are numerous other cases. A third drawback involves antisocial guerrilla or terrorist groups appropriating national-liberation or Orange motifs to battle an antisocial regime, often succeeding in convincing well-intentioned Western elites, accustomed to dividing the world into black and white. This was common in Latin America during the Cold War. We can witness this in Central Asia today, with genuine Orange people marginalized in the battle between the antisocial regimes and an Islamist opposition.

The genuine original Orange people resemble the classic anarchists. The German anti- Nazi activist Rudolf Rocker describes the source of anarchist motivation as a profound dis- taste of abuse and usurped privileges, including social inequalities created by official cor- ruption. His numerous examples mainly center on the “internal decomposition of the Third French Republic, [which has] no doubt greatly contributed to strengthening the anarchist movement.”151 (Most of the symptoms described of this Republic resemble the regimes created by postcommunist antisocials.) As with early Orange people, anarchists “did not form a closed political party as most of the other socialist tendencies, since conquering political power was of no importance to them. . . . What they wanted was a reform of social life on the basis of personal freedom and economic equality”152 and believed in a govern- mentless state of love, beauty, and peace. They sought change through nonviolent meth- ods, including revolutionary music, humor (one ran a donkey for office), and diffusion of information through a plethora of small magazines. Rocker resented the use of the anar- chist label by terrorists, giving the movement a bad name that persists today. The anar- chist’s anti-Jacobin spirit stands in stark contrast to the Marxist-Leninist ethos of collec- tivism, conspiracy, vanguardism, violence, and power. In this sense, Communists resemble more the “rational maximizers” assumed by political scientists than do the early Orange people and classic anarchists, who indeed find inspiration in nonrational heroic romanti- cism and logotherapy—and became notorious minimizers when they did happen on power.

Unlike the pre-1989 world, however, Orange activism in postcommunist (mostly soft- or moderate-repression) cases is rational, because it carries less risk and more reward potential than it did for their parents’ generation. Far from quixotic, today’s Orange peo-

Orange People 61

ple know “it can be done” (this can also, on the other hand, attract utilitarian types to the Orange movements). And not only “done,” but “done well.” Newer Orange activists are aware of a truism obvious in retrospect: Orange people are great administrators—when they have the will. The most successful transitions were all Orange products, especially by those with zero prior experience in public affairs.

Postcommunist transitions have not been kind to standard political science theory, which assumes the maximizer psychology and places constitutional engineering as the central focus.153 Kirkpatrick criticized this deterministic proclivity because it assumes that the “motives and intentions of real persons are no more relevant to the modernization par- adigm than they are to the Marxist view of history. Viewed from this level of abstraction, it is the ‘forces’ rather than the people that count.”154 In the case of postcommunist Eura- sia, it appears that the form of government is less relevant than who ends up filling those offices (see table 1).155

Even the sourest lemons are made into Orangeade. The successful reforms to the Czechoslovak secret police, for example, were entirely the work of its former victims such as Petrusˇka Sustrová, Jan Ruml, Jaroslav Basˇta, Ján ∑arnogursky ́, and Stanislav Deváty ́. (The same in Estonia with Lagle Parek.) Maybe that awareness attracts some with a hunger not for justice or human rights, but for good administration—an “Orange manager” such as the G-17 in Yugoslavia. More and more, we see these types alongside the traditional Orange liberators during struggles and breakthroughs, whereas before, these Orange managers were plucked from the liberal strata of the regime, such as Leszek Balcerowicz, Gaidar, and Václav Klaus. Needless to say, Orange movements are growing in complexity.

Rebelling also keeps the younger fickle members engaged, providing a social function and a source of identity and self esteem (following Frankl), a “cool” end in itself, with relatively less cost, regardless of ideology (Yabloko’s Yashin sports a Ché Guevara T-shirt).156 These youths are the little-noticed power behind the Orange throne, as they double as executive assistants of the adults and shape their agendas, speeches, decrees, and so on. In the successful

TABLE 1. First Post-Communist Leaders

Leaders in mostly presidential system

Leaders in mostly parliamentary system

Mecˇiar* Kebich*

Klaus** Dimitrov** Laar** Peterle** Antall** Kljusev** Landsbergis** Godmanis** Mazowiecki**

Eventually considered “authoritarian” or excessive violators of laws or human rights

Not considered authoritarian or excessive violators of laws

Iliescu* Karimov* Niyazov* Akayev* Gamsakhurdia**

Nabiyev* Kravchuk* Milosˇevi ́c* Snegur* Tud ̄man* Nazarbayev* Berisha*

Havel (1989–1992)**

Note. *Background in main structures of communist system. **Not from main structures of communist system.


cases, youth branches play critical roles such as managing the international relations of the party, and, given the young nature of political elites in the region, they take over the party leadership quite quickly. Moreover, experience shows that Orange revolutionary parties and movements relying on youths should not just use them as pawns, but also include them in policymaking before and after the breakthrough. Failing to follow this axiom brings conse- quences. For example, the Democratic Convention in Romania relied on older poets, dissi- dents, and national intelligentsia for its 1992 campaign against Ion Iliescu, which it lost.157 In contrast, Emil Constantinescu rode in a wave of youth support to victory in 1996 (which he failed to consolidate nonetheless). Mart Laar was thirty-two when he became prime min- ister in 1992, and the average age of his ultimately very successful cabinet was thirty-three.

This youthful outlook is the ideal antidote for the malaise Havel described, the demor- alized person living a pseudolife, a pseudoreality, and a lie. “The system depends on this demoralization” to add Orwellian coherence to the anonymous totalitarian structure.158 Orange punctures this grayness with the “carnival”159 atmosphere of music, beauty, and dissent—all in good fun.

Havel once remarked that the government’s attempt to destroy political life meant that anything from a rock group to a concert to a mass became political.160 Indeed, the official harassment of the Czechoslovak rock band Plastic People of the Universe compelled Havel and other intellectuals to form the Committee for the Defense of the Unjustly Persecuted (VONS) in 1978. The Jazz Section was one of the main vehicles of dissent after 1968.161 Not only did the Jazz Section serve as the main meeting place for the motley Orange milieu of “normalized” Czechoslovakia, but communists despised jazz for its American and spon- taneous nature (as it had been by Nazis for its black roots). Although strictly apolitical, it was the Jazz Section that attracted numerous figures, including the future leader of the stu- dent demonstration that brought down the regime in November 1989, Martin Mejstrˇík, to the Orange Movement.162 Srp wrote “Culture created the atmosphere in the society that touched every person and led to the general uprising.”163 Michal Kocáb, a shock rocker imprisoned numerous times, proved himself as an able adviser to Havel during the “round- table” negotiations with the Communists after November 17.

The Baltic “Singing Revolution” began almost spontaneously in Estonia in the summer of 1988 at an officially sanctioned music festival that turned into an antiregime vehicle. Laar described the 1992 Estonian election as a “permanent rock concert.” On his victory, he appointed as head of the privatization agency Jaan Manitski, the former manager of ABBA in Sweden.

The PPCD in Moldova borrowed songs from the anti-Ceaus ̧escu era in Romania to mobi- lize its youths, collecting them in an album called Nostalgia viitorului (Nostalgia for the future)incessantlyplayedattheirNouaGenerat ̧iemeetings,theirsentimental-patrioticmotif reminiscent of the Solidarno ́s ́c anthem Mury.164 Although the band O-Zone, which topped worldwide charts in 2004 with its hits Dragostea din tei and Despre tine, is originally from Moldova and sings in Romanian, it refused to play at PPCD events because apparently the lead singer’s father works for President Voronin. Nonetheless, the no-less-popular (in the Romanian-speaking world) band Bosquito endorsed the anticommunist struggle playing at a PPCD concert-rally in 2003, as the Greek singer Giorgos Dalaras does in Greek Cyprus: crossing state borders to show political solidarity with fellow ethnics in trouble.

Maidan hosted numerous jazz and rock bands producing songs especially for the moment, the most famous being “Razom nas bohato” (“Together we are many”).

Orange People 63

Antisocials also use music but with limited success. One exception was “turbofolk” in the Yugoslavian civil wars used by Serb nationalists and paramilitaries to whip up hyste- ria against Kosovars, Bosniaks, and Croats.

Beauty also becomes part of this hip Orange milieu, sometimes controversially. Kseniya Sobchak, the daughter of late former St. Petersburg mayor Anatoly Sobchak (one of the key figures in Russia’s democratic movement during perestroika), largely promotes her movement Vse svobodny (All be free) through her model-like image.165 Others are less overt. A local elected official and leader of the SPS youth branch in Perm, Maria Dolgykh, was the first runner-up at the Miss Russia beauty pageant.166 The director of international affairs of Moldova’s Noua Generat ̧ie,

Lia Bejenaru, was Miss Orhei (Moldo-
va’s third largest city) and competed in
the countrywide beauty pageant as
well. Oborona’s Malysheva is said to
resemble Britney Spears. Given that
nonrational influences can be impor-
tant in building alliances abroad, the
personable appeal of Orange people
can make the difference. A high-rank-
ing European politician commented
that “Bulgaria is so lucky to have
Nadezhda Mihailova, because every
American and European diplomat is smitten with her.”

Family history is a powerful motivator. The families of many of the leading figures that dismantled Stalinism were Stalin’s victims, including those of Shevardnadze, Vadim Bakatin, Shushkevich, Gorbachev, and Raisa Gorbacheva.167 A new Orange generation with familiar surnames is taking over, almost Star Wars-like, including the children and stepchildren of Wale ̨sa, Sakharov, Gaidar, and Starovoitova, among many others. Although this is understandable, there is a more curious phenomenon—offspring of regime hard-lin- ers turning Orange. Many of the key perestroika architects and even radical democrats in the Soviet Union were the offspring of high-ranking Communist Party and KGB func- tionaries.168 Me∞iar’s daughter in Slovakia participated in one of the NGOs struggling against her father’s regime. This is not new in the former Bloc. Many of the children of the top Soviet leaders preferred exile, as Stalin’s and Leonid Brezhnev’s daughters as well as Nikita Khrushchev’s and Anastas Mikoyan’s sons have lived in Western countries for a long time. The exception is Gorbachev’s daughter Irina, who remains in Russia and is close to her father. The opposite is also true, but rarer. The son of late Ukraine Rukh leader Vyacheslav Chornovyl, for example, works for Yanukovych. Youthful rebellion could also be the result of birth order, following the theory that revolutionaries and nonconformists tend to be the younger sibling.169 Many key Orange activists indeed fit this description, although more in-depth research is needed.

The venue for Orange interaction has changed with the times. “Virtual communities” (such as Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty, and BBC) and “rallying points” substituted for personal meetings in familiarizing Orange people with each other in the communist era. Wale ̨sa and Havel, for example, did not meet personally until March 1990, after a decade of virtual interaction.170 A rallying point was the Helsinki Final Act

“Havel once remarked that the government’s attempt to destroy political life meant that anything from a rock group to a concert to a mass became political.”


of 1975, providing legalistic cover for Orange activists ostensibly abiding by their gov- ernments’ official policy when forming Helsinki committees throughout the bloc. The new Orange generation is bewildered at how their parents managed at all. We all are.


The networks of individuals overthrowing dictatorships and pseudodictatorships are per- haps not the main ingredient in the cocktail of prerequisites for successful liberation break- throughs in east central Europe, which include other powerful elements such as the “demon- stration effect,” internal social change and outside (i.e., Western) influences, and others, whose order of importance and causality in explaining revolutionary outcomes is difficult to assert with certainty. However, these Orange networks are a crucial factor that often remains understudied by scholars. Whether these networks developed from direct contact, by example, virtual of space (such as Western radio broadcasts), or rallying points (such as the Helsinki Final Act), they became a formidable force beginning mostly in the late 1960s, culminating in several dramatic upheavals twenty years later and continuing to overwhelm even the most brutal attempts to suppress them. Although not all successful peaceful revo- lutions in the region witnessed participation by these networks, most of them did.

Scholars studying the dynamics of liberation in the region cannot underestimate, as Jake∆ and other antisocials did, the transnational Orange networks.


This article was largely written by May 2006, but its overall outlines were espoused in three talks: at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University in April 2005; the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies at George Wash- ington University in May 2005; and at St. Antony’s College at Oxford University in Feb- ruary 2006. For these, the author thanks, respectively, Marshall Goldman and Lisbeth Tar- low; Taras Kuzio and James Goldgeier; and Carol Leonard, Nadiya Kravets, and Alisa Voznaya. The author also thanks Tomasz Pisula for research assistance in Poland for this article and many Orange people mentioned here for their comments on earlier drafts. This article is dedicated to a recently departed great friend, a patron saint of Orange people worldwide, vanquisher of tyranny, and ideologist of liberty—Dr. Jeane Kirkpatrick.


1. Cited in Blaine Harden, “Czechoslovak Party Ousts Leaders, Gives Up ‘Leading Role,’” Washington Post, November 25, 1989, A1.

2. A leading study outlining in detail the contextual factors that compelled each Soviet republic to break away is Ian Bremmer and Ray Taras, Nation and Politics in the Soviet Successor States (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993).

3. American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th ed. (Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association, 1994), 646–47.

4. QuotedinJeremyBransten,“CzechRepublic:FormerLeadersArgueoverMeaningof1989,” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, November 17, 1999, 10years/cz6.asp (accessed May 26, 2006).

5. See,forexample,GuillermoO’DonnellandPhilippeSchmitter,TransitionsfromAuthoritar- ian Rule: Tentative Conclusions about Uncertain Democracies (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univer- sity Press, 1986), 49.

6. Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning: An Introduction to Logotherapy, 17th printing (New York: Washington Square, 1970), 179. I thank my mother, Arlene King de Arias, a PhD can- didate in psychology, for pointing me to Frankl.

Orange People 65

7. Adam Michnik, Letters from Prison and Other Essays (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985), 89.

8. Timothy Garton Ash, The Magic Lantern: The Revolution of ’89 Witnessed in Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin and Prague (New York: Vintage Books, 1990/99).

9. For an excellent study applying this to the Soviet case, see Gordon Hahn, Russia’s Revolu- tion from Above: Reform, Transition, and Revolution in the Fall of the Soviet Communist Regime (New Brunswick, Canada: Transaction Publishers, 2002). A study that reflects a similar logic in explaining the breakthrough in Poland is Marjorie Castle, Triggering Communism’s Collapse: Per- ceptions and Power in Poland’s Transition (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2003).

10. PerhapsthemostcomprehensiveaccountoftheeffectandinfluenceoftheliberationofEast- ern Europe on the Soviet Union, using a wealth of archival research in nine languages, mainly (but not exclusively) through the prism of the “demonstration effect,” can be found in the three-part tour de force by Mark Kramer, “The Collapse of East European Communism and the Repercus- sions within the Soviet Union,” Journal of Cold War Studies, Fall 2003, Fall 2004, and Winter 2004.

11. Alexander Dubcek, Hope Dies Last: The Autobiography of Alexander Dubcek (New York: Kodansha America, 1993), 145.

12. JacqesRupnik,“DissentinPoland,1968-78:TheEndofRevisionismandtheRebirthofCivil Society,” in Opposition in Eastern Europe, ed. Rudolf L. To ̈ kés, 62–68 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1979).

13. Adam Michnik, Letters from Prison and Other Essays (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985), 138.

14. BoreˇkHnizdo,“Czechoslovak-SovietRelations,”inTheEndoftheOuterEmpire:Soviet-East European Relations in Transition, ed. Alex Pravda, 174 (London: Sage, 1992).

15. Interview with Jan Hájek, who recalls his father’s words from 1976–77. Benesˇov, Czech Republic, May 5, 2006.

16. Conversation between Tomasz Pisula and Senator Zbigniew Romaszewski, Warsaw, June 5, 2006. Pisula conducted the interview for purposes of this article, and the remainder of this para- graph, unless otherwise noted, is taken from this interview.

17. Tomasz Pisula interview with Jaroslaw Guzy, Warsaw, May 28, 2006.
18. Interview with Karel Srp, Prague, May 6, 2006.
19. ForahighlyelaboratestudyonthedissidentsinCzechoslovakia,Poland,andHungary,which

also discusses occasionally their transborder relations, see Barbara Falk, The Dilemmas of Dissi- dence in East-Central Europe: Citizen Intellectuals and Philosopher Kings (Budapest: CEU, 2003). 20. A. Kemp Welch (translation and introduction), The Birth of Solidarity: The Gdan ́sk Negotia-

tions, 1980 (London: MacMillan, 1983), 23.
21. J. F. Brown, The End of Communist Rule in Eastern Europe (Durham: Duke University Press,

1991), 171–72.
22. GeorgeSchöpflin,“OppositionandPara-opposition:CriticalCurrentsinHungary,1968–78,”

in Tökes, 158.
23. East European Reporter 2, no. 2, 2–3.
24. ConversationbetweenTomaszPisulaandZofiaRomaszewska,Warsaw,Poland,June5,2006. 25. Conversation with Boris Pustintsev, St. Petersburg, Russia, March 1993.
26. Carl A. Linden, Khrushchev and the Soviet Leadership (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Universi-

ty Press, 1966/1990), 180.
27. Interview with Yevgenny Ambartsumov, a key perestroika figure and part of the “Prague

group” of Soviet reformers, Tepoztlán, Mexico, March 19, 2006.
28. A Freedom House study examining fifty transitions concluded that nonviolent resistance to

authoritarian rule precedes more durable outcomes after the breakthrough. See Adrian Karatnycky and Peter Ackerman, How Freedom Is Won: From Civic Resistance to Durable Democracy (Wash- ington, DC: Freedom House, 2005), 8. Gene Sharp wrote the “Bible” on the subject, From Dicta- torship to Democracy (Boston: Albert Einstein Institute, 1993).

29. M. Steven Fish, Democracy from Scratch: Opposition and Regime in the New Russian Revo- lution (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1995), 55.


30. Adam Michnik, Letters from Prison and Other Essays (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985), 158.

31. Archie Brown, “Transnational Influences in the Transition from Communism,” Post-Soviet Affairs 16, no. 2 (2000): 177–200.

32. I discussed these action channels earlier in Fredo Arias-King, “Czech Mate,” Harvard Crim- son, February 27, 1998, 12.

33. For a discussion of their role in ending the Brezhnev Doctrine, see Charles H. Fairbanks, Jr., “The Nature of the Beast,” National Interest 31 (Spring 1993): 46–56; and Charles Gati, The Bloc that Failed: Soviet-East European Relations in Transition (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990), 76–82.

34. See, for example, Yevgenny Primakov, Gody v Bol’shoi Politike (Moscow: Sovershenno Sekretno, 1999), 12–16.

35. Interview with Ambartsumov.

36. See my interview with Gennady Gerasimov, “From Brezhnev Doctrine to Sinatra Doctrine,” Demokratizatsiya 13 (Spring 2005): 292.

37. For the decision-making process that led to the creation of the Soviet presidency, see Yegor Kuznetsov, “The Making of a President”; Georgy Shakhnazarov, “We’ve Got a Special Way of Thinking” and the archival section “From the Archives: On the Establishment of the Soviet Presi- dency,” all in Demokratizatsiya 2, no. 2 (Spring 1994): 316–31.

38. His views on the need for deideologizing Soviet-East-European relations can be found in his “Vostok—Zapad: K Voprosu o Deideologizatsii Mezhgosudarstvennykh Otnoshenii,” Kommunist, no. 3 (1989): 67–78. For his inside role on pressing the allied regimes to reform, see Jacques Lévesque, The Enigma of 1989: The USSR and the Liberation of Eastern Europe (Berkeley: Uni- versity of California Press, 1997), 182.

39. His book Shest’ let s Gorbachevym was translated as My Six Years with Gorbachev (Univer- sity Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2000).

40. Oleg Bogomolov, “Soglasnovanie Ekonomicheskikh Interesov i Politiki pri Sotsialisme,” Kommunist 10 (July 1985): 91. Quoted in Karen Dawisha, Eastern Europe, Gorbachev and Reform: The Great Challenge, 2nd ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), 204.

41. Yakovlev declared this in a speech before the twenty-eighth CPSU Congress in July 1990, quoted by V. I. Vorotnikov, A Bylo Eto Tak: Iz dnevnkia Chlena Politbyuro TsK KPSS (Moscow: Soviet Veteranov Knigoizdaniya, 1995), 398.

42. AlexanderLukin,“InterpretationsofSovietStateandSocialStructure:PerceptionsofMem- bers of the First Russian Democratic Political Groups, 1985–1991,” Demokratizatsiya 3 (Fall 1995): 365–91.

43. Fredo Arias-King, “Soviet Domestic Politics and Collapse of the Outer Empire, 1989,” Demokratizatsiya 7 (Spring 1999): 278–96.

44. Mikhail Gorbachev, Memoirs (New York: Doubleday, 1995), 82.
45. Ibid., 100–1.
46. The interviews of Soviet leaders made by Czech TV is reviewed by Matt Frost and Jeremy

Bransten, “Czech Republic: 1968 Viewed from the Occupiers’ Perspective,” RFE/RL, August 10, 1998, (accessed May 15, 2006).

47. Gorbachev, Memoirs, 82–83.

48. Gorbachev and Zdeneˇk Mlynárˇ Conversations with Gorbachev: On Perestroika, the Prague Spring, and the Crossroads of Socialism (New York: Columbia University Press, 2002), 47.

49. JudithDevlin,TheRiseoftheRussianDemocrats:TheCausesandConsequencesoftheElite Revolution (Hants, UK: Edgar Elgar, 1995), 24.

50. Janusz Bugajski and Maxine Pollack, East European Faultlines: Dissent, Opposition and Social Activism (Boulder, CO: Westview, 1989), 242–51.

51. GorbachevdeclaredthisinaninterviewfortheHooverInstitution’sTheEndoftheColdWar: An Oral History, unpublished manuscript, 1999.

52. Aleksandr Yakovlev, Sumerki (Moscow: Materik, 2003), 610.

53. Izvestiya,November5,1987,quotedinGlennChafetz,Gorbachev,ReformandtheBrezhnev Doctrine: Soviet Policy Towards Eastern Europe, 1985–1990 (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1993), 73.

Orange People 67

54. Pravda and Izvestiya, March 19,1988, quoted in Chafetz, 71.

55. David Remnick, Lenin’s Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire (New York: Random House, 1993), 169–79.

  1. Ibid., 18–21.
  2. See the account of Hedrick Smith, The New Russians (New York: Avon Books, 1991), 83–86.
  3. See Andrei Sakharov, Moscow and Beyond: 1986–1989 (New York: Vintage, 1990), 56–63.
  4. For a discussion of the turbulent politics of establishing VTsIOM, see my interview with

Tatyana Zaslavskaya in “The Balance of Healthy and Ill Forces Is Not in Our Favor,” Demokrati- zatsiya 13 (Spring 2005): 297–318.

60. FortheUkrainiancase,seethethree-partarchivalresearchinMarkKramer,“Ukraineandthe Soviet-Czechoslovak Crisis of 1968” in the Cold War International History Project Bulletin, 10 (Spring 1998), 14 (Fall 2003), and 15 (Summer 2004). For the other examples, see Ludmilla Alex- eyeva, Soviet Dissent: Contemporary Movements for National, Religious, and Human Rights (Mid- dletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1985), 38, 98, 289–90, 309, 323–24.

61. Alexeyeva, Soviet Dissent, 323.
62. Alexander Babyonyshev, ed., On Sakharov (New York: Vintage, 1981), xxii.
63. Conversation with Sakharov’s stepdaughter Tatiana Yankelevich, Cambridge, MA, June 1,

64. Andrei Sakharov, Memoirs (New York: Alfred Knopf, 1990), 281.
65. Ibid.
66. Dubcˇek was quoting from a letter that Sakharov wrote him right before his passing in late

1989. Alexander Dubcˇek, commencement address at The American University, Washington, DC, May 13, 1990, published in Fredo Arias-King, ed., Sloboda!: Czechoslovakia’s Road to Freedom (Mexico, DF: Frente de Afirmación Hispanista, 1991), 11–12. Sloboda! in its entirety can be found free at

67. George Bailey, The Making of Andrei Sakharov (London: Allen Lane, 1989), 244. 68. Conversation with Sergei Kovalev, Warsaw, Poland, August 28, 2005.
69. Alexeyeva, Soviet Dissent, 414–15.
70. Interview with Zbigniew Romaszewski, Warsaw, Poland, June 26, 2002.

71. InterviewwithYankelevich.

72. Pisula conversation with Romaszewski. Unless otherwise specified (as with the comments of Yankelevich), the remainder of this paragraph is based on Pisula’s interview with Romaszewski.

73. InterviewwithYankelevich.

74. Interview with Tunne Kelam, now a Euro-MP, Brussels, Belgium, June 22, 2005. See also Kelam, Estonia’s Way to Freedom (Tallinn: AS Pinton Trükikoda, 2005), 6–7.

75. MarkR.Beissinger,NationalistMobilizationandtheCollapseoftheSovietState(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 85, 171–73.

76. Walter C. Clemens Jr., The Baltic Transformed: Complexity Theory and European Security (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2001), 49.

77. Vytautas Landsbergis, Lithuania: Independent Again (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2000), 102–3.

78. Hélène Carrère d’Encausse, The End of the Soviet Empire: The Triumph of the Nations (New York: Basic Books, 1993), 57. Her book is a good history of the popular fronts throughout the USSR, and she was one of the first scholars to link the fall of the Berlin Wall to the remote Cau- casus. For a brief history of the Karabakh Committee, see the interview with Ara Sahakyan, “The Politics of Independence and Transition,” Demokratizatsiya 14 (Spring 2006): 171–83.

79. Conversation with former Armenian president and leader of the Karabakh Committee during perestroika, Levon Ter Petrossian, and with former prime minister and key Karabakh Committee activist Hrant Bagratyan, Yerevan, Armenia, June 17, 2005.

80. Carrère d’Encausse, The End of the Soviet Empire, 69.

81. Various conversations with Iurie Ros ̧ca, Vlad Cubreacov, and Constantin Robu, Chis ̧ina ̆u, August 2004.

82. Samuel Huntington, The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century (Nor- man: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991).


83. For a discussion of the uniqueness of the SDS, see M. Steven Fish, “Postcommunist Subver- sion: Social Science and Democratization in East Europe and Eurasia,” Slavic Review 58, no. 4 (1999): 813.

84. Conversation with Philip Dimitrov, Elena Dimitrova, and Nadezhda Mihailova, Mexico City, Mexico, November 22, 2001.

85. Ol’ga Berecká, Natália Kusˇnieriková, and Dusˇan Ondrusˇek, “NGO Campaign for free and fair elections OK’98, Lessons Learned: An Analysis of Planning, Communication and Conflict Management Aspects of the Campaign from the Stakeholders’ Point of View,” Bratislava, 1999, 10.

86. PontisFoundationdocument,“Rockvolieb’02—ToBuildaStrongerPoliticalVoiceforSlo- vakian Youth: Knowing and Understanding Rock volieb ’02 Campaign Target Group,” Bratislava, date unknown, 1.

87. PresentationbyMarekKapustaataWorldMovementforDemocracypanel,SãoPaulo,Brazil, November 2000.

88. Conversation with James Denton, who at that time was the executive director of Freedom House, Washington, DC, December 11, 2006.

89. PresentationbySlobodarDinovi ́cataWorldMovementforDemocracypanel,Durban,South Africa, February 2, 2004.

90. I thank Marek Kapusta for pointing this out. E-mail from Kapusta to author, September 3, 2006.

91. Conversation with Marek Kapusta, Banská ∏tiavnica, Slovakia, May 8, 2006.
92. Conversation with Mart Laar, Ixtapa, Mexico, January 2, 2003.
93. See Dragan Stojkovic, “Bulldozing the Regime,” Transitions Online, October 9, 2000.
94. These four ingredients are laid out by James Wertsch, “Georgia as a Laboratory for Democ-

racy,” Demokratizatsiya 13 (Fall 2005): 520–22.
95. Two thorough comparative studies of Ukrainian and Russian youth activists are Viktoriya

Topalova, “In Search of Heroes: Cultural Politics and Political Mobilization of Youth in Contem- porary Russia and Ukraine,” Demokratizatsiya 14 (Winter 2006): 23–41, and Taras Kuzio, “Ukraine Is Not Russia: Comparing Youth Political Activism,” SAIS Review 26 (Summer-Fall 2006): 67–83.

96. ForathoroughsociologicalstudyofthereasonsoftheOrangeRevolutioninUkraineandhow they were mostly derived from local and domestic concerns, see Viktor Stepanenko, “How Ukraini- ans See Their Orange Revolution,” Demokratizatsiya 13 (Fall 2005): 595–616. For a discussion of the Russian tendency to allege conspiracies, see Alexander Zaslavsky, “The Dark Forces: Popular Analogies in Russian Politics,” Demokratizatsiya 9 (Spring 2001): 75–89.

97. Interview with Ukrainian activist and leader of Znayu, Dmytro Potekhin, Moscow, July 11, 2006.

98. For the differences between Black and Yellow Pora, see Andrew Wilson, Ukraine’s Orange Revolution (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005), 73–76.

99. For a discussion of Pora’s basic strategy, see Pavol Deme∆ and Joerg Forbrig, “Pora—‘It’s Time’ for Democracy in Ukraine,” in Revolution in Orange: The Origins of Ukraine’s Democratic Breakthrough, Anders Åslund and Michael McFaul, ed., 85–101 (Washington, DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2006).

100. See Eugene Huskey’s interview with leading oppositionist-turned-Foreign Minister Roza Otunbayeva,” Demokratizatsiya 13 (Fall 2005): 483–89.
101. EricaMarat,TheTulipRevolution:OneYearAfter(Washington,DC:JamestownFoundation, 2006), 14.

102. ThisepisodeisdiscussedinFredoArias-King,“AnAlmostDecisiveYear”(2004AnnualSur- vey on Moldova), Transitions Online, April 15, 2004.
103. Lev Ponomarev, “The Democratic Russia Movement: Myths and Reality,” Demokratizatsiya 2 (Summer 1993): 16.

104. The author was present at this seminar and partook in its discussions. I am grateful to Victo- ria Cus ̧nir, Galina Fomenchenko, and Oleksandr Yarema for the invitation.
105. A living history of Oborona can be found in its blog and those of its main leaders. See, for example,, and (accessed May 16, 2006).

Orange People 69

106. The author was present at that meeting at Yabloko’s headquarters in Moscow, March 2005. 107. Interview with Yulia Malysheva, Moscow, March 7, 2006.
108. Talk by Maria Gaidar at the conference commemorating the twenty-fifth anniversary of the founding of Solidarno ́s ́c, Gdan′sk, Poland, August 30, 2005.

109. For a comprehensive discussion of the contemporary Russian youth groups, see Michael Schwirtz, “Russia’s Political Youths” Demokratizatsiya 15 (Winter 2007): 73–84.
110. Conversation with Yulia Malysheva, Moscow, July 12, 2006.
111. ConversationwithArkadyMurashev,RoccoButtiglione,IvanAntonov,andOlgaPlotnikova, Moscow, August 2003.

112. John B. Dunlop, The Rise of Russia and the Fall of the Soviet Empire (Princeton, NJ: Prince- ton University Press, 1993).
113. See,forexample,JohnB.Dunlop,“RussianNazis,”Demokratizatsiya4(Fall1996):519–30; and Dunlop, “Barkashov and the Russian Power Ministries,” Demokratizatsiya 9 (Winter 2001): 60–74.

114. Amongothers,PaulaZahnreportedthisonCNN.See“PaulaZahnNow,”December5,2006, (accessed January 3, 2007).
115. For a comprehensive discussion of the fault lines running under Putin’s regime, using politi- cal theory and, most important, regression analyses of Russia’s provinces calculating the link between their levels of democracy (or autocracy) and sustainable economic performance, see Mikhail Belyaev, “Putin’s Russia: Is It a Doable Project?” Demokratizatsiya 12 (Winter 2004): 13–40. A roundtable discussion was organized at the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies convention in Washington on November 18, 2006, with the same title, where Anders Åslund, J. Michael Waller, Christopher Marsh, and Andrew Barnes reached a broad con- sensus questioning both Putin’s efficiency as well as the longevity of his regime.

116. For a discussion of the factors and consequences of this reimposition, see Stanislau Shushke- vich, Neokommunizm v Belarusi (Smolensk: Skif, 2002).
117. Interview with Luis Moreno, the EU’s first ambassador in Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova, in Mallorca, Spain, September 20, 2005.

118. An excellent study detailing the last point is Thomas Ambrosio, “The Political Success of Russia-Belarus Relations: Insulating Minsk from a Color Revolution,” Demokratizatsiya 14 (Sum- mer 2006): 407–34.
119. For a detailed discussion of the different youth groups, see Andres Schipani-Aduriz and Alyaksandr Kudrytski, “Banana Revolutions and Banana Skins,” Transitions Online, September 7, 2005.

120. CentrodeEstudiosparaunaOpciónNacional,aMiami-basedthinktank,documentsandpub- lishes each year the anti-regime activities within the island, and has noticed that such acts have been doubling each year for the past six years. See its annual Pasos a la Libertad (Miami, Centro de Estudios para una Opción Nacional).

121. Lech Walesa, A Way of Hope (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1987), 277.
122. Jirˇí Ruml, “Who Is Really Isolated?” in The Power of the Powerless, ed. John Keane, 186 (Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 1985).
123. Several communist-era dissidents from Central Europe have emphasized this. Conversation with Karel Srp, Prague, November 28, 1992.
124. Conversations with Karl Altau, director of the Joint Baltic-American National Committee (JBANC), Washington, DC, November 17, 2006; and Mel Huang, formerly with JBANC, by tele- phone, December 28, 2006.
125. AsdescribedbyQuentinPeel,JamesHarding,JudyDempsey,GerardBaker,RobertGraham, Mark Turner, Tony Barber, and Joshua Levitt, “The Rift Turns Nasty: The Plot That Split Old and New Europe Asunder,” Financial Times, May 28, 2003, 11.
126. Roger Spottiswoode’s documentary Spinning Boris (2003) depicts this episode involving the campaign consultants George Gorton, Dick Dresner, and Joe Shumate. It was translated into Russ- ian as Poyekt Yel’tsina.
127. AdetailedaccountofMorris’simpactontheMexicanbreakthroughisdiscussedinMarcosBucio and Jaime Gutiérrez, Dos Visiones para el Triunfo (Mexico City: Miguel Ángel Porrúa, 2005).


128. Conversation with Dick Morris, Mexico City, Mexico, February 7, 2006.
129. Conversation with Laima Andrikiene ̇, Brussels, Belgium, June 22, 2005. She also mentioned this at the YEPP Seminar in Moldova, Chis ̧ina ̆u, April 2006.
130. Rocco Buttiglione, Karol Wojtyla: The Thought of the Man Who Became Pope John Paul II (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1997). Also, conversation with Buttiglione, Rome, Italy, June 15, 2002.
131. Such as those that founded Centro para la Apertura y el Desarrollo de América Latina, a Buenos Aires-based think tank. Interview with Gabriel Salvia, Buenos Aires, Argentina, November 9, 2005.
132. See Karel Srp, ed., Trˇi snídaneˇ s François Mitterandem (Prague: Institut Français de Prague, 1998).
133. Jirˇí Hájek, “The Human Rights Movement and Social Progress,” in John Keane, 136.
134. This was the topic of my paper and presentation “National Mobilization and the Scuttling of the ‘Federalization’ Project in Moldova” at the panel “Moldova Today” at the American Associa- tion for the Advancement of Slavic Studies convention in Washington, DC, November 19, 2006. 135. Although U.S. government officials directly responsible for Moldova (totaling about eight civil servants at the time in Chis ̧ina ̆u, Washington, and Vienna) were unanimously hostile to the PPCD and seen as sympathetic to the Voronin government, the local IRI and NDI offices, headed by Michael Ghetto and Alex Grigorievs (a native Orange Latvian), respectively, took the opposite position and cooperated closely with the PPCD.
136. Dick Morris, “East Europe’s Orange Dawn,” the Hill, February 16, 2005, thehill/export/TheHill/Comment/DickMorris/021605.html (accessed July 14, 2006).
137. Mass e-mail to supporters abroad sent by PPCD chairman Ros ̧ca, February 19, 2004.
138. Amongmanyhard-hittingarticlesbybothSocor—aMoldovanativeanditsleadinganalyst— and the editors of the Wall Street Journal, see “Moldova’s Meddlers,” The Wall Street Journal Europe, August 19, 2003, and “The OSCE and the Lessons of Maastricht,” The Wall Street Journal Europe, December, 5–7, 2003.
139. Severalclassicessayshavebeenwrittenaboutthisimperialproclivityanditspossibleorigins. See for example Victor Yasmann, “Red Religion: An Ideology of Neo-Messianic Russian Funda- mentalism,” Demokratizatsiya 1 (Fall 1991): 20–40; John Dunlop, “Alexander Dugin’s Foundation of Geopolitics,” Demokratizatsiya 12 (Winter 2004): 41–58; Grigory Yavlinsky, “Putin Represents an Imperial Course for Russia,” Demokratizatsiya 12 (Winter 2004): 9–12, and J. Michael Waller, “Death and Resurrection of the KGB,” Demokratizatsiya 12 (Summer 2004): 333–56.
140. Richard H. Immerman, “Psychology,” in Explaining the History of American Foreign Rela- tions, ed. Michael J. Hogan and Thomas G. Patterson, 152–53 and 160–64, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991). Immerman documents the struggle in historiography to take into account the agency phenomenon.
141. Interview with Srp, 2006.
142. Michnik, Other Essays, 88.
143. Aviezer Tucker, The Philosophy and Politics of Czech Dissidence from Patocˇka to Havel (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2000).
144. Dubcek, Hope Dies Last, 264.
145. Conversation with Iurie Ros ̧ca, Chis ̧ina ̆u, Moldova, May 3, 2006.
146. Sakharov, Memoirs, 283.
147. I thank Yulia Malysheva for this insight. Conversation with Malysheva, Mexico City, Mexi- co, May 11, 2004.
148. See, for example, Roman Frydman, Kenneth Murphy, and Andrzej Rapaczynski, “Capitalism with a Comrade’s Face,” Transition, January 26, 1996, 8, and Maria Los ́, “Virtual Property and Post- Communist Globalization,” Demokratizatsiya 6 (Winter 1998): 82.
149. Václav Havel, “The Power of the Powerless,” in John Keane, 45.
150. This helps explain the paradox outlined by Henry Hale of revolutions leading to more conti- nuity than change, even strengthening the old patronage networks. See Hale, “Democracy or Autoc- racy on the March? The Colored Revolutions as Normal Dynamics of Patronal Presidentialism,” Communist and Post-Communist Studies 39 (2006): 305–29.

Orange People 71

151. Rudolf Rocker, La Juventud de un Rebelde (Mexico City: José M. Cajica Jr., 1967), 704. Translated from the original German by Diego Abad de Santillán.
152. Ibid., 706.
153. Forathoroughcritique,seeRichardD.AndersonJr.,M.StevenFish,StephenE.Hanson,and Philip G. Roeder, Postcommunism and the Theory of Democracy (Princeton, NJ: Princeton Uni- versity Press, 2001).

154. Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, “Dictatorships and Double Standards,” Commentary, November 1979, 40. This article was one of the three most influential and polemic contemporary essays, also pro- pelling her to become the chief ideologist of Ronald Reagan’s foreign policy.
155. Gamsakhurdia spent years in Soviet mental institutions, which may have contributed to his eccentric personality. This table does not include the first postcommunist leaders of Armenia, Azer- baijan, and Bosnia-Herzegovina, because these leaders (Levon Ter-Petrossian, Ebulfez Elçibey, and Alija Izetbegovi ́c, respectively) inherited countries at war. Therefore, judging them in this context would be problematic. This table was adapted from Fredo Arias-King, “The Centrality of Elites,” Demokratizatsiya 11 (Winter 2003): 157.

156. For a more thorough discussion of youth motivation across several cases, see Taras Kuzio, “Civil Society, Youth and Societal Mobilization in Democratic Revolutions,” Communist and Post- Communist Studies 39 (2006): 365–86.
157. Michael Shafir, “Romania’s Elections: Why the Democratic Convention Lost,” RFE/RL Research Report, October 30, 1992, 4.

158. Havel, “The Power of the Powerless,” 45.

159. For an excellent study tracing the main groups that led to the 1989 revolutions and how they

challenged the regime through festive activities, see Padraic Kenney, Carnival of Revolution: Cen-

tral Europe 1989 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2002).

160. William Shawcross, Dubcek (New York: Touchstone, 1990), 213.

161. Karel Srp, “From 1968 to 1989: The Role of the Jazz Section as a Dissident and as a Revo-

lutionary,” in Arias-King, Sloboda!, 51–80.

162. Martin Mejstrˇík, “The Students versus the Corruption of the Powerful,” in Arias-King, Slo-

boda!, 84–85.

163. Srp, “From 1968 to 1989,” in Sloboda!, 54.

164. The song is performed by Jacek Kaczmarski, and first written as a poem to the melody of

Luisa Llacha’s L’Estaca. The song became associated with Stanem Wojennym and became the

hymn of Solidarno ́s ́c. I thank Edyta Kaznowska and Agnieszka Gra ̨tkiewicz for this explanation.

165. See Kseniya Veretennikova, “Barbi-monstr vseya Rusi,” Ulitsa Svobody, July 2006, 1.

166. “Iz modelei v deputaty,” Pravyy, No. 0 (pilot issue), September 24, 2005, 2.

167. Fredo Arias de la Canal is working on compiling a list of these figures. See “La revolución

de Gorbachev,” Reforma, April 7, 2005, A5.

168. Fairbanks, “The Nature of the Beast.”

169. FrankSulloway,BorntoRebel:BirthOrder,FamilyDynamicsandCreativeLives(NewYork:

Pantheon, 1996).

170. LechWalesa,TheStruggleandtheTriumph(NewYork:Arcade,1992),262.Wal⁄e ̨sanotesthat

the town where he met Havel, ∏pindlerova Bouda, was picked by Michnik and others to commem-

orate their clandestine meetings in the best and worst of times, at the Sniez ̇ka-Sneˇzˇka mountain.

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