Sasson: The atmosphere in Russia was so tense in those days, that on every trip there, Gollar and I would take both our passports — Israeli and Swiss – and always had ﬂight tickets to Israel and Zürich for different dates, so in case of emergency we could escape as fast as possible to one of our safe countries.
On 7 November 1990, two days after the opening ceremony and while the Kremlin Cup tournament was still going on in the stadium, the last October Revolution Parade of the Soviet Union was held a few blocks away in Red Square. Mikhail Gorbachev gave an address to the nation, the ﬁrst and last address of a president of the Soviet Union given from Lenin’s Mausoleum. Right before the speech, the television broadcast from the parade was stopped for about 20 minutes, when a member of an opposition group tried to assassinate Gorbachev. He ﬁred two bullets that missed the president, and was caught before he could aim properly.
Gollar: When we were in Moscow, I used my free time to visit museums, of course, but more often I would just go around in the streets to see what’s going on and get an impression of the city. On that day, we had tickets to the parade (only invited guests could attend), but as Sasson was busy with the Kremlin Cup and all, I went there with my sister Louise.
It was very impressive. We were not allowed to take pictures, but we saw Silaev, marching with Yeltsin and Gorbachev in the ﬁrst row, and then all the military equipment was shown. Then the Tsarist national anthem was played, which struck us as unusual, as it wasn’t the Soviet anthem. All of a sudden, we heard a single gunshot. Everybody panicked, but the commotion subsided, and was covered up in no-time. There must have been a lot of security people in civilian attire there.
A poster criticizing Mikhail Gorbachev, the Russian leader whose innovative policies of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring) led to the end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. His openness policy allowed more freedom of thought and speech, which in turn brought about growing criticism of his own government