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Dear leader is dead – what does an authoritarian system do when its strongest dies? – Fortune Magazine soldier

Dear leader is dead - what does an authoritarian system do when its strongest dies? - Fortune Magazine soldier

Official photograph by Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, President of Turkmenistan, by way of VOA

You’re part of an authoritarian regime inside a leading elite. The nominal leader of the government is in hassle, probably on the door of demise. Who succeeds in him is an open question. What system to do?

This concern was raised lately when the fate of Turkmenistan's President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov was overshadowed by rumors, confusion and official confusion. The unpredictable demise of his dying ceased on August 12, when he hosted the Caspian Economic Forum and met with a number of government leaders.

However his disappearance from public appearances and nationwide tv – the place his presence in Turkmenistan was a virtual certainty for the individuals every night time – led many to remember the dying of his predecessor, Saparmurat Niyazov, in 2006. Calling Turkmenbash (the father of all Turkmenists), the disappearance of Niyazov, and the ultimate demise overshadowed the uncertainty.

The dying of Islamic Karimov, the long-time period leader of neighboring Uzbekistan, in 2016.

It also led to the deaths of Soviet leaders Andropov, Chernenko, Brezhnev, and to some extent Stalin.

Soviet time, simply as the Soviet Union existed, is filled with a strategy of making an attempt to determine find out how to report the demise of an authoritarian leader. If not properly dealt with, it may well weaken the understanding of the leader and doubts concerning the viability of the government by the individuals of the nation and the world. It is double if the query of who turns into the subsequent leader is in the air, as is typically the case in authoritarian nations.

Josef Stalin (1953)

It is alleged that Stalin's demise was where the textbook was written on how the rituals of the dying of the authoritarian regime have been progressively managed in the 20th century. In fact, kings, queens and emperors of bygone centuries have been also combined in afterlife with detailed rituals. Nevertheless, the 20th century was an period of mass media and the home and international audiences have been reported or manipulated.

Celebration of Joseph Stalin's 50th anniversary in the Kremlin, December 21, 1929, with social gathering members Ordzhonikidze, Voroshilov. , Kuibyshev, Stalin, Kalin, Kaganovich and Kirov, as the statue of Lenin exhibits.
Library of Congress DOD

In Stalin's case, the Soviet Communist Social gathering, formed by his management, had built what was later referred to as the "personality cult" around Stalin. For many Soviet residents, he was a demigod who, among other things, led the country to victory over Nazi Germany.

1. March 1953, he was found unconscious in his dacha base in the Moscow suburb, suffering from cerebral hemorrhage. Docs – horrified by the continued plot of docs concentrating on the "Saboteur Doctors" who claimed to be making an attempt to kill prime-degree officials – have been reluctant to aggressively deal with him and spent the subsequent three days on the sofa in dacha

Of Stalin, who was stated to have a stroke and was partially paralyzed. The report additionally said that he was present process medical remedy, suggesting that restoration could be potential.

Stalin died on March 5 at 9:20. The subsequent morning, at dawn, a hammer and sickle flag above the Kremlin was lowered to half-individuals, and his dying was reported by state media.

The celebration's official newspaper, Pravda, revealed a memoir paying tribute to the founder of the Soviet Union, Vladimir Lenin. And in a nod to the worry that Stalin's dying would undermine the peaceable rule of the Communist Celebration, the announcement additionally referred to as for a metal-like and monolithic unity of get together strains.

"Stalin's immortal name will live forever in the hearts of the people of the Soviet Union and of all advanced humanity," the memorial continued. "Long live the great and all conquering teachings of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin! Long live our great Socialist Fatherland! Long live our heroic Soviets! Long live the great Communist Party of the Soviet Union!"

Lenin and Stalin leading political representatives, including Georgy Malenkov, Lavrenty Beria, Vyacheslav Molotov, Nikita Khrushchev and others, met to create a fragile "collective leadership" structure through which Malenkov was anointed "the first of the equals"

[Nikita Khrushchev (left) and Leonid Brezhnev (right), attending a session of the Supreme Soviet, Moscow, 1961]

. turned the subsequent clear leader of the Soviet Union.

Leonid Brezhnev (1982) / Yury Andropov (1984) / Konstantin Chernenko (1985)

The demise of Leonid Brezhnev in 1982 was the first demise of Soviet leaders, raising questions hdon viability not to point out many dark-minded jokes.

By the age of 75, Brezhnev had been struggling for a lot of the last yr. of his life, not often appearing in public. The communist leadership repeatedly denied rumors of his ailing well being.

[President Richard Nixon with (left to right) Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, Soviet Minister of Foreign Affairs Andrei Gromyko, and Secretary of State William P. Rogers, toasting the signing of agreements between the two countries on oceanography, transportation and cultural exchange] /

On November 10, state tv started mixing common programming: one channel broadcast a documentary about Vladimir Lenin and another channel a Tchaikovsky efficiency. symphony. Later the beloved ballet Lake Joutsenjärvi was screened in full for three hours.

11 am Moscow time Soviet tv and radio formally introduced the dying of Brezhnev; nicely-recognized tv anchor and flagship Vremya news host Ivan Kirillov learn the announcement, which was in fact in tears.

Later it appeared that Brezhnev had suffered a stroke in Might. Similarly, it turned out that Brezhnev had refused to give up his submit as successor, even on his deathbed.

Brezhnev is adopted by KGB chief Yuri Andropov, already generally known as a sequence smoker for critical health points. Andropov's poor well being led to kidney issues, and he was admitted to hospital in August 1983.

These details have been rigorously monitored and only launched after his demise, raising new questions concerning the Soviet leadership's succession procedures.

Andropov ultimately died on the afternoon of February 9, 1984 at the age of 70. An hour earlier than the official announcement, radio and television packages started enjoying melancholic classical music. Lake Joutsenjärvi additionally carried out in one other method.

An official statement learn by Kirillov additionally stated that Andropov died "after a long illness" with problems from diabetes and hypertension.

Andropov's successor Konstantin Chernenko took even less time. time as a Soviet leader like Andropov, serving solely 13 months. Like Andropov, Chernenko was a sequence smoker with continual well being issues. Much of his reign was spent on medical remedy of emphysema and different lung illnesses. Like his predecessor, these issues have been largely held in public view.

22. On February 2, 1985, a sick-wanting Chernenko was proven in a televised demonstration in Moscow and appeared on state tv six days later, preying on native elections. Kremlinologists speculated that he was not with this world for long.

On March 10, Swan Lake was proven once more on the state television channel. Chernenko died after falling right into a coma. Composer Kirillov again read the announcement from the official political representative workplace, the third time he had carried out so in three years.

The accession of Lake Swan to the deaths of Soviet leaders had unintended penalties for Chernenko's successor Mikhail Gorbachev years later.

In 1991, when a gaggle of arduous-line officials tried to oust Gorbachev's coup, a daily state television program was taken off the air and changed by ballet looping.

In line with many Russians, Gorbachev was killed.

Saparmurat Niyazov (2006)

Like Berdymukhammedov's successor, Niyazov was as eccentric as a dictator. During his 21 prime years, he led Turkmenistan to isolation, regardless of looking for to take advantage of the nation's huge natural fuel reserves.

Like Stalin, Niyazov constructed a character cult. Amongst other comparable modifications, she named herself after January, and after her mom, April. He made his writings a must-learn for schoolchildren and installed an enormous golden statue in Ashgabat, the capital, which all the time rotates in the direction of the sun.

Within the very early hours of December 21, 2006, Turkmenistan state television reported that Niyazov, the self-styled "Father of All Turkmenistan", had died of a heart assault at age 66.

"It has been decided that our great leader will be buried on Sunday, December 24," a television photographer. stated. “Seven days of sadness have been reported to our great leader.” SEE ALSO: Energy Vacuum | Centralized system to stand for survival

Later that day, it was announced that Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, who had served as deputy prime minister and well being minister, had been appointed appearing head of state and would lead the Niyazov funeral ceremonies fee. In the meantime, details of how Berdymukhammedov was selected, one in every of many process ambiguities, were not given.

The truth is, Ovezgeldy Atajevin, President of the Turkmenistan Meeting, needed to be nominated to act. president, in response to the constitution.

But as an alternative, it was introduced that he had been prosecuted and was soon imprisoned, when Berdymukhammedov was given the chance to turn into president.

The velocity of Berdymukhammedov's nominations so soon after the announcement of Niyazov's demise led many observers to take a position that Niyazov had died some time – probably several days – earlier than the official

State television broadcasted a full-length portrait of Niyazov whereas melancholic piano music by the composer. Later, the crying ladies's voices have been heard because the portrait was displayed. Nonetheless later, younger Turkmen women and men seemed to be black and skim Niyazov's writings.

Islam Karimov (2016)

When Islam Karimov's demise was introduced on September 2, 2016, the 78-year-previous was the second longest – the former Soviet service chief who has ruled Uzbekistan for 27 years.

As it turned out later, Karimov was first hospitalized in a troublesome situation six days earlier, on August 27 – something that was not absolutely revealed after his demise.

  Islam Karimov (1938-2016) Islam Karimov (1938-2016)

On the day he was hospitalized, the first rumors appeared in the courtesy of an unbiased Central Asian information website. Fergana.ru. As well as, the location reported that Karimov had not been hospitalized, but that he truly had a serious stroke and died – one thing that had never been independently verified.

A day later, on August 28, the State Department issued a press release confirming. Karimov acquired medical remedy, which was very unusual granted by an official authorities company.

By writing to his youthful daughter on Fb, Lola later confirmed that Karimov was in secure situation.

29. In the night newscast of August, the state television did not point out Karimov's status.

On August 31, Lola Karimova posted a brand new message on Fb that her father is perhaps recovering, indicating that he was nonetheless alive at the moment. The subsequent day, Lola adopted another publish, interesting to the Uzbeks not to speculate on her father's state of affairs.

SEE ALSO: The Final Days of Islam Karimov

Finally, Reuters news September 2, early. the agency cited unnamed diplomatic sources, Karimov died. At a televised government assembly on the identical day, the Turkish Prime Minister stated that the Turks "shared the pain and suffering of Uzbekistan".

On state television, the tone of reporting Karimov's state of health turned more critical, and the announcements indicated that he was critical. sick, confirms Lola's Fb posts.

At about 10pm native time, state tv lastly introduced his demise.

In an official medical report revealed shortly thereafter, officers revealed that Karimov was in truth in hospital on August 27 – two days before the reviews originally appeared – and that he had suffered a stroke and cardiac arrest. It sparked hypothesis that Karimov might have been clinically dead as early as August 27 and that he is being artificially survived.

Uzbekistan's state television additionally showed segments that targeted on Karimov's tomb in Samarkand, his hometown. In line with television studies, Shavkhat Mirziyoev, who finally succeeds Karimov as president, was among the many individuals digging for the grave.

  • Mike EckelMike Eckel is a senior correspondent at RFE / RL in Prague.

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