Albert Makashov was born in Voronezh Oblast. He graduated from the Tashkent military school, finished the Frunze Military Academy (with the gold medal), and the General Staff Academy (with the gold medal) during the 1960s. He became major general of the Red Army in 1979, serving in the Caucasus region.
In 1989, Makashov was elected to the Supreme Soviet. He ran for presidential election in 1991 as an "independent nationalist", obtaining 3.74%. He then supported the Soviet coup d'état attempt that took place later in the same year. During October crisis of 1993 he was in charge of the defence of the White House. He organized a people army that on October 3 stormed the police cordons, seized the Moscow Mayor's office and attempted to seize the Ostankino television station.
After the rebellion was suppressed, Makashov and a number of other opposition figures were arrested. After the imprisonment and amnesty in 1994, he was elected a deputy to the State Duma of Russian Federation as a member of the communist parliamentary group (since 1995).
Jewish associations and a number of commentators have accused Makashov of being antisemitic. After the general's call for expulsion of all Jews at a public meeting in 1999, there were attempts to prosecute him for hate speech; the newspaper Kommersant run an article about him named "Makashov - zoological antisemite". David Duke, who visited Moscow in 1999, met Makashov and expressed his support for the general.
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