WASHINGTON — A videotape secretly made by Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev during his captivity, in which he denounces the coup plotters as liars and pleads with the Soviet people not to believe them, was shown Sunday on American television and Sunday night on Soviet television.
The tape was made in the middle of the night, at 2:36 a.m. Tuesday, by Gorbachev and his son-in-law, Anatoly, at the Soviet president's vacation home in the Crimea.
"What I am about to tell you, I want to be heard by the people's deputies of the U.S.S.R. and by the Russian people," Gorbachev says on the videotape. " . . . I must say at once that there has been a deception of the people and on the basis of this deception, this lie, there has been an anti-constitutional coup."
The tape was made so quickly, with a home video camera, that it begins with pictures made earlier in the day of Gorbachev's granddaughter showing off her ballet steps and then suddenly shows the Soviet president making his statement.
The tape was broadcast by NBC. It did not say how it obtained a copy.
To make the secret tape, NBC said Gorbachev and his son-in-law turned off all the lights in the house so as not to arouse suspicion and went into a closed room.
Gorbachev then stood in front of the camera and repeated his plea to the Supreme Soviet not to believe the coup leaders. He did this four times.
In the tape, the Soviet president refutes statements by his former vice president, Gennady I. Yanayev, that he was ill and unable to carry out his duties.
"The vice president (refers) to my ill health and my inability as a result of my poor health to fulfill my duties as the president of the U.S.S.R. But I am completely well," he says.