Soviet coup d’état attempt begins 20 years ago today

Soviet coup attempt of 1991

(Monday, August 19, 1991) — A group calling itself the State Emergency Committee attempted to seize power in Moscow today, announcing that Mikhail Gorbachev was ill and had been relieved of his state post as president. Gorbachev was holidaying in the Crimea when the coup began and remained there under house arrest. Soviet Union Vice President Gennady Yanayev was named acting president.

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