Aug 12 2011

 

 

On August 19, 1991 a gang of eight Soviet hardliners attempted to topple President Mikhail Gorbachev who had been in power since 1985. Placing the President under arrest in his vacation home, they sent troops into Moscow to stifle any dissent. Boris Yeltsin mobilized the Russian people to resist the coup and demanded democratic and economic reforms. Hundreds of thousands of Russians joined him and the coup failed within a couple of days. This was the final nail in the coffin of the Soviet Union and the beginning of modern day Russia.