(Boris Yeltsin in Moscow August 21, 1991 - things got a bit tense)
It was almost 1964 all over again, when Nikita Khruschev suddenly left office. Citing reasons of "health", Khruschev had been the oject of a coup of hardliners who felt Niki was going soft. The same thing happened during the early hours of August 19th and continued into the following several days. Mikhail Gorbachev had been the object of an attempted takeover by a hardline military coup. The pretense was supposedly the same; "health reasons". But this time the genie had been out of the bottle via Glasnost and Perestroika and the shift the Soviet Union was taking wasn't about to go back. Federation leader Boris Yeltsin, defying the military crackdown rallied popular support and the coup was resisted, eventually collapsing.
Since today was the nail-biting day (August 21st), I thought I would post excerpts of the first 24 hours, staring from the morning of 20th and going till President Bush's press conference during the afternoon of the 21st.
Nineteen years ago today it was coming thick and fast.