Twenty years ago today the concepts of Glasnost and Perestroika were in danger of being shelved forever as a group of hardliners attempted a coup/takeover of the government of Mikhail Gorbachev. News and events traveled thick and fast on that particular day. And the air was rife with speculation as the "gang of 8" succeeded in shutting down press and media, cutting off all communication in an attempt to seal Russia off from the rest of the world. Those who remembered the ouster of Nikita Khruschev in 1964 felt an eerie sense of deja-vu. The big difference was the presence of Boris Yeltsin and an overall feeling that, with the new openness brought about by the reform movement, putting the Genie back in the bottle would be a hard thing to do.
But with the Soviet Union, you just never knew.
Here is news from the evening of August 19, 1991 from The World Tonight when the coup was still fresh and confusion was everywhere.