Russia at the Barricades: Eyewitness Accounts of the August 1991 Coup
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On August 19, 1991, eight high-ranking Soviet officials took over the government of the USSR and proclaimed themselves its new rulers. Less than seventy-two hours later, their coup had collapsed, but it would change the course of history in a way that no one—certainly not the plotters themselves—could have foreseen. The editor of this volume, who witnessed these momentous events, have assembled firsthand accounts of the attempted coup. They include testimonies from “junta” members and military officers, resistance leaders and ordinary citizens, Muscovites and residents of other locales, Russian and foreign journalists, foreign visitors and returning emigres, as well as Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin. Key documents and photographs complement the individual accounts. The provocative introduction to the volume places the August events in the larger context—from the early days of perestroika and glasnost to the second confrontation at the White House, in October 1993.