Thursday 20 August 2020

avgustovskiy putch

Opposed to the decentralisation and reform efforts of the Soviet president and General Secretary of the Communist Party, Communist hardliner elements in the government attempted a coup d'état beginning on this day at noon in 1991 to remove Mikhail Gorbachev (see previously) with the Moscow military district commander declaring martial law in effect and signaling an imminent siege on the parliamentary compound (Белый дом—that is, the White House). Allies of the Gorbachev government barricaded the building and rebuffed the attack, codenamed Operation Grom—that is, thunder. Whilst these events unfolded—a power vacuum that lasted sixty hours, Estonia declared its independence with the other Baltic states following soon after.