19.08.

1991: Soviet President Gorbachev Captured During his Stay on the Crimea

1991: Soviet President Gorbachev Captured During his Stay on the Crimea
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons/Gorbachev in 1966

Story Highlights

  • Historical event
  • 19 August 1991
  • The coup leaders used two divisions in an attempt to take over the center of government in Moscow.

On this day in 1991, hardliners in the USSR initiated a coup with the goal of preserving the old Soviet order.

The group was led by eight high-ranking members of the Communist Party and the Red Army, the so-called Gang of Eight. They included:

•Vice President Gennady Yanayev,
•Premier Valentin Pavlov,
•Interior Minister Boris Pugo,
•Defense Minister and Marshal of the Soviet Union Dmitry Yazov,
•KGB Chairman Vladimir Kryuchkov,
•First Deputy Chairman of the Defense Council of the USSR Oleg Baklanov,
•Chairman of the Peasants’ Union of the USSR Vasilij Starodubcev,
•President of the Association of State Enterprises Alexander Tizyakov.

It is interesting that they practically took President Gorbachev, who was on the Crimea at that time, captive.

Namely, the mentioned eight hardliners were not supported by Gorbachev, and decided to imprison him in his dacha on the Crimean resort town of Foros, at the very southern tip of the Crimea.

Gennady Yanayev, who was Gorbachev’s vice president, declared himself Acting President of the USSR, claiming Gorbachev was ill and unable to perform his duties.

Despite the fact that the coup leaders used two divisions in an attempt to take over the center of government in Moscow, the coup ended in failure.

 

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