Poster of the putsch of August 1991. The confrontation between the Republican Russian Government and the Union State Government the USSR.
On August 19, 1991, news spread that President Mikhail Gorbachev was arrested, on a holiday while resting in Foros, Ukraine. Gorbachev was Secretary General of the Communist Party between 1985 and 1989, when he was elected President of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), headquartered in Moscow.
Boris Yeltsin stands on a tank to defy the August Coup in 1991.
Gorbachev launched a series of reforms called "Perestroika" that meant re-engineering; and "Glasnost" or transparency. He made deep reforms with transparency.
U.R.S.S., Moscow: A picture taken on August 19, 1991 shows Soviet Army tanks parked near Spassky gate, an entrance to the Kremlin and Basil's Cathedral.
The Soviet Union was a monster with out of date means of production in factory chimneys, iron, steel, coal production and ugly and heavy utensils all out of fashion.
Aug. 19, 1991, when the news spread across the globe: “There has been a coup d'état in the Soviet Union."
The political and economic restructuring caused suspicions within the "establishment" and the so-called hardline communist doctrinaires who, in turn, caused a chaotic disorganization that threw people into confusion. Mikhail Gorbachev was close to giving in, which terrified conservative communists still in the government. These hard-liners attempted a military coup d'état.
Yeltsin went on to declare Russia an independent state.
Just imagine trying to reform the largest country in the world and try to modernize it. If we complained about the chaos that occurs when going to build a dual carriageway or amend a building, how would that throughout the Soviet Union?
TIME Magazine Cover: Mikhail Gorbachev -- June 4, 1990
Boris Yeltsin acted with masterly decision and dissolved the Communist Party; he took control of the Kremlin office, mounted on a tank shouting with a megaphone in hand.
In December, the cascade of Soviet cards fell and the whole Union went to its dissolution which would occur in less than a week!