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Moscow, Russia<br />
Soviet Union<br />
August 30, 1991<br />
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After Communist rule crumbled the statue of Soviet-era secret police chief Felix Dzerzhinsky, is taken from its site in front of the FSB security service headquarters in Lubyanka Square and placed in a backyard of the Moscow's Central House of Artists .<br />
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The Union of Rightist Forces, known by its Russian initials of SPS, began collecting signatures to block the return of the monument, which had been removed from Lubyanka Square in August 1991 after Communist rule crumbled. <br />
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In December 1991, food shortages in central Russia had prompted food rationing in the Moscow area for the first time since World War II. Amid steady collapse, Soviet President Gorbachev and his government continued to oppose rapid market reforms like Yavlinsky's "500 Days" program. To break Gorbachev's opposition, Yeltsin decided to disband the USSR in accordance with the Treaty of the Union of 1922 and thereby remove Gorbachev and the Soviet government from power. The step was also enthusiastically supported by the governments of Ukraine and Belarus, which were parties of the Treaty of 1922 along with Russia.<br />
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On December 21, 1991, representatives of all member republics except Georgia signed the Alma-Ata Protocol, in which they confirmed the dissolution of the Union. That same day, all former-Soviet republics agreed to join the CIS, with the exception of the three Baltic States.