Moscow, Soviet Union
August 22, 1991
The curious gather at the base of the former statue of Cheka founder Felix Dzerzhinsky and the once feared KGB building at Lubyanka Square. Following the Soviet coup d'état attempt (August 19-21, 1991), also known as the August Putsch or August Coup. A small group of the Soviet government officials briefly deposed president Mikhail Gorbachev in an attempted to take control of the country. The coup leaders were hard-line members of the Communist Party (CPSU) who felt that Gorbachev's reforms had gone too far in dispersing the central government's power to the republics - better known as perestroika. The coup collapsed in three days, and Gorbachev returned to power, crushing the Soviet leader's hopes that the union could be held together in a decentralized form.