Journalist eyewitness to 1991 coup against Mikhail Gorbachev

August 19, 2011

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(AP Photo)
Former Russian Federation President Boris Yeltsin makes a speech defying communist hardliners atop a tank during the 1991 coup.

An attempted coup against President Gorbachev was one of the key events in the fall of the Soviet Union. Communist hardliners tried to force out the president, but their failure ultimately paved the way for even more radical reforms. The BBC’s Alan Johnston speaks to a journalist who was inside the besieged parliament building in Moscow.

"The Moscow Coup" was provided by the BBC World Service program Witness.