Four Days In August The Soviet Crisis

August 25, 1991

At dawn last Monday, Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev's trusted advisers tried to topple him because they feared he was embarking on a course that would destroy the centralized power of the Communist Party.

Within 63 hours, the coup was undone by demonstrations from simple, unarmed Russians who would stand for no more tyranny. Led by Russian President Boris N. Yeltsin, they stood their ground against tanks and soldiers.

By the end of the week, Mr. Gorbachev was restored to his post but it was Mr. Yeltsin who had won the day as the Communist Party's 73-year hold on power was being dismantled.

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