Russian opposition marks anniversary of failed Soviet coup attempt

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Russian opposition marks anniversary of failed Soviet coup attempt

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Hundreds of people have taken part in a ceremony in Moscow to remember three people who were killed during the 1991 Soviet Union coup attempt.

Opposition activists laid flowers at a memorial to those who died resisting the failed overthrow of Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev.

Protesters used the 21st anniversary to claim that little has changed politically since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

“We want to live in a country with fair elections, justice in the courts and with police obeying orders that comply with our laws and our constitution. But we feel it is not happening,” said Moscow resident Nikolai.

Opposition leader Alexei Navalny said: “Listen, they can jail anyone in this country. We’ve seen this with Pussy Riot, we’ve seen this with the May 6 protesters where 12 people are in prison though no crime was committed. So they can jail anyone, including myself.”

Many protesters compared the attempted overthrow of Gorbachev with the current opposition to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The three day coup on August 19 1991 saw Russia’s first president Boris Yeltsin launch his own challenge to the plotters, by jumping on top a tank outside the parliament building.

Within days of coup failing, what was once the world’s second superpower, began to collapse.
By years end, the Soviet Union was no more.