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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

1991 Coup Remembered

APSoldiers carrying wreaths at a ceremony commemorating the attempt Friday.
A small group of people gathered outside the White House on Sunday for a march and rally for Flag Day, which celebrates the defeat of the 1991 coup against Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev.

NTV television reported that just over 50 people showed up outside the seat of the federal government -- a turnout that reflected widespread ambivalence about the collapse of the Soviet Union and the path Russia has taken since.

"It's painful that people have forgotten," elderly demonstrator Inna Shala told NTV.

Her husband, Grigory Shala, added, "We even wondered where those people have gone -- there were so many here then."

The Aug. 19-21 attempted coup failed after thousands of people crowed around the White House, which was then the Russian parliament building, to voice their opposition to the bid to impose hard-line Communist rule and their support for movement toward democracy. A white, blue and red Russian flag was raised over the building on Aug. 22.

In a nationwide survey conducted last month by the respected Yury Levada Analytical Center, 42 percent of 1,600 respondents said 1991 coup attempt and its defeat were nothing but part of a power struggle, and 36 percent called them "tragic events that had fatal results for the country and people."

Only 11 percent characterized the events as the victory of a democratic revolution that removed the Soviet Communist Party from power.