Russia at the Barricades: Eyewitness Accounts of the August 1991 Coup

By Victoria E. Bonnell; Ann Cooper et al. | Go to book overview

Chronology of Events of August 19, 20, 21, 1991

In compiling this Chronology of Events, the editors relied on several published chronologies; documents such as the decrees issued by the Emergency Committee and by the government of Russia; their own memories of events; and--because there are many inconsistencies among all the above--a good deal of common sense.* Accordingly, the chronology should be used with caution. Note also that times given for some of the events refer to the moment of their being reported by a news service and not necessarily the moment when they took place.

The world found out about the conspiracy on Monday, August 19, 1991, but the coup d'état as such had commenced on the previous day.

On Sunday, August 18, in the Presidential vacation home in Foros, in the Crimea, Mikhail S. Gorbachev was at work on his speech for the signing of the Union Treaty (the signing was scheduled for August 20). At 4:00 P.M., he discussed his speech on the telephone with his aide, Georgii Shakhnazarov, who was staying at a nearby resort. At 4:50 P.M., Gorbachev was informed that a delegation, headed by his chief of

____________________
*

The following sources have been used: Khronika putcha: chas za chasom. Sobytiia 19-22 avgusta 1991 v svodkakh Rossiiskogo Informatsionnogo Agenstva ( Leningrad, 1991); Putsch: The Diary (Oakville-New York-London: Mosaic Press, 1992); Current Digest of the Soviet Press, vol. 43, nos. 33 and 34 ( 1991); Komsomolskaia pravda, August 22, 1991; . . . Deviatnadtsatoe, dvadtsatoe, dvadtsat pervoe . . . ( Moscow, 1991); Valentin Stepankov and Yevgenii Lisov Kremlevskii zagovor: versiia sledstviia, ( Moscow, 1992); and General Aleksandr Lebed's memoir Spektakl nazyvalsia putch, published in Tiraspol in 1993, the first installment of which was reprinted in Literaturnaia Rossiia, September 24, 1993.

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