NEW YORK – Twenty-four years ago this month, Soviet hardliners, desperate to stop the country’s nascent democratic transition, arrested Mikhail Gorbachev and declared martial law. In response, millions of protesters poured into the streets of Moscow and towns across the Soviet Union. Key elements of the army refused to accept the coup, and it soon collapsed – with the Soviet Union soon to follow.
Even though economic conditions were dire in the USSR’s final months, people could see the freedoms that were coming and, unlike today, were willing to st...
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