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Soviet Coup Anniversary Draws Small Crowd


22 August 2004 -- A handful of people gathered outside Russia's government headquarters today to mark State Flag Day, which celebrates the defeat of the 1991 hard-line coup against Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

NTV television reports that just over 50 people were at the rally at the White House, the building that was the focus of opposition to the coup attempt.

The attempted coup between 19-21 August failed after thousands of people crowded around what was then the Russian parliament building to voice opposition to the hard-liners and support for movement toward democracy.

Russian news agencies said a slightly larger crowd -- about 200 people -- appeared as the rally moved to a memorial plaque near where three people were killed during the coup attempt when a crowd tried to block tanks.

(AP)
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