Communists and nationalists marking the anniversary in Moscow today (epa)
August 19, 2006 -- A protest by Communist supporters marked the start of commemorations today of the 15th anniversary of the failed coup attempt that lead to the break up of the Soviet Union.
About 100 Communist Party supporters, most of them elderly and many waving red flags, gathered on Red Square to denounce the Soviet Union's collapse and to voice their regret at the failure of the three-day coup bid that began on August 19, 1991.
The anniversary of the coup, whose failure led to independence for Russia and the 14 other Soviet republics, is a time of regret for many.
President Vladimir Putin has called the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union the "biggest geopolitical catastrophe" of the 20th century.
A photo gallery presentation of the August 1991 events (Flash required)
Coverage of the coup
from RFE/RL's Russian Service in Russian.