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Russian Opposition Activists Mark Coup Anniversary

  • RFE/RL's Russian Service

Young people sit on a barricade in front of the Russian White House in central Moscow on August 20 1991, during the abortive coup.

Young people sit on a barricade in front of the Russian White House in central Moscow on August 20 1991, during the abortive coup.

Russian opposition activists gathered in Moscow on August 19 to mark the anniversary of a failed Soviet coup more than 20 years ago.

Opposition leaders drew comparisons between the hardliners who tried to overthrow Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev in August 1991 and the current Kremlin leadership under President Vladimir Putin.

Photo Gallery: The Abortive Coup

Opposition leaders accused the Kremlin of carrying out a "creeping coup" as activists laid flowers near a monument to remember the three people who were killed in the 1991 coup.

The anniversary comes just two days after a Moscow court sentenced three members of the female punk group Pussy Riot to two years in prison for staging a performance against Putin's rule in Moscow's Orthodox cathedral.
With reporting by AP and Interfax
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