Moscow:  White house

This view of Russia's "White House" was taken from the twelfth floor of the Hotel Ukraina. As the seat of the Russian government, the building has figured prominently in recent history. On the morning of 19 August 1991 Soviet officials launched a coup. Boris Yeltsin left for the Russian White House shortly after the coup was announced, encountering tanks and armored personnel carriers along the way. At 1 p.m. he climbed atop a tank positioned just outside the building, denounced the coup as unconstitutional, and called for Gorbachev's release from house arrest. Meanwhile Muscovites moved in to protect the White House, and by Monday evening had set up barricades and formed a human chain around the building. By Wednesday morning, tanks and armored personnel carriers approached the barricades under orders to storm them, and in the ensuing fighting several civilians lost their lives. Most soldiers, however, refused to fire on the crowds, and the coup attempt soon faltered.

Last updated July 5, 2002
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© Copyright 2002 by Joseph Dillon Ford