Last Days of USSR

3 days of Rebellon of 1991

The Hope / People watching the demolition of the monument to Felix Dzerzhinsky, the KGB founder. Look at their faces: they had believed something new and unexplored lay ahead. ©IL 1991 / photo ID #2001

The evidence / Russian flag in the USSR. The demonstrators carried around a thousand feet-long Russian flag as a symbol of Russia’s indpendence from the USSR and liberation from the “junta” rule. ©IL 1991 / photo ID #20003

The thoughts / A meeting near the White House, the opposition stonghold. ©IL 1991 / photo ID #20004

The waiting / Barricades surrounded the Yeltsin headquarters at the White House to resist a possible tank attack. ©IL 1991 / photo ID #20005

The readiness / Gas masks ready in case of a military assault. However, the army units took the side of the people on the second day of the standoff. ©IL 1991 / photo ID #20006

The Ballooner / Through the lens of the panoramic camera, a huge airship looks like a small fly on a string. Members of the aeronautics club came to the White House to show support for Yeltsin. ©IL 1991 / photo ID #20007

The last argue / Poltical discussions erupted spontaneously on every corner. This photo was taken at a metro station. (Combined from two shots) ©IL 1991 / photo ID #20011

The Day / General jubilation after the defeat of the putchists and the arrest of theit leaders. ©IL 1991 / photo ID #20012

The Climbing / Protestors were willing to demolish the monument to the KGB founder as soon as possible, with the help of a rope and a truck. However, city council officials promised to bring the special equipment to do the job. This was done a few hours later, late at night. Only then the satisfied crowd stared to disperse. ©IL 1991 / photo ID #20013

The overwatcher / A huge crowd watched as the monument to Dzerzhinsky on the Lubianka square was being removed. It is said that a substantial force of heavily armed elite KGB officers was on full alert in the KGB headquarters nearby, prepared to repel the attack on the building by the protestors. The attack never materialized: after the late-night demolition of the monument with heavy equipment, the protesters went home. A new page in the Russian history was turned. ©IL 1991 / photo ID #20014

The proclaim / Yeltsin’s proclamation on the wall of a metro station. Volunteers were busy posting them over and over again all around town, while the police and KGB operatives kept promptly removing them. ©IL 1991 / photo ID #20015

The feeding / Volunteers brought food and cooked for the defenders of the White House who stayed there round the clock for several days. ©IL 1991 / photo ID #20016

The end? / A pile of plastic cups. It had been raining non-stop for several days, and the lawn, trampled by thousands of feet, turned into goop. That was the last day of hunta ©IL 1991 / photo ID #20017