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Putin opponents draw comparisons with 1991 coup

Aug. 19, 2012 19:25
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A Russian woman puts flowers at a memorial to three men killed in the August 1991 hard line Communist coup attempt during a ceremony marking the 21th anniversary of the failure of the coup in downtown Moscow, Russia, Sunday, Aug. 19, 2012. Twenty one-years ago, a group of Kremlin conspirators tried to stop U.S.S.R. President Mikhail Gorbachev's reforms and hold the empire together. A robust Boris Yeltsin foiled the coup, rallying democrats from atop a tank. Since then, the Soviet Union has disintegrated into 13 separate countries, Gorbachev was thrown out of power and Yeltsin was elected the first freely-elected president in Russian history.
Photo by AP

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian opposition leaders have joined about 300 people who gathered in Moscow to remember three people who were killed during the failed Soviet coup more than two decades ago. 

They drew a comparison between the Communist hardliners who tried to overthrow Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev in August 1991 and the current Kremlin leadership under Vladimir Putin.

Alexei Navalny was among those who placed flowers Sunday on a memorial to the "defenders of Russian democracy" who died while resisting the coup. He told the crowd that "unfortunately a creeping coup has happened and some of the ideas that were pushed forward by the disgusting coup plotters have now been realized. Destroying the creeping coup is our goal."

Navalny has been one of the leaders of the anti-Putin protests. 

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