The Black Madonna 21: Coup d'état
On August 19th 1991, hardliners within the Communist party, backed by the KGB, attempted to seize control of the Soviet government. They were opposed to the reforms and decentralization of power, from Moscow to the republics, that had been launched by Gorbachev.
Armored units and paratroops descended upon Moscow, TV and radio stations were occupied and the KGB arrested a number of key deputies. However, the conspirators made one fatal mistake by failing to arrest Russian President Boris Yeltsin.
Over the coming days he ended up leading civil resistance against the coup from outside the parliament building. KGB spetsnaz forces from Alpha and Vympel were set to storm the parliament building on August 20th as part of “Operation Grom”, but by that point Yeltsin had already secured the support of both the public and the military. The attack was called off and the coup failed, further accelerating the dissolution of the Soviet Union.