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This clip tells the story of the attempted coup of 1991, in which communist hardliners attempted to prevent further reforms. It outlines several reasons for the fall of the Soviet Union, including the actions of the Communist Party leadership, of Boris Yeltsin and of Mikhail Gorbachev himself. The footage also contains evidence of growing feelings of nationalism in Russia, as well as in the other republics of the USSR.
This clip is from:
First broadcast:
9 January 2008

Classroom Ideas

Students will find this clip useful for examining the role of the attempted coup within the wider context of the decline of the Soviet Union. They could be encouraged to take notes on the actions of Communist Party leaders, Boris Yeltsin and Gorbachev. They could then use this to debate the reasons for the failure of the coup.
This clip would make a great starting point for a debate on the extent to which Gorbachev was the main reason for the fall of the USSR. Alternatively they could research how free and democratic Russia is now.

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