• World War II veteran Lev Yatsevich, center, and Sergei Perminov, 65, left, both of whom turned up to oppose a hard-line Soviet coup in August 1991, greet each other during an event mark the 25th anniversary of the first day of the failed coup outside the Russian White House parliament building in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Aug. 19, 2016. The defeat of the coup, which came several days later, setting in motion the dissolution of the Soviet Union, is widely regarded as a triumph of democracy in Russia. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

    Russia marks 25 years since failed Soviet coup

    MOSCOW (AP) — Several dozen Russians gathered on Friday for a protest reunion to mark the 25th anniversary of a coup attempt which heralded the demise of the Soviet Union, a holiday ignored in official circles because of its revolutionary, anti-establishment nature.

  • In this Aug. 19, 1991 file photo, protesters gather at the Russian Government building, also known as White House, holding a Russian national flag as they protest the oncoming line of tanks around the building in Moscow, Russia. As the 25th anniversary of the so-called August Coup draws near this Friday, The Associated Press has talked to participants and witnesses of those critical days when Muscovites turned out to defend the spirit of democracy that Gorbachev had unleashed, and many Soviet officers defied their orders and sided with the people, ensuring that that the plotters failed. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, file)

    25 years on, Russians tell of how they defeated a coup

    MOSCOW (AP) — The KGB major was on vacation in the Russian countryside in August 1991 when he woke up to a radio broadcast announcing a state of national emergency. The bulletin contained something else: a secret code phrase for intelligence officers, summoning them back to their posts immediately.