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- Gennady Yanayev
- Valentin Pavlov
- Vladimir Kryuchkov
- Dmitriy Yazov
- Boris Pugo
- Oleg Baklanov
- Vasily Starodubtsev, Peasant Union
- Alexander Tizyakov,
The group was lead by Gennady Yanayev, Gorbachev's vice president and they hoped to keep the power of the central Soviet government intact and stop the democratic reforms of the new era. Yanayev declared himself acting President due to Gorbachev's "illness" and promised to recreate Russia as a Soviet Republic. The idea was meet with a great deal of opposition especially in Moscow, which was the center of the pro-democratic movement. However, this was deeply hindered when on August 23, Boris Yeltsin was assassinated along with one of his aides while making a speech by a proto-fascist Vadik Solotov. Panic broke out in the crowd and in the ensuing riot 8 people were killed and 165 injured, including Vadik Solotov who was killed while trying to escape into the crowd. This fact would actually not become available until years afterwords and Vadik Solotov because a anti-Christ like figure to the pro-democratic Russian movement. The assassination of Yeltsin sent shock waves through the government and cost Gorbachev a powerful ally that he dearly needed in face of the growing power of the Gang of Eight and Gennady Yanayev. Meanwhile in Moscow, the situation between Russian Communists and Russian democrats continued to deteriorate and ultimately culminated in the Battle of Moscow which shut down the city for weeks and cost hundreds of lives. The inability of Gorbachev and his security force to curb the fighting caused popular support in the government to lean toward Yanayev and this along with the general shell shock of Boris Yeltsin on October 1st he official took the office of president and put Gorbachev into custody. Yanayev then placed the Soviet Union under a state of emergency which gave the government free rein to carry out what would become known as the Moscow Purges which left anywhere from 6,000 to 20,000 people dead and tens of thousands of others imprisoned. Well the purges were intended to destroy the democratic movement the opposite effect occurred and Yanayev's control on the country continued to slip. Meanwhile, a number of the ethnic groups of the Soviet Union began revolutionary movements to form nations of their own. Yanayev agreed to allow this to preserve what he called "Russian purity" in the Soviet Union. This lead him into contact with Boris Pugo, who himself was Latvian, who saw this as a betrayal to the centralized government idea that had began the coup. On October 25th, Yanayev was discovered dead in his room of what appeared to be suicide but what most people believe to be an assassination by Boris Pugo in order to seize power. Upon taking the presidency Pugo visited one of the most hostile revolutionary hotspots, Chenchya's capital of Grozny and made the Grozny Declaration which stated in no uncertain terms that any breakaway republics and anti-Soviet Russians would be considered traitors and dealt with using force. During the Declaration militant members opened fire onto the stage nearly killed Pugo and these were considered the first shots of the Second Russian Civil war.