On 4 October 1993, Boris Yeltsin gave the order to blast the last of the old Soviet hardliners out of the Russian parliament building.
The conspirators reckoned without the will of a people hungry for democratic reforms - crowds of Muscovites attempted to stop the tanks, creating a powderkeg situation.
Future premier Boris Yeltsin stepped into the breach, urging civilians to resist the architects of the coup and the army not to turn against the people. His intervention thwarted the attempt, and diffused the most revolutionary situation in Russia since the uprising of 1917.
Watch original British Pathe footage from the attempted coup, above.