The last living protagonist of the failed coup against the last leader of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev In August 1991, he died today at the age of 89, a senior Russian official said.
“Oleg Dmitrievich Baklanov, who was the head of our space industry and Minister of Mechanical Engineering of the USSR, passed away today, Said on Twitter the head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin.
Little known abroad, apart from that incident, Oleg Baklanov was one of eight senior Soviet officials behind an attempt to oust then-leader Mikhail Gorbachev from power in an attempt that began on August 19, 1991.
Led by the KGB leader and the defense minister, who saw the coup as the last means of “rescuing” the Soviet Union, these “hardline” supporters felt that Gorbachev had gone too far with his reforms in the Soviet Union.
The coup leaders then claimed that Gorbachev was “incapable of performing his duties for health reasons”. They had declared a state of emergency for six months, reinstated censorship and brought tanks into Moscow.
The The coup failed and the coup leaders were arrested three days laterHowever, these events sealed the fate of the Soviet Union, which had already been weakened by supporters of independence in the republics and would eventually disintegrate in December 1991.
Oleg Baklanov, born in 1932, was vice-president of the Defense Council despite being president of the USSR at the time of the coup attempt.
From 1983 to 1988, he served as Minister of Mechanical Engineering, overseeing various Soviet space programs, including the Russian emblematic Buran space shuttle.
He was imprisoned until January 1993 and then pardoned in 1994.
One of the main protagonists of the failed coup, then Soviet Defense Minister Dmitry Yazov, died last year at the age of 95.