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Failed Soviet coup leader dies at 73

© RIA Novosti . Vitaly Savelyev / Go to the photo bankGennady Yanayev
Gennady Yanayev - Sputnik International
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One of the leaders of the Soviet coup of 1991, Gennady Yanayev, died on Friday at the age of 73, a family friend told RIA Novosti.

One of the leaders of the Soviet coup of 1991, Gennady Yanayev, died on Friday at the age of 73, a family friend told RIA Novosti.

He was suffering from an unspecified long-lasting and painful illness.

The former Soviet vice-president tried to take over the reigns of power from Mikhail Gorbachev by declaring himself acting president while Gorbachev was on vacation in the Crimea.

Yanayev and the other coup leaders said they wanted to save the Soviet Union from Gorbachev's reform movement.

Three days after the coup, Yanayev was arrested and jailed for three years. In 1994, he was granted amnesty.

The coup brought to the surface rising discontent with the Soviet Union, which was dismantled by the end of 1991.

MOSCOW, September 24 (RIA Novosti)

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