"The failure of perestroika in 1991 was a result of actions by the GKChP putschists and those who made use of the situation after the coup to pull the country apart. But this no way cancels the importance of perestroika", Gorbachev said.
He acknowledged that perestroika, the movement to restructure the Soviet Union's political and economic life, did not always proceed smoothly, with some mistakes committed, stressing that it had anyway provoked a dramatic reform of society.
The August Putsch started early on 19 August 1991. The State Committee on the State of Emergency attempted to remove Gorbachev from power, while he was on holiday in Crimea. The coup collapsed several days later, on 22 August. The coup attempt is widely believed to have significantly contributed to the disintegration of the Soviet Union.
Thursday marks the 35th anniversary of the famous April session of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, considered to be the birth date of perestroika, with which Gorbachev and his policy of "glasnost", is largely associated.