SHOWDOWN IN MOSCOW : Timeline of Russian Politics

Key events in Russian politics since the failed Soviet coup in August 1991:


August--Russian Federation President Boris N. Yeltsin emerges as nation’s most powerful politician after Soviet coup fails. Yeltsin suspends the Communist Party of Soviet Union and seizes its property.

October--Yeltsin outlines radical reform program, including freeing prices and privatizing small businesses.


November--Yeltsin names himself head of government, takes over duties of prime minister.

December--Russia, Ukraine and Belarus form Commonwealth of Independent States. Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev resigns.


November--In mixed decision, Constitutional Court upholds Yeltsin’s ban on the Communist Party’s leadership, but allows grassroots party organization.


December--Under pressure from parliament to soften his reforms, Yeltsin replaces reformist acting prime minister. Battles parliament Chairman Ruslan I. Khasbulatov over balance of power between president and parliament.


April--Yeltsin wins nationwide referendum on his rule and reforms. Vice President Alexander Rutskoi levels allegations of high-level corruption throughout the administration.

June--Yeltsin calls a convention to draft a new constitution. Khasbulatov boycotts the gathering.


July--While Yeltsin is on vacation, hard-line lawmakers roll back a series of his reforms, including privatization and media laws. They also urge prosecution of some top Yeltsin aides for alleged corruption.

August--Yeltsin vows a “showdown” with his rivals in September. Denies rumors he is ill.

Sept. 21--Yeltsin disbands the hard-line Congress and announces new parliamentary elections in December, seizing complete control of the country.