LTV documentary examines effects of the 1991 August coup in Moscow

LTV's series of short historical documentaries continues with another fascinating glimpse into the events that shaped Latvia's first century, complete with English-language subtitles.

This time the year under scrutiny is 1991 and the attempted August coup in Moscow, which briefly threatened to return both Russia and the Baltic states into the dark days of Soviet rule. Three days of dramatic events saw Boris Yeltsin overtake Mikhail Gorbachev as the real leader of the new Russia and his actions with regard to the Baltic states made him a popular figure right until his death. In 2006 Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga even decorated him with the Order of the Three Stars.

The documentary traces the frenetic and confusing course of history at that time which saw the early hopes of reactionary Soviet hardliners ultimately defeated and the mechanics of Baltic independence speeded up.

According to LTV "The Keys" series tells of the most important or "key" events, personalities and turning points in the history of the Latvian state from 1918 to the present. The purpose is to reveal each selected event from an unusual point of view, as if "unlocking the door" to lesser known and therefore particularly intriguing facts. 

"Such an exploratory approach, bypassing the usual stereotypes of presenting history, will allow viewers to perceive what is known to others and to better understand what has happened in the context of today's experience," says LTV.

The show is made by VFS Films, a long-time partner of Latvian Television and it is hosted by Mārtiņš Ķibilds, a distinguished cultural journalist who sadly passed away late last year.

 

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