In 1991, Boris Yeltsin stood atop a tank in front of the parliament building in Moscow and called on the people to resist the communist hardliners in the August coup.
Several months later, at the end of the year, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev resigned, leaving Yeltsin as the president of Russia.
Fast forward to December 31, 1999: Yeltsin grabbed the world by surprise once again when he resigned during a live televised address.
In between those shock events, Russia went through an enormous economic, social, and political transition as the state tried to adjust to the global economy following the dissolution of the USSR. During that tumultuous decade, Russia was also involved in two Chechen Wars and was slammed by a financial crisis in 1998.
We put together 53 archived photographs from Reuters and AP of Russia's 1990s. (Most of the captions are from Reuters or AP, lightly edited for clarity or additional background information.)
Thousands of Muscovites march to Red Square carrying a giant Russian tricolor white, blue, and red flag, celebrating the failure of the three-day hard line Communist coup attempt in Moscow, August 22, 1991.
Two free marketeers display their goods at the central market in Petropavlovsk, the capital city of the far eastern peninsula of Kamchatka, March 1993.
In 1993, there was conflict between Yeltsin and the parliament, which ultimately resulted in the use of force. In October, Yeltsin ordered troops to seize parliament from opponents. In the photo below, a Russian tank leaves its post in front of the Moscow's White House building on October 5.
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