Kevin Dellicker for U.S. Congress

Remembering the failed Soviet coup attempt of 1991

Remembering the failed Soviet coup attempt of 1991

Thirty years ago this week, KGB hard-liners in the U.S.S.R. launched a last-ditch effort to save Soviet communism. They sent tanks rolling down the streets of Moscow to arrest pro-reform leaders and stamp out the emerging democracy movement.

But the citizens of Moscow fought back. They erected barricades against the tanks, defended their leaders, and marched for democracy. The coup unraveled within four days, and within four months, so did the entire U.S.S.R. After threatening the world for seventy years, Soviet communism was dead.

For most Americans, the failed Soviet coup attempt of August 1991 is a forgotten footnote to recent history. But it had a profound influence on my life. That’s because I was there, on the streets of Moscow, experiencing the whole scene first-hand. I took this picture from outside the city’s main post office.

As a Penn State undergraduate learning Russian language and culture, I studied abroad in former Soviet Union while it was still a communist country. I wanted to better understand our nation’s enemy so I could help defeat it.

When I arrived in the Soviet Union, I expected to see a juggernaut of military might and economic power. Instead, I saw crumbling infrastructure, empty stores, and a dejected populace.

You see, that’s what communism does. It turns free and productive citizens into scared and demoralized subjects. That was true thirty years ago in Moscow. And it is true today in China, Cuba, North Korea, Venezuela, and anywhere else where that terrible ideology gains a foothold.

As the world watches the dangerous situation unfold in Afghanistan, we are reminded that the United States faces many threats from outside and within. We must stay vigilant and resist communism wherever it rears its ugly head. Keep America Free!

Kevin Dellicker

Military information and photos of Kevin in uniform do not imply endorsement by the Department of Defense, Air Force, Army, or National Guard.

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