March 10, 1991 Snapshots of Moscow during one of biggest protest rallies in Russia’s history
On March 10, 1991, a major opposition demonstration took place in the center of Moscow. Though estimates of the crowd size vary, the rally remains one of the largest protests in Russia’s modern history. As many as half a million people filled Moscow’s Manezhnaya Square near the Kremlin, demanding the resignation of Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and expressing their support for Boris Yeltsin, who would go on to become the first president of the independent Russian Federation. The demonstration was also a protest against the preservation of the USSR — a question at the center of a referendum that would take place a week later. In that vote, most Soviet citizens endorsed the Union’s continued existence, but the country and its empire nevertheless collapsed later that year.