... 1991 (20 years ago today), what The New York Times called "70 years of Communist tyranny" ended when Mikhail Gorbachev resigned with these words:
'I hereby discontinue my activities at the post of President of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.'
The televised 10-minute announcement came the demise of the Soviet Union, replaced by the Russia Federation (flag above right) and an 11-republic Commonwealth of Independent States "under the informal lead of President Boris N. Yeltsin of Russia." The former leader resurfaced in the news this month: Gorbachev "called on Russian authorities to annul the disputed results of parliamentary elections," held December 4, which critics called unfair.
(Prior December 25 posts are here, here, here, and here.)