April 21, 1987- NBC News

1 Former Politburo member Grigory Romanov appeared at a hastily called news conference in Moscow today and announced that Mikhail Gorbachev has stepped down from power and named Romanov as his successor. The new general secretary hinted that ill health was the reason Gorbachev gave for his decision. Pro-Gorbachev elements in the Soviet government and military reacted badly to the news, according to Romanov, and attempted to seize power immediately after receiving the news. The attempted coup has been put down and the Soviet government is firmly in control of the nation, Romanov said later.

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