25 Dec 2021 10:00 30 years ago

Soviet flag over Kremlin lowered, Russian flag hoisted

This news story first came out 30 years ago to the day, and we are publishing it today as part of Interfax's project, "Timeline of the Last Days of USSR. This Day 30 Years Ago." The project's goal is to reconstruct as fully as possible the timeline of the last few months of 1991 and to give everyone interested in understanding the historical processes of that period the opportunity to study and analyze the events that led to and accompanied the collapse of the Soviet Union and the emergence of the new Russian state. The complete timeline can be found in Russian.

MOSCOW. Dec 25 (Interfax) – The Soviet flag over the Kremlin's Senate in Moscow was lowered at 7:38 p.m. on Wednesday, while a Russian tricolor flag was hoisted several minutes later.

The flag, one of the state symbols, was changed almost immediately after the Mikhail Gorbachev made a televised address, saying that he was resigning as USSR president.

Gorbachev said he made the decision to step down “out of considerations based on principle” due "to the situation that has arisen following the establishment of the Commonwealth of Independent States."

Gorbachev on the same day signed a decree stepping down as USSR Armed Forces supreme commander and disbanding the USSR Presidential Defense Council.