Former US ambassador to Moscow, Jack Matlock
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Video

Gorbachev 'warned about coup', says former US ambassador

It is 20 years since the attempted coup against Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

In a new BBC documentary, interviews with the key players underline how fragile his hold on power had become and how quickly and informally the eventual decision to disband the USSR was taken.

Speaking to the BBC's diplomatic correspondent Bridget Kendall, former US ambassador to Moscow Jack Matlock recalls how he warned Mr Gorbachev about the rumours a coup was being planned.

Gorbachev: The Great Dissident can be seen at the following times:

Globally, on BBC World News at 0930 and 2130 GMT on Saturday 20 August (Check BBC World News TV Schedules for local screening times).

In the UK, part one can be seen on the BBC News Channel on Saturday 20 August at 0230, 0530, 1430 and 2130 BST, with part two screening on Sunday 21 August at 0330, 1030, 1430 and 2330 BST.

  • 18 Aug 2011
  • From the section Europe
Go to next video: Gorbachev: 'They surrounded us'