Anatoly Lukyanov, who was the last chairman of the Supreme Soviet, the USSR's parliament, and who was jailed for the failed coup against then-President Mikhail Gorbachev, died Wednesday, media reports said.
He was 88. No cause of death was given.
Lukyanov had been a close Gorbachev friend and ally but began criticizing the economic and social reforms Gorbachev championed when he became Soviet president in 1990.
Hard-liners who feared the Communist Party was losing its grip on the USSR placed Gorbachev under house arrest in August 1991 and sent tanks into Moscow as part of an attempted coup.
Boris Yeltsin, who was then the president of the Russian republic, climbed on the tanks to the cheers and support of thousands of Russian citizens. The Soviet Union collapsed at the end of the year.
Lukyanov was not involved in the coup, but he and other hard-liners were arrested. He spent more than a year in prison before he was released.
Lukyanov later served as a Communist Party member of the Russian parliament from 1993 until 2003.
He called the failed 1991 coup a "desperate but badly organized attempt" to save the Soviet Union and said he was jailed for refusing to disavow Communist ideology.