On 20 August 1991, Estonia declared formal independence during the Soviet military coup attempt in Moscow, reconstituting the pre-1940 state. Every year, 20 August is celebrated as the day of Restoration of Independence.*
On the evening of 20 August 1991, Estonian politicians declared the nation’s independence – even as Soviet tanks were rolling through the countryside to quell the independence movement, and the Soviet paratroopers were taking charge of the Tallinn’s TV tower, preparing to cut off the communication channels.
The fate of Estonia was on peril. Yet, most Estonian politicians and the greater part of the public showed great resolve in the face of this danger.