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Alexander Zemlianichenko, Associated Press
FILE - In this file photo taken on Tuesday, February 21, 1995, A young Russian Interior Ministry soldier keeps watch from his anti-aircraft gun nest in Grozny, Russia. When Alexander Zemlianichenko started working as an AP photographer in Moscow, the Soviet Union was nearing its demise.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Twenty-five years ago, a failed coup by hard-line Communists led to the collapse of the Soviet Union. Here, with a selection of his photographs, Pulitzer Prize-winning AP photographer Alexander Zemlianichenko describes what it was like chronicling the pivotal moments since.