Civil disobedience is the attitude which in the 20th century proved to be the only effective form of resistance to authoritarian regimes. So it was in the case of the events of August ’91 when the Soviet society objected to the activities of the State Committee on the State of Emergency. It would not have been possible without the reform programme known as perestroika initiated by the last USSR leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Thanks to perestroika and the accompanying glasnost transparency of sociopolitical life the previously apathetic and alienated Soviet society felt responsible for their own life and for the fate of the State. By opposing the rebels through passive resistance, the citizens proved to the leaders of their own country, to the world, and above all, to themselves that they were aware of their rights and responsibilities. The process of sociopolitical socialization stimulated the development of civil society in the Soviet Union.