He publicly criticised Gorbachev's policies and was jailed after the 1991 "putsch" by Communist hardliners and security chiefs who attempted to seize power.
The coup leaders in August 1991 placed Gorbachev under de facto house arrest and sent tanks into the centre of Moscow in an attempt to roll back reforms that threatened to end the Communist Party's iron grip.
But crowds flocked to support Boris Yeltsin, then leader of the Russian republic of the USSR, as he faced down the tanks, leading to the failure of the coup and soon afterwards the end of over 70 years of Communist domination.
Although not officially one of the putsch leaders, Lukyanov was arrested and held in jail until December 1992 for backing the coup. Eventually all the coup leaders were amnestied in 1994.
The putsch was "a desperate but badly organised attempt by a group of the country's leaders to save the USSR," he said.
Lukyanov was born on May 7, 1930, in the western Russian city of Smolensk. He worked at a munitions factory during World War II and only completed his school education after the end of the war, RIA Novosti news agency reported.
He went on to study law and swiftly climbed the ranks of the Soviet ruling institutions.
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