Romanian Revolution 1989 [December 20-31, 1989] Following the indiscriminate killing of protestors by government security forces in Timisoara (Temesvar) (December 20-22), President Ceausescu fled Bucharest as fighting broke out between security forces and the opposition, which was supported by elements of the army. Ceausescu was captured (December 23), tried, convicted of genocide and gross abuses of power, and executed with his wife (December 25). An interim government was formed under Ion Iliescu amidst continuing resistance by security forces (December 25-31).
Romanina government forces attacked prodemocracy protestors in Timosuara, Transylvania (December 16), and massacred hundreds the next day, triggering the revolution. Police fired on demonstrators at Bucharest (December 21), and armed insurrection began (December 22), which immediately became a nationwide civil war, with the army joining the revolution and quickly defeating government internal security forces. Dictator Nicolae Ceausescu (b. 1919) and his wife and coruler, Elena (b. 1918), were captured (December 22) and executed by the new National Salvation Front government (December 25).