Dissolution of the Soviet Union

fall of the Soviet Unioncollapse of the Soviet Uniondissolution of the USSRdissolutioncollapse of the USSRbreakup of the Soviet Unioncollapsedissolvedthe fall of the Soviet Union in 1991Soviet Union
The dissolution of the Soviet Union occurred on 26 December 1991, officially granting self-governing independence to the Republics of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).wikipedia
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Republics of the Soviet Union

Soviet republicsSoviet republicconstituent republics
The dissolution of the Soviet Union occurred on 26 December 1991, officially granting self-governing independence to the Republics of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).
For most of its history, the USSR was a highly centralized state; the decentralization reforms during the era of Perestroika ("Restructuring") and Glasnost ("Openness") conducted by Mikhail Gorbachev are cited as one of the factors which led to the dissolution of the USSR in 1991.

Commonwealth of Independent States

CISCIS countriesCIS (Commonwealth of Independent States)
The declaration acknowledged the independence of the former Soviet republics and created the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), although five of the signatories ratified it much later or did not do so at all. Several of the former Soviet republics have retained close links with the Russian Federation and formed multilateral organizations such as the Commonwealth of Independent States, Eurasian Economic Community, the Union State, the Eurasian Customs Union and the Eurasian Economic Union to enhance economic and security cooperation.
The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS; ), also sometimes called the Russian Commonwealth in order to distinguish it from the Commonwealth of Nations, is a regional intergovernmental organization of 10 post-Soviet republics in Eurasia formed following the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Boris Yeltsin

YeltsinPresident Yeltsin[Boris] Yeltsin
On the previous day, 25 December, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, the eighth and final leader of the USSR, resigned, declared his office extinct and handed over its powers—including control of the Soviet nuclear missile launching codes—to Russian President Boris Yeltsin.
Upon the resignation of Mikhail Gorbachev and the dissolution of the Soviet Union on 25 December 1991, the RSFSR became the sovereign state of the Russian Federation, and Yeltsin remained in office as president.

Post-Soviet states

former Soviet Unionpost-Sovietformer Soviet republics
Several of the former Soviet republics have retained close links with the Russian Federation and formed multilateral organizations such as the Commonwealth of Independent States, Eurasian Economic Community, the Union State, the Eurasian Customs Union and the Eurasian Economic Union to enhance economic and security cooperation.
The post-Soviet states, also collectively known as the former Soviet Union (FSU) or former Soviet Republics, and in Russian as the "near abroad" (discussed below) are the states that emerged and re-emerged from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in its breakup in 1991, with Russia internationally recognised as the successor state to the Soviet Union after the Cold War.

Cold War

the Cold Warcold-warCold War era
Both the Revolutions of 1989 and the dissolution of the USSR also marked the end of the Cold War.
A common historiography of the conflict begins with 1946, the year U.S. diplomat George F. Kennan's "Long Telegram" from Moscow cemented a U.S. foreign policy of containment of Soviet expansionism threatening strategically vital regions, and ending between the Revolutions of 1989 and the 1991 collapse of the USSR, which ended communism in Eastern Europe.

Revolutions of 1989

fall of communismthe fall of the Iron Curtaincollapse of communism
Both the Revolutions of 1989 and the dissolution of the USSR also marked the end of the Cold War. It also led indirectly to the revolutions of 1989, in which Soviet-imposed socialist regimes of the Warsaw Pact were toppled peacefully (with the notable exception of Romania), which in turn increased pressure on Gorbachev to introduce greater democracy and autonomy for the Soviet Union's constituent republics.
The Soviet Union dissolved in December 1991, resulting in eleven new countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan) which had declared their independence from the Soviet Union in the course of the year while the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) regained their independence in September 1991.

Mikhail Gorbachev

GorbachevMr. GorbachevPresident Gorbachev
On the previous day, 25 December, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, the eighth and final leader of the USSR, resigned, declared his office extinct and handed over its powers—including control of the Soviet nuclear missile launching codes—to Russian President Boris Yeltsin. Mikhail Gorbachev was elected General Secretary by the Politburo on March 11, 1985, three hours after predecessor Konstantin Chernenko's death at age 73. Gorbachev, aged 54, was the youngest member of the Politburo.
Fearing this, party hardliners unsuccessfully tried to oust him in an August 1991 coup, in the wake of which the Soviet Union dissolved and Gorbachev resigned in December.

Nikolai Ryzhkov

Nikolai I. RyzhkovPremier RyzhkovRyzhkov, Nikolai
On April 23, 1985, Gorbachev brought two protégés, Yegor Ligachev and Nikolai Ryzhkov, into the Politburo as full members. On September 27, 55-year-old Nikolai Ryzhkov replaced 79-year-old Nikolai Tikhonov as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, effectively the Soviet prime minister, and on October 14, Nikolai Talyzin replaced Nikolai Baibakov as chairman of the State Planning Committee (GOSPLAN).
Nikolai Ivanovich Ryzhkov (Микола Іванович Рижков; Николай Иванович Рыжков; born 28 September 1929) is a former Soviet official who became a Russian politician following the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Eurasian Economic Union

EAEUCommon Economic SpaceEEU
Several of the former Soviet republics have retained close links with the Russian Federation and formed multilateral organizations such as the Commonwealth of Independent States, Eurasian Economic Community, the Union State, the Eurasian Customs Union and the Eurasian Economic Union to enhance economic and security cooperation.
At the end of the Cold War with the United States which was followed by the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Russia and the Central Asian republics were weakened economically and faced declines in GDP.

Flag of Russia

Russian flagRussiaflag
That evening at 7:32 p.m., the Soviet flag was lowered from the Kremlin for the last time and replaced with the pre-revolutionary Russian flag.
With the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the pre-revolutionary tricolor was re-introduced as the flag of the Russian Federation in 1991 in the 1:2 ratio.

General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

General SecretaryFirst SecretaryFirst Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
Mikhail Gorbachev was elected General Secretary by the Politburo on March 11, 1985, three hours after predecessor Konstantin Chernenko's death at age 73. Gorbachev, aged 54, was the youngest member of the Politburo.
With a few exceptions, from 1929 until the union's dissolution the holder of the office was the de facto leader of the Soviet Union, because the post controlled both the CPSU and the Soviet government.

NATO

North Atlantic Treaty OrganizationNorth Atlantic Treaty OrganisationNorth Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
On the other hand, the Baltic states have joined NATO and the European Union.
This shift started with the 1990 signing in Paris of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe between NATO and the Soviet Union, which mandated specific military reductions across the continent that continued after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991.

Economy of the Soviet Union

Soviet economyeconomySoviet planned economy
His initial goal as general secretary was to revive the Soviet economy, and he realized that doing so would require reforming underlying political and social structures.
At its dissolution at the end of 1991, the Soviet Union begat a Russian Federation with a growing pile of $66 billion in external debt and with barely a few billion dollars in net gold and foreign exchange reserves.

Treaty on the Creation of the USSR

December 1922 Union Treatyofficially mergedAdmitted to USSR
Previously, from August to December all the individual republics, including Russia itself, had either seceded from the union or at the very least denounced the Treaty on the Creation of the USSR.
On 26 December 1991, the USSR was self-dissolved by the Council of the Republics of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union, the first house of Soviet legislature (the second house, the Council of the Union, was without a quorum).

Gosplan

State Planning CommitteeState Planning CommissionChairman of the State Planning Committee
On September 27, 55-year-old Nikolai Ryzhkov replaced 79-year-old Nikolai Tikhonov as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, effectively the Soviet prime minister, and on October 14, Nikolai Talyzin replaced Nikolai Baibakov as chairman of the State Planning Committee (GOSPLAN).
Established in 1921 and remaining in existence until the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Gosplan had as its main task the creation and administration of a series of five-year plans governing the economy of the USSR.

Yegor Ligachyov

Yegor Ligachev
On April 23, 1985, Gorbachev brought two protégés, Yegor Ligachev and Nikolai Ryzhkov, into the Politburo as full members.
However, Ligachyov lost his posts in 1990, a year before the dissolution of the Soviet Union, resigning from his political career at the 28th Party Congress.

Eduard Shevardnadze

ShevardnadzeEduard Shevardnadze’sEduard Sheverdnadze
On July 1, 1985, Gorbachev promoted Eduard Shevardnadze, First Secretary of the Georgian Communist Party, to full member of the Politburo, and the following day appointed him minister of foreign affairs, replacing longtime Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko.
In the aftermath of the Soviet Union's collapse in 1991, Shevardnadze returned to the newly independent Georgia.

Communist Party of the Soviet Union

Communist PartyCPSUSoviet Communist Party
Under Gorbachev's leadership, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) in 1989 introduced limited competitive elections to a new central legislature, the Congress of People's Deputies (although the ban on other political parties was not lifted until 1990).
Gorbachev and his allies envisioned the introduction of an economy similar to Lenin's earlier New Economic Policy through a program of "perestroika", or restructuring, but their reforms along with the institution of free multiparty elections led to a decline in the party's power, and after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the banning of the party by later last RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin and subsequent first President of an evolving democratic and free market economy of the successor Russian Federation.

Warsaw Pact

Soviet blocWarsaw TreatyEastern Bloc
It also led indirectly to the revolutions of 1989, in which Soviet-imposed socialist regimes of the Warsaw Pact were toppled peacefully (with the notable exception of Romania), which in turn increased pressure on Gorbachev to introduce greater democracy and autonomy for the Soviet Union's constituent republics.
The USSR itself was dissolved in December 1991, although most of the former Soviet republics formed the Collective Security Treaty Organization shortly thereafter.

Flag of the Soviet Union

Soviet flagflagSoviet Union
That evening at 7:32 p.m., the Soviet flag was lowered from the Kremlin for the last time and replaced with the pre-revolutionary Russian flag.
This was the final modification to the flag and it continued to be the official national flag until the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Communist Party of Kazakhstan

Communist PartyFirst SecretaryFirst Secretary of the Central Committee of the Kazakh SSR Communist Party
The "Jeltoqsan" (Kazakh for "December") of 1986 were riots in Alma-Ata, Kazakhstan, sparked by Gorbachev's dismissal of Dinmukhamed Konayev, the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan and an ethnic Kazakh, who was replaced with Gennady Kolbin, an outsider from the Russian SFSR.
The Communist Party of Kazakhstan had been a branch of Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) until the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Soviet Union

SovietUSSRSoviets
The dissolution of the Soviet Union occurred on 26 December 1991, officially granting self-governing independence to the Republics of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).
With the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements inside the union republics, Gorbachev tried to avert a dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic

Kazakh SSRKazakhstanKazakh
The "Jeltoqsan" (Kazakh for "December") of 1986 were riots in Alma-Ata, Kazakhstan, sparked by Gorbachev's dismissal of Dinmukhamed Konayev, the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan and an ethnic Kazakh, who was replaced with Gennady Kolbin, an outsider from the Russian SFSR.
The Soviet Union was disbanded on 26 December 1991 by the Soviet of the Republics.

Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic

Russian SFSRSoviet RussiaRSFSR
Previously, from August to December all the individual republics, including Russia itself, had either seceded from the union or at the very least denounced the Treaty on the Creation of the USSR. The "Jeltoqsan" (Kazakh for "December") of 1986 were riots in Alma-Ata, Kazakhstan, sparked by Gorbachev's dismissal of Dinmukhamed Konayev, the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan and an ethnic Kazakh, who was replaced with Gennady Kolbin, an outsider from the Russian SFSR.
With the lowering at 12 midnight of the red flag with hammer and sickle design of the now former USSR from the towers of the Kremlin in Moscow on 26 December 1991, the USSR was self-dissolved by the Soviet of the Republics, which by that time was the only functioning chamber of the parliamentary Supreme Soviet (the other house, Soviet of the Union, had already lost the quorum after recall of its members by the several union republics).

Era of Stagnation

stagnationBrezhnev stagnationeconomic and political stagnation
The reforms began with personnel changes of senior Brezhnev-era officials who would impede political and economic change.
These were intended to re-energize the Soviet Union but inadvertently led to its dissolution in 1991.