Baltic Independence

Post-Cold War Europe

Europe 1991.0906

Baltic Independence

Europe after the Cold War (6 September 1991)

Historical Map of Europe & the Mediterranean

The first Soviet republics to break away were the Baltic states, whose 1940 annexation by the Soviet Union had never been recognized by the West. Lithuania had declared independence in 1990, with international pressure seeing off a Soviet attempt at reconquest. In the aftermath of the failed coup attempt, the Soviet Union recognized the independence of all three Baltic states: Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.

Main Events

Estonian Independence

The government of Estonia proclaims the reestablishment of the independent Estonian republic, declaring an end to its forced incorporation into the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

Latvian Independence

The Supreme Council of the Republic of Latvia declares Latvian independence restored, ending its forced incorporation into the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

Independence of Moldova

The Republic of Moldova declares independence, seceding from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Independence is followed almost immediately by civil war in the east of the country as Soviet- and Russian-supported separatists seize control in Transnistria.

Independence of Azerbaijan

The Azerbaijani Republic declares independence, seceding from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

Independence of Uzbekistan

The Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic declares independence, seceding from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics as the Republic of Uzbekistan.

Baltic Independence

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics recognizes the independence of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

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