Dissolution of the Soviet Union

Successors of the Soviet Union

Russia 1991.1225

Dissolution of the Soviet Union

Post-Soviet Russia and its neighbors (25 December 1991)

Historical Map of Russia & the former Soviet Union

The signing of the Belavezha Accords and secession of Russia ended all hopes of preserving Soviet power. On 25 December 1991, Mikhail Gorbachev resigned as president, officially dissolving the Soviet Union.

Main Events

Independence of Kazakhstan

The Republic of Kazakhstan declared its independence from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. It was the last republic to secede.

Alma-Ata Protocol

The seceding Soviet republics of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan agreed to the Alma-Ata Protocol, forming the Commonwealth of Independent States as a regional organization to succeed the Soviet Union. The protocol also supported the Russian Federation's assumption of the Soviet Union's United Nations membership, including its permanent seat on the UN Security Council.

Georgian Civil War

Rebels seized control of much of Tbilisi, capital of the Republic of Georgia, forming the Military Council and forcing the government of President Zviad Gamsakhurdia to flee the country. Fighting between the two factions continued, complicated by secessionist movements in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, until the Military Council was able to secure control over most of the country under President Eduard Shevardnadze.

Dissolution of the Soviet Union

On the morning of 25 December 1991, in a nationally televised speech, Mikhail Gorbachev resigned as president of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, declaring the office extinct and ceding all its powers to Russian president Boris Yeltsin. At 7:32 pm that night, the Soviet flag was lowered for the last time in Moscow and the Russian tricolor raised in its place, symbolically marking the end to the Soviet Union and the independence of the eleven remaining Soviet republics.

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