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Dissolution of the Soviet Union

Dissolution of the Soviet Union
Tanks in Red Square during 1991 Soviet coup d'état attempt
Date December 26, 1991; 25 years ago (1991-12-26)
Location Soviet Union
Participants
Outcome
Dissolution of the Soviet Union into independent republics

The Soviet Union was dissolved on December 26, 1991, as a result of the declaration no. 142-Н of the Soviet of the Republics of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union. 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 not at all. On the previous day, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, the eighth and final leader of the Soviet Union, resigned, declared his office extinct, and handed over its powers – including control of the Soviet nuclear missile launching codes – to Russian President Boris Yeltsin. That evening at 7:32, the Soviet flag was lowered from the Kremlin for the last time and replaced with the pre-revolutionary Russian flag.

Previously, from August to December, all the individual republics, including Russia itself, had seceded from the union. The week before the union's formal dissolution, 11 republics signed the formally establishing the CIS and declaring that the Soviet Union had ceased to exist. The Revolutions of 1989 and the dissolution of the USSR (Russian: распад СССР) also signalled the end of the Cold War, which left the United States as the world's only superpower.

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. Some have joined NATO and the European Union.


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Wikipedia

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