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The Republics of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics or the Union Republics ( rus, Сою́зные Респу́блики, r=Soyúznye Respúbliki) were ethnically based administrative units of the
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a Federalism, federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a Political union, union of multiple national Republics of t ...
(USSR). The Soviet Union was created by the
treaty A treaty is a formal legally binding written agreement between actors in international law. It is usually entered into by sovereign states and international organizations, but can sometimes include individuals, business entities, and other Leg ...
between the soviet socialist republics of Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, and the
Transcaucasian Federation The Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic (TDFR; (ЗДФР), (ZDFR) 22 April — 28 May 1918) was a short-lived South Caucasus, South Caucasian state extending across the present-day countries of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia (country) ...
, by which they became its constituent republics. For most of its history, the USSR was a highly
centralized state A sovereign state is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized social relation, social relation ...
despite its nominal structure as a
federation A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity characterized by a union of partially self-governing provinces, states, or other regions under a central federal government ( federalism). In a federation, the self-gover ...

federation
of republics; the
decentralization Decentralization or decentralisation is the process by which the activities of an organization, particularly those regarding planning and decision making, are distributed or delegated away from a central, authoritative location or group. Concep ...

decentralization
reforms during the era of ''
Perestroika ''Perestroika'' postage stamp, 1988 Perestroika (; russian: Перестро́йка, p=pʲɪrʲɪˈstrojkə, a=ru-perestroika.ogg; ) was a political movement for reformation within the Communist Party of the Soviet Union during the 1980s and i ...
'' ("Restructuring") and ''
Glasnost In the Russian language the word ''glasnost'' (; russian: гла́сность, has several general and specific meanings. It has been used in Russian to mean "openness and transparency" since at least the end of the eighteenth century. In the ...
'' ("Openness") conducted by
Mikhail Gorbachev Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev (born 2 March 1931) is a Russian and former Soviet politician. The eighth and last leader of the Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a Federalism, ...

Mikhail Gorbachev
are cited as one of the factors which led to the
dissolution of the USSR The dissolution of the Soviet Union, also negatively connoted as rus, Разва́л Сове́тского Сою́за, r=Razvál Sovétskovo Sojúza, ''Ruining of the Soviet Union''. (1988–1991) was the process of internal balkanization, ...
in 1991. There were two different types of republics in the Soviet Union: the larger union republics, representing the main ethnic groups of the Union and with the constitutional right to secede from it, and the smaller autonomous republics, located within the union republics and representing ethnic minorities. The
Karelo-Finnish Soviet Socialist Republic The Karelo-Finnish Soviet Socialist Republic (Karelo-Finnish SSR; fi, ; rus, Каре́ло-Фи́нская Сове́тская Социалисти́ческая Респу́блика, r=Karelo-Finskaya Sovetskaya Sotsialisticheskaya Respub ...
, a relic of the
Soviet-Finnish War The Winter War, sv, vinterkriget, rus, Зи́мняя война́, r=Zimnyaya voyna. The names Soviet–Finnish War 1939–1940 (russian: link=no, Сове́тско-финская война́ 1939–1940) and Soviet–Finland War 1939 ...
, became the only union republic to be deprived of its status in 1956. The decision to downgrade Karelia to an autonomous republic within the
RSFSR The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (Russian SFSR or RSFSR; rus, links=1, Росси́йская Сове́тская Федерати́вная Социалисти́ческая Респу́блика, Rossíyskaya Sovétskaya ...
was made unilaterally by the central government without consulting its population.


Overview

According to Article 76 of the 1977 Soviet Constitution, a Union Republic was a sovereign Soviet socialist state that had united with other Soviet Republics in the USSR. Article 81 of the Constitution stated that "the sovereign rights of Union Republics shall be safeguarded by the USSR". In the final decades of its existence, the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a Federalism, federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a Political union, union of multiple national Republics of t ...
officially consisted of fifteen Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs). All of them, with the exception of the
Russian Federation Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, largest country in the world, covering over , and encom ...
(until 1990), had their own local party chapters of the All-Union Communist Party. Outside the territory of the
Russian Federation Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, largest country in the world, covering over , and encom ...
, the republics were constituted mostly in lands that had formerly belonged to the
Russian Empire The Russian Empire, . commonly referred to as Imperial Russia, was a historical empire that extended across Eurasia and North America from 1721, succeeding the Tsardom of Russia following the Treaty of Nystad that ended the Great Northern War. T ...
and had been acquired by it between the 1700
Great Northern War The Great Northern War (1700–1721) was a conflict in which a coalition led by the Tsardom of Russia The Tsardom of Russia or Tsardom of Rus' (russian: Русское царство, ''Russkoye tsarstvo''; later changed to: , ''Rossiyskoy ...

Great Northern War
and the
Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907 The Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907 (russian: Англо-Русская Конвенция 1907 г., translit=Anglo-Russkaya Konventsiya 1907 g.), or Convention between the United Kingdom and Russia relating to Persia, Afghanistan, and Tibet (К ...
. In 1944, amendments to the All-Union Constitution allowed for separate branches of the
Red Army The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army,) frequently shortened to Red Army, was the army and air force of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and, after 1922, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The army was established in Janu ...
for each Soviet Republic. They also allowed for Republic-level commissariats for foreign affairs and defense, allowing them to be recognized as ''
de jure In law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described by its ...
'' independent states in international law. This allowed for two Soviet Republics,
Ukraine Ukraine ( uk, Україна, Ukraïna, ) is a country in Eastern Europe. It is the List of European countries by area, second-largest country by area in Europe after Russia, which it borders to the east and north-east. Ukraine also shares bo ...
and Byelorussia, (as well as the USSR as a whole) to join the
United Nations General Assembly The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA or GA; french: link=no, Assemblée générale, AG) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations (UN), serving as the main deliberative, policymaking, and representative organ of the UN. Its ...
as founding members in 1945. All of the former Republics of the Union are now independent countries, with ten of them (all except the
Baltic states The Baltic states ( et, Balti riigid; lv, Baltijas valstis; lt, Baltijos valstybės) or the Baltic countries, also known as the Baltic nations, and less often as the "Baltic republics", the "Baltic lands", or simply the Baltics, is a modern ...

Baltic states
,
Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country) Georgia ( ka, საქართველო; ''Sakartvelo''; ) is a country located at the intersection of Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the region of the European continent between Wester ...
and Ukraine) being very loosely organized under the heading of the
Commonwealth of Independent States The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS; russian: Содружество Независимых Государств, СНГ, translit=Sodruzhestvo Nezavisimykh Gosudarstv, SNG) is a regional intergovernmental organization in Eastern Europ ...

Commonwealth of Independent States
. The
Baltic states The Baltic states ( et, Balti riigid; lv, Baltijas valstis; lt, Baltijos valstybės) or the Baltic countries, also known as the Baltic nations, and less often as the "Baltic republics", the "Baltic lands", or simply the Baltics, is a modern ...

Baltic states
assert that their incorporation into the Soviet Union in 1940 (as the
Lithuanian Lithuanian may refer to: * Lithuanians Lithuanians ( lt, lietuviai, singular ''lietuvis/lietuvė'') are a Balts, Baltic ethnic group. They are native to Lithuania, where they number around 2,561,300 people. Another million or more make up the Lith ...
, Latvian, and Estonian SSRs) under the provisions of the 1939
Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact , long_name = , image = Bundesarchiv Bild 183-H27337, Moskau, Stalin und Ribbentrop im Kreml.jpg , image_width = 200 , caption = Joseph Stalin, Stalin and Joachim von Ribbentrop, Ribbentrop shaking hands after the signing of the pact in the Mos ...
was illegal, and that they therefore remained independent countries under Soviet occupation. Their position is supported by the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of Member state of the European Union, member states that are located primarily in Europe. Its members have a combined area of and an estimated total population of about 447million ...

European Union
,Motion for a resolution on the Situation in Estonia
by the
the
European Court of Human Rights European, or Europeans, may refer to: In general * ''European'', an adjective referring to something of, from, or related to Europe ** Ethnic groups in Europe ** Demographics of Europe ** European cuisine, the cuisines of Europe and other Western ...

European Court of Human Rights
,
European Court of Human Rights cases on Occupation of Baltic States State continuity of the Baltic states describes the continuity of the Baltic states as legal entities under international law#Ziemele2005, Ziemele (2005). p118. while under Occupation of the Baltic states, Soviet rule and German occupation from 194 ...
the
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that aims to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a centre for har ...

United Nations
Human Rights Council The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), CDH is a United Nations body whose mission is to promote and protect human rights around the world. The Council has 47 members elected for staggered three-year terms on a United Nations Regiona ...
and the
United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., federal di ...

United States
. In contrast, the
Russian government The government of Russia exercises executive power in the Russian Federation Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It is the List of countries a ...
and state officials maintain that the Soviet annexation of the
Baltic states The Baltic states ( et, Balti riigid; lv, Baltijas valstis; lt, Baltijos valstybės) or the Baltic countries, also known as the Baltic nations, and less often as the "Baltic republics", the "Baltic lands", or simply the Baltics, is a modern ...

Baltic states
was legitimate. Constitutionally, the Soviet Union was a
federation A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity characterized by a union of partially self-governing provinces, states, or other regions under a central federal government ( federalism). In a federation, the self-gover ...

federation
. In accordance with provisions present in the Constitution (versions adopted in 1924, 1936 and 1977), each republic retained the right to
secede Secession is the withdrawal of a group from a larger entity, especially a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, ...

secede
from the USSR. Throughout the
Cold War The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective allies, the Western Bloc and the Eastern Bloc, which began following World War II. Historians do not fully agree on its sta ...
, this right was widely considered to be meaningless; however, the corresponding Article 72 of the 1977 Constitution was used in December 1991 to effectively dissolve the Soviet Union, when
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, largest country in the world, covering over , and encom ...

Russia
,
Ukraine Ukraine ( uk, Україна, Ukraïna, ) is a country in Eastern Europe. It is the List of European countries by area, second-largest country by area in Europe after Russia, which it borders to the east and north-east. Ukraine also shares bo ...

Ukraine
, and
Belarus , image_map = , map_caption = , capital = Minsk , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , official_languages = , languages2_type = Recognized minority language , ...

Belarus
seceded from the Union. In practice, the USSR was a highly centralised entity from its creation in 1922 until the mid-1980s when political forces unleashed by reforms undertaken by
Mikhail Gorbachev Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev (born 2 March 1931) is a Russian and former Soviet politician. The eighth and last leader of the Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a Federalism, ...

Mikhail Gorbachev
resulted in the loosening of central control and its ultimate dissolution. Under the constitution adopted in 1936 and modified along the way until October 1977, the political foundation of the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a Federalism, federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a Political union, union of multiple national Republics of t ...
was formed by the Soviets (Councils) of People's Deputies. These existed at all levels of the administrative hierarchy, with the Soviet Union as a whole under the nominal control of the
Supreme Soviet of the USSR The Supreme Soviet of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics () was the most authoritative legislative body of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) beginning 1936, and the only one with the power to approve Constitution of the Soviet Uni ...
, located in
Moscow Moscow (, ; rus, links=no, Москва, r=Moskva, p=mɐˈskva, a=Москва.ogg) is the capital and largest city of Russia Russia (russian: link=no, Россия, , ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe ...

Moscow
within the
Russian SFSR The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (Russian SFSR or RSFSR; rus, links=no, Российская Советская Федеративная Социалистическая Республика, Rossiyskaya Sovetskaya Federativnaya ...
. Along with the state administrative hierarchy, there existed a parallel structure of party organizations, which allowed the
Politburo A politburo () or political bureau is the executive committee for communist party, communist parties. It is present in most former and existing communist states. Names The term "politburo" in English comes from the Russian language, Russian ''Polit ...
to exercise large amounts of control over the republics. State administrative organs took direction from the parallel party organs, and appointments of all party and state officials required approval of the central organs of the party. Each republic had its own unique set of state symbols: a
flag A flag is a piece of fabric (most often rectangular or quadrilateral) with a distinctive design and colours. It is used as a symbol, a signalling device, or for decoration. The term ''flag'' is also used to refer to the graphic design employed ...
, a
coat of arms#REDIRECT coat of arms A coat of arms is a heraldry, heraldic communication design, visual design on an escutcheon (heraldry), escutcheon (i.e., shield), surcoat, or tabard. The coat of arms on an escutcheon forms the central element of the fu ...
, and, with the exception of
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, largest country in the world, covering over , and encom ...
until 1990, an
anthem An anthem is a musical composition File:Chord chart.svg, 250px, Jazz and rock genre musicians may memorize the melodies for a new song, which means that they only need to provide a chord chart to guide improvising musicians. Musical compositi ...
. Every republic of the Soviet Union also was awarded with the
Order of Lenin The Order of Lenin (russian: Орден Ленина, Orden Lenina, ), named after the leader of the Russian October Revolution The October Revolution,.). also known as the Great October Socialist Revolution, as the official term in the ...

Order of Lenin
. File:E7901-Bishkek-museum-Lenin-carpet.jpg, A hall in
Bishkek Bishkek ( ky, Бишкек, Bişkek, بىشکەک, ), formerly Pishpek and Frunze (russian: Фрунзе), is the Capital city, capital and largest city of Kyrgyzstan (Kyrgyz Republic). Bishkek is also the administrative centre of the Chuy Regi ...

Bishkek
's Soviet-era Lenin Museum decorated with the flags of
Soviet Republics The Republics of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics or the Union Republics ( rus, Сою́зные Респу́блики, r=Soyúznye Respúbliki) were ethnically based administrative units of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (US ...
File:USSRRepublicsPoster.jpg, Poster of the unity of the Soviet republics in the late 1930s. All republics, except Russia, are shown with their respective traditional clothes. File:Ltsr plakatas 1946 tsrs.jpg, Poster of the unity of the Soviet republics in the late 1940s. Note that the map also points out the
Karelo-Finnish SSR The Karelo-Finnish Soviet Socialist Republic (Karelo-Finnish SSR; fi, ; rus, Каре́ло-Фи́нская Сове́тская Социалисти́ческая Респу́блика, r=Karelo-Finskaya Sovetskaya Sotsialisticheskaya Respub ...
capital,
Petrozavodsk Petrozavodsk ( rus, Петрозаводск, p=pʲɪtrəzɐˈvotsk; Karelian language, Karelian, Veps language, Vepsian and fi, Petroskoi) is the capital city of the Republic of Karelia, Russia, which stretches along the western shore of Lake One ...
.


Union Republics of the Soviet Union

The number of the union republics of the USSR varied from 4 to 16. From 1956 until its dissolution in 1991, the Soviet Union consisted of 15 Soviet Socialist Republics. Rather than listing the republics in alphabetical order, the republics were listed in constitutional order, which, particularly by the last decades of the Soviet Union, did not correspond to order either by population or economic power.


Former Union Republics of the Soviet Union


Republics not recognized by the Soviet Union


Other non-union Soviet republics

The Turkestan Soviet Federative Republic was proclaimed in 1918 but did not survive to the founding of the USSR, becoming the short-lived
Turkestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic The Turkestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (initially, the Turkestan Socialist Federative Republic; 30 April 191827 October 1924) was an autonomous republic of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic located in Soviet Central Asi ...
of the RSFSR. The Crimean Soviet Socialist Republic (Soviet Socialist Republic of Taurida) was also proclaimed in 1918, but did not become a union republic and was made into an autonomous republic of the RSFSR, although the
Crimean Tatars Crimean Tatars ( crh, , ) or Crimeans ( crh, , ), are a Turkic peoples, Turkic ethnic group and nation who are an indigenous people of Crimea. The formation and ethnogenesis of Crimean Tatars occurred during the 13th–17th centuries, from Cu ...

Crimean Tatars
had a relative majority until the 1930s or 1940s according to censuses. When the
Tuvan People's Republic The Tuvan People's Republic (TPR; tyv, Тыва Арат Республик, translit=Tıwa Arat Respublik; Yanalif: ''Tьʙа Arat Respuʙlik'', ), known as the Tannu Tuva People's Republic until 1926, was a partially recognized socialist repu ...
joined the Soviet Union in 1944, it did not become a union republic, and was instead established as an autonomous republic of the RSFSR. The leader of the
People's Republic of Bulgaria The People's Republic of Bulgaria (PRB; bg, Народна Република България (НРБ), ''Narodna Republika Bălgariya (NRB)'') was the official name of Bulgaria, when it was a socialist state, socialist republic that existed fr ...
,
Todor Zhivkov Todor Hristov Zhivkov ( bg, Тодор Христов Живков ; 7 September 1911 – 5 August 1998) was a Bulgarian communist statesman who served as the '' de facto'' leader of the People's Republic of Bulgaria (PRB) from 1954 until 1989 as ...
, suggested in the early 1960s that the country should become a union republic, but the offer was rejected. During the
Soviet–Afghan War The Soviet–Afghan War was a conflict wherein insurgent groups (known collectively as the Mujahideen), as well as smaller Maoist groups, fought a nine-year guerrilla war against the Soviet Army and the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan gover ...
, the Soviet Union proposed to annex
Northern Afghanistan
Northern Afghanistan
as its 16th union republic in what was to become the Afghan Soviet Socialist Republic.Soviets may be poised to annex the Afghan North
- ''
Chicago Tribune The ''Chicago Tribune'' is a daily newspaper based in Chicago (''City in a Garden''); I Will , image_map = , map_caption = Interactive maps of Chicago , coordinates = , coordinates_footnotes ...

Chicago Tribune
''. August 19, 1984. Retrieved on December 10, 2016. "Miraki said then-Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev urged Afghan President Babrak Karmal to win Afghan Communist Party approval for Moscow's annexation of eight northern provinces and their formation into the 16th Soviet republic, the Socialist Republic of Afghanistan. The defector said Brezhnev envisioned the southern half of the country as a powerless, Pa-than-speaking buffer with U.S.-backed Pakistan."


Unrealized Soviet states

* Bessarabian Soviet Socialist Republic (1919) * Polish Soviet Socialist Republic (1920) * Korean ASSR * East Polish Soviet Socialist Republic (1990)


Workers' communes

* The Volga Germans Workers' Commune * The Estland Workers' Commune * The Karelian Workers' Commune * The Petrograd Workers' Commune, later the Northern Oblast Communes Association


Autonomous Republics of the Soviet Union

Several of the Union Republics themselves, most notably Russia, were further subdivided into
Autonomous Soviet Socialist RepublicsAn Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (ASSR, russian: автономная советская социалистическая республика, ) was a type of administrative unit Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , ...
(ASSRs). Though administratively part of their respective Union Republics, ASSRs were also established based on ethnic/cultural lines.


Former Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republics of the Soviet Union


Dissolution of the Soviet Union

Starting in the late 1980s, under the rule of
Mikhail Gorbachev Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev (born 2 March 1931) is a Russian and former Soviet politician. The eighth and last leader of the Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a Federalism, ...

Mikhail Gorbachev
, the Soviet government undertook a program of political reforms (''
glasnost In the Russian language Russian (, tr. ''russkiy yazyk'') is an East Slavic language The East Slavic languages constitute one of the three regional subgroups of Slavic languages The Slavic languages, also known as the Slavonic languag ...
'' and ''
perestroika Image:1988 CPA 5942.jpg, ''Perestroika'' postage stamp, 1988 Perestroika (; russian: links=no, перестройка, p=pʲɪrʲɪˈstrojkə, a=ru-perestroika.ogg) was a political movement for reformation within the Communist Party of the Sovie ...
'') intended to liberalise and revitalise the Union. These measures, however, had a number of unintended political and social effects. Political liberalisation allowed the governments of the union republics to openly invoke the principles of democracy and nationalism to gain legitimacy. In addition, the loosening of political restrictions led to fractures within the Communist Party which resulted in a reduced ability to govern the Union effectively. The rise of nationalist and right-wing movements, notably led by
Boris Yeltsin Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin ( rus, links=no, Борис Николаевич Ельцин, a=ru-Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin.ogg, p=bɐˈrʲis nʲɪkɐˈlaɪvʲɪtɕ ˈjelʲtsɨn; 1 February 1931 – 23 April 2007) was a Russian and former Soviet ...

Boris Yeltsin
in Russia, in the previously homogeneous political system undermined the Union's foundations. With the central role of the Communist Party removed from the constitution, the Party lost its control over the State machinery and was banned from operating after an attempted coup d'état. Throughout this period of turmoil, the Soviet government attempted to find a new structure that would reflect the increased authority of the republics. Some autonomous republics, like
Tatarstan The Republic of Tatarstan,; tt, or simply Tatarstan,, tt, is a Republics of Russia, republic of Russia located in Eastern Europe. It is a part of the Volga Federal District; and its capital city, capital and largest city is Kazan, one of the ...

Tatarstan
, Checheno-Ingushetia,
Abkhazia Abkhazia, , ka, აფხაზეთი, , rus, Абха́зия, r=Abkhaziya, p=ɐˈpxazʲɪjə xmf, აბჟუა, or , ( or ) is a de facto, partially recognized state in the South Caucasus, International recognition of Abkhazia and So ...

Abkhazia
,
South Ossetia South Ossetia (, less commonly ), officially the Republic of South Ossetia – the State of Alania, or the Tskhinvali Region, is a ''de facto'' state in the South Caucasus. It has an officially stated population of just over 53,000 people, who ...
,
Crimea Crimea; crh, Къырым, translit=Kirim/Qırım; grc, Κιμμερία/Ταυρική, translit=Kimmería/Taurikḗ is a peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a landform surrounded by water on mos ...

Crimea
,
Transnistria Transnistria, officially the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic (PMR), is an List of states with limited recognition, unrecognised breakaway state located in the narrow strip of land between the river Dniester and the Moldova–Ukraine border, ...

Transnistria
,
Gagauzia Gagauzia or Gagauz Yeri ( gag, Gagauz Yeri or ; ro, Găgăuzia; russian: Гагаузия, Gagauzija), officially the Autonomous Territorial Unit of Gagauzia (ATUG, gag, Avtonom Territorial Bölümlüü Gagauziya; ro, Unitatea Teritorială Auto ...

Gagauzia
sought the union statute in the New Union Treaty. Efforts to found a
Union of Sovereign States The Union of Soviet Sovereign Republics (russian: Союз Советских Суверенных Республик (CCCP), Soyuz Sovetskikh Suverennykh Respublik SSR}) was the proposed name of a reorganization of the Union of Soviet Socialis ...
, however, proved unsuccessful and the republics began to secede from the Union. By 6 September 1991, the Soviet Union's
State CouncilState Council may refer to: Government * State Council of the Republic of Korea, the national cabinet of South Korea, headed by the President of South Korea, President * State Council of the People's Republic of China, the national cabinet and ch ...
recognized the independence of
Estonia Estonia ( et, Eesti ), officially the Republic of Estonia ( et, Eesti Vabariik, links=no), is a country in Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland across from Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea across from Swe ...

Estonia
,
Latvia Latvia ( or ; lv, Latvija ; ltg, Latveja; liv, Leţmō), officially known as the Republic of Latvia ( lv, Latvijas Republika, links=no, ltg, Latvejas Republika, links=no, liv, Leţmō Vabāmō, links=no), is a country in the Baltic reg ...

Latvia
and
Lithuania Lithuania (; lt, Lietuva ), officially the Republic of Lithuania ( lt, Lietuvos Respublika, links=no), is a country in the Baltic region The terms Baltic Sea Region, Baltic Rim countries (or simply Baltic Rim), and the Baltic Sea countri ...
bringing the number of union republics down to 12. On 8 December 1991, the remaining leaders of the republics signed the
Belavezha Accords The Belavezha Accords (russian: Беловежские соглашения, link=no, be, Белавежскае пагадненне, link=no, uk, Біловезькі угоди, link=no) are accords forming the agreement that declared the U ...
which agreed that the USSR would be dissolved and replaced with a
Commonwealth of Independent States The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS; russian: Содружество Независимых Государств, СНГ, translit=Sodruzhestvo Nezavisimykh Gosudarstv, SNG) is a regional intergovernmental organization in Eastern Europ ...

Commonwealth of Independent States
namely USSR or Union of Soviet Sovereign Republics Union of Soviet Sovereign Republics. On 25th December, President Gorbachev announced his resignation and turned all executive powers over to Yeltsin. The next day the Council of Republics voted to dissolve the Union. Since then, the republics have been governed independently with some reconstituting themselves as liberal parliamentary republics and others, particularly in
Central Asia Central Asia is a region in Asia which stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to China and Mongolia in the east, and from Afghanistan and Iran in the south to Russia in the north, including the former Soviet Union, Soviet republics of the Sovi ...

Central Asia
, devolving into highly autocratic states under the leadership of the old Party elite.


See also

* Flags of the Soviet Republics * Emblems of the Soviet Republics *
Commonwealth of Independent States The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS; russian: Содружество Независимых Государств, СНГ, translit=Sodruzhestvo Nezavisimykh Gosudarstv, SNG) is a regional intergovernmental organization in Eastern Europ ...

Commonwealth of Independent States
*
Eurasian Economic Union The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU)EAEU is the acronym is used in thorganisation’s website However, many media outlets use the acronym EEU. is an economic union of states located in Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the region of the Europea ...

Eurasian Economic Union
*
National delimitation in the Soviet Union National delimitation in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was the process of specifying well-defined national territorial units (Soviet socialist republics – SSR, autonomous Soviet socialist republics – ASSR, autonomous oblast An oblas ...
*
Bavarian Soviet RepublicBavarian is the adjective form of the German state of Bavaria, and refers to people of ancestry from Bavaria. Bavarian may also refer to: * Bavarii, a Germanic tribe * Bavarians, a nation and ethnographic group of Germans * Bavarian, Iran, a villag ...
*
Hungarian Soviet Republic The Socialist Federative Republic of Councils in Hungary ( hu, Magyarországi Szocialista Szövetséges Tanácsköztársaság), mostly known as the Hungarian Soviet Republic ( hu, Magyar Szovjet-köztársaság), literally the Republic of Council ...
*
Slovak Soviet Republic The Slovak Soviet Republic ( Slovak: ''Slovenská republika rád'', Hungarian: ''Szlovák Tanácsköztársaság'', Ukrainian: ''Словацька Радянська Республіка'', literally: "Slovak Republic of Councils") was a short-li ...
* Limerick Soviet *
Paris Commune The Paris Commune (french: Commune de Paris, ) was a revolutionary government that seized power in Paris from 18 March to 28 May 1871. During the Franco-Prussian War, Paris had been defended by the National Guard (France), National Guard, where ...
*
Provisional Polish Revolutionary Committee Provisional Polish Revolutionary Committee ( pl, Tymczasowy Komitet Rewolucyjny Polski, Polrewkom; russian: Польревком) (July–August 1920) was a revolutionary committee created under the patronage of Soviet Russia The Russian Sov ...
(Polish SSR) *
Republics of Russia According to its constitution, Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, largest count ...

Republics of Russia
*
Federal subjects of Russia The federal subjects of Russia, also referred to as the subjects of the Russian Federation (russian: субъекты Российской Федерации, subyekty Rossiyskoy Federatsii) or simply as the subjects of the federation (russian: ...
*
Post-Soviet states The post-Soviet states, also known as the former Soviet Union (FSU), the former Soviet Republics and in Russia as the near abroad (russian: links=no, ближнее зарубежье, blizhneye zarubezhye), are the 15 sovereign states that were Re ...
(former Soviet Republics)


Notes


References


Further reading

*
Bibliography of the Russian Revolution and Civil War This is a select bibliography of post World War II English language books (including translations) and journal articles about the Revolutionary and Civil War era of Russian (Soviet) history. The sections "General Surveys" and "Biographies" contain ...
*
Bibliography of Stalinism and the Soviet Union This is a select bibliography of post World War II English language books (including translations) and journal articles about Stalinism and the Stalinist era of Soviet history. Book entries have references to journal reviews about them when hel ...
*
Bibliography of the Post Stalinist Soviet Union This is a select bibliography of English language books (including translations) and journal articles about the Post-Stalinist era of Soviet history. A brief selection of English translations of primary sources is included. The sections "General S ...
{{Authority control . Former socialist republics, R Soviet republics, . Soviet Union-related lists, Republics Decentralization Post-Soviet states, * Russian-speaking countries and territories