The map above is a map of the Kazakh SSR (Soviet Socialist Republic), which existed between December 5, 1936 and December 16, 1991 and by a quirk of history was the last of the Republics to leave the Soviet Union.
However, the Soviet Union itself was not formally disbanded until December 26, 1991, which means for the last 10 days of its existence it was a country without any territory.
Below is a very brief timeline of when each republic left the USSR.
- Lithuania – March 11, 1990
- Estonia – March 30, 1990 (effective – August 20, 1991)
- Latvia – May 4, 1990 (effective – August 21, 1991)
- Georgia – April 9, 1991
- Ukraine – August 24, 1991
- Byelorussia/Belarus – August 25, 1991
- Moldova – August 27, 1991
- Kyrgyzstan – August 31, 1991
- Uzbekistan – September 1, 1991
- Tajikistan – September 9, 1991
- Armenia – September 21, 1991
- Azerbaijan – October 18, 1991
- Turkmenistan – October 27, 1991
- Russian SFSR/Russian Federation – December 12, 1991
- Kazakhstan – December 16, 1991
However, the 15 Republics were not the only bits of the USSR who tried to declare independence, several other bits of the Soviet Union also tried to breakaway during this time including:
- Abkhazia – August 25, 1990 (Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic within Georgian SSR)
- Tatarstan – August 30, 1990 (Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic within Russia)
- Transnistria – September 2, 1990 (part of Moldavian SSR)
- Gagauzia – August 19, 1991 (part of Moldavian SSR)
- Nagorno-Karabakh Republic – September 2, 1991 (part of Azerbaijan SSR)
- Chechen Republic of Ichkeria – November 1, 1991 (part of Russian SSR)
- South Ossetia – November 28, 1991 (part of Georgian SSR)
If you’d like to learn more on the subject here are a few books that may be of interest:
- The Last Empire: The Final Days of the Soviet Union
- Lenin’s Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire
- Dissolution: Sovereignty and the Breakup of the Soviet Union
- How the Soviet Union Disappeared: An Essay on the Causes of Dissolution
- Revolution 1989: The Fall of the Soviet Empire
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Ražiškių kaimas says
We , Lithuanians , are proud being the icebreaker in the disintegration of the USSR.
You better go back to factory work cleaning fish in Norway, my ice-breaker-friend.
If Kazakhstan was strong enough, They could of took all the border countries (except Russia cuz they strong) and possibly attempted to reform USSR who knows?
To the Lithuanian ice-breaker:
It all started with the bloody uprising of the Kazakh youth in December 1986 against Kremlin. Before that, non of 15 republics could dare to say a word against Moscow