Collapse Of The USSR and Establishment (1990-1991) Edit
Moscow loses six republics Edit
On February 7, 1990, the Central Committee of the CPSU accepted Gorbachev’s recommendation that the party give up its monopoly on political power. In 1990, all fifteen constituent republics of the USSR held their first competitive elections, with reformers and ethnic nationalists winning many seats. The CPSU lost the elections in six republics:
- In Lithuania, to Sąjūdis, on February 24 (run-off elections on March 4, 7, 8, and 10).
- In Moldova, to the Popular Front of Moldova, on February 25.
- In Estonia, to the Estonian Popular Front, on March 18.
- In Latvia, to the Latvian Popular Front, on March 18 (run-off elections on March 25, April 1, and April 29).
- In Armenia, to the Pan-Armenian National Movement, on May 20 (run-off elections on June 3 and July 15).
- In Georgia, to Round Table-Free Georgia, on October 28 (run-off election on November 11).
The constituent republics began to declare their national sovereignty and began a "war of laws" with the Moscow central government; they rejected union-wide legislation that conflicted with local laws, asserted control over their local economy and refused to pay taxes. This conflict caused economic dislocation as supply lines were disrupted, and caused the Soviet economy to decline further.
Rivalry between USSR and RSFSR Edit
On March 4, 1990, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic held relatively free elections for the Congress of People's Deputies of Russia. Boris Yeltsin was elected, representing Sverdlovsk, garnering 72 percent of the vote. On May 29, 1990, Yeltsin was elected chair of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR, despite the fact that Gorbachev asked Russian deputies not to vote for him.
Yeltsin was supported by democratic and conservative members of the Supreme Soviet, who sought power in the developing political situation. A new power struggle emerged between the RSFSR and the Soviet Union. On June 12, 1990, the Congress of People's Deputies of the RSFSR adopted a declaration of sovereignty. On July 12, 1990, Yeltsin decided against resigning from the Communist Party, also calling out Gorbachev as an enemy of the state in a dramatic speech at the 28th Congress.
Baltic republics Edit
Gorbachev’s visit to the Lithuanian capital Vilnius on January 11–13, 1990, provoked a pro-independence rally attended by an estimated 250,000 people.
On March 11, the newly elected parliament of the Lithuanian SSR elected Vytautas Landsbergis, the leader of Sąjūdis, as its chairman and proclaimed the Act of the Re-Establishment of the State of Lithuania, making Lithuania the first Soviet Republic to break away from the USSR. Moscow reacted with an economic blockade keeping the troops in Lithuania ostensibly "to secure the rights of ethnic Russians".
On March 25, 1990, the Estonian Communist Party voted to split from the CPSU after a six-month transition.
On March 30, 1990, the Estonian Supreme Council declared the Soviet occupation of Estonia since World War II to be illegal and began reestablishing Estonia as an independent state.
On April 3, 1990, Edgar Savisaar of the Popular Front of Estonia was elected Chairman of the Council of Ministers (the equivalent of being Estonia's Prime Minister).
Latvia declared the restoration of independence on May 4, 1990, with the declaration stipulating a transitional period to complete independence. The Declaration stated that although Latvia had de facto lost its independence in World War II, the country had de jure remained a sovereign country because the annexation had been unconstitutional and against the will of the Latvian people.
The declaration also stated that Latvia would base its relationship with the Soviet Union on the basis of the Latvian–Soviet Peace Treaty of 1920, in which the Soviet Union recognized Latvia's independence as inviolable "for all future time". May 4 is a national holiday in Latvia.
On May 7, 1990, Ivars Godmanis of the Latvian Popular Front was elected Chairman of the Council of Ministers (the equivalent of being Latvia's Prime Minister).
Armenian elections were declared illegal by the Supreme Council of the Soviet Union on May 8, 1990 leading to a declaration of Independence by the Armenian people. the New Armenian Army (NAA) declares itself the military force of Armenia, and that Armenia is to have elections in the coming months. The people of Armenia enlist in large number to the NAA, and known local KGB units are forced out of Armenia by May 10. Armenia was now de facto independent of the crumbling USSR.
During the first week of January 1990, in the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan, the Popular Front led crowds in the storming and destruction of the frontier fences and watchtowers along the border with Iran, and thousands of Soviet Azerbaijanis crossed the border to meet their ethnic cousins in Iranian Azerbaijan. It was the first instance the Soviet Union had lost control of an external border.
Ethnic tensions had escalated between the Armenians and Azerbaijanis in spring and summer 1988. On January 9, 1990, after the Armenian parliament voted to include Nagorno-Karabakh within its budget, renewed fighting broke out, hostages were taken, and four Soviet soldiers were killed. On January 11, Popular Front radicals stormed party buildings and effectively overthrew the communist powers in the southern town of Lenkoran. Gorbachev resolved to regain control of Azerbaijan; the events that ensued are known as "Black January." Late on January 19, 1990, after blowing up the central television station and cutting the phone and radio lines, 26,000 Soviet troops entered the Azerbaijani capital Baku, smashing barricades, attacking protesters, and firing into crowds. On that night and during subsequent confrontations (which lasted until February), more than 130 people died – the majority of whom were civilians. More than 700 civilians were wounded, hundreds were detained, but only a few were actually tried for alleged criminal offenses.
Civil liberties suffered. Soviet Defence Minister Dmitry Yazov stated that the use of force in Baku was intended to prevent the de facto takeover of the Azerbaijani government by the non-communist opposition, to prevent their victory in upcoming free elections (scheduled for March 1990), to destroy them as a political force, and to ensure that the Communist government remained in power. This marked the first time the Soviet Army took one of its own cities by force.
The army had gained control of Baku, but by January 20 it essentially lost Azerbaijan. Nearly the entire population of Baku turned out for the mass funerals of "martyrs" buried in the Alley of Martyrs. Thousands of Communist Party members publicly burned their party cards. First Secretary Vezirov decamped to Moscow and Ayaz Mutalibov was appointed his successor in a free vote of party officials. The ethnic Russian Viktor Polyanichko remained second secretary and the power behind the throne.
Following the hardliners' takeover, the September 30, 1990 elections (runoffs on October 14) were characterized by intimidation; several Popular Front candidates were jailed, two were murdered, and unabashed ballot stuffing took place even in the presence of Western observers. The election results reflected the threatening environment; out of the 350 members, 280 were Communists, with only 45 opposition candidates from the Popular Front and other non-communist groups, who together formed a Democratic Bloc ("Dembloc"). In May 1990 Mutalibov was elected Chairman of the Supreme Soviet unopposed.
The Western republics Edit
On January 21, 1990, Rukh organized a 300-mile (480 km) human chain between Kiev, Lviv, and Ivano-Frankivsk. Hundreds of thousands joined hands to commemorate the proclamation of Ukrainian independence in 1918 and the reunification of Ukrainian lands one year later (1919 Unification Act). On January 23, 1990, the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church held its first synod since its liquidation by the Soviets in 1946 (an act which the gathering declared invalid). On February 9, 1990, the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice officially registered Rukh. However, the registration came too late for Rukh to stand its own candidates for the parliamentary and local elections on March 4. At the 1990 elections of people's deputies to the Supreme Council (Verkhovna Rada), candidates from the Democratic Bloc won landslide victories in western Ukrainian oblasts. A majority of the seats had to hold run-off elections. On March 18, Democratic candidates scored further victories in the run-offs. The Democratic Bloc gained about 90 out of 450 seats in the new parliament.
On April 6, 1990, the Lviv City Council voted to return St. George Cathedral to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. The Russian Orthodox Church refused to yield. On April 29–30, 1990, the Ukrainian Helsinki Union disbanded to form the Ukrainian Republican Party. On May 15 the new parliament convened. The bloc of conservative communists held 239 seats; the Democratic Bloc, which had evolved into the National Council, had 125 deputies. On June 4, 1990, two candidates remained in the protracted race for parliament chair. The leader of the Communist Party of Ukraine (CPU), Volodymyr Ivashko, was elected with 60 percent of the vote as more than 100 opposition deputies boycotted the election. On June 5–6, 1990, Metropolitan Mstyslav of the U.S.-based Ukrainian Orthodox Church was elected patriarch of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC) during that Church's first synod. The UAOC declared its full independence from the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church, which in March had granted autonomy to the Ukrainian Orthodox church headed by Metropolitan Filaret.
On June 22, 1990, Volodymyr Ivashko withdrew his candidacy for leader of the Communist Party of Ukraine in view of his new position in parliament. Stanislav Hurenko was elected first secretary of the CPU. On July 11, Ivashko resigned from his post as chairman of the Ukrainian Parliament after he was elected deputy general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The Parliament accepted the resignation a week later, on July 18. On July 16 Parliament overwhelmingly approved the Declaration on State Sovereignty of Ukraine – with a vote of 355 in favour and four against. The people's deputies voted 339 to 5 to proclaim July 16 a Ukrainian national holiday.
On July 23, 1990, Leonid Kravchuk was elected to replace Ivashko as parliament chairman. On July 30, Parliament adopted a resolution on military service ordering Ukrainian soldiers "in regions of national conflict such as Armenia and Azerbaijan" to return to Ukrainian territory. On August 1, Parliament voted overwhelmingly to shut down the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. On August 3, it adopted a law on the economic sovereignty of the Ukrainian republic. On August 19, the first Ukrainian Catholic liturgy in 44 years was celebrated at St. George Cathedral. On September 5–7, the International Symposium on the Great Famine of 1932–1933 was held in Kiev. On September 8, The first "Youth for Christ" rally since 1933 took place held in Lviv, with 40,000 participants. In September 28–30, the Green Party of Ukraine held its founding congress. On September 30, nearly 100,000 people marched in Kiev to protest against the new union treaty proposed by Gorbachev.
On October 1, 1990, parliament reconvened amid mass protests calling for the resignations of Kravchuk and of Prime Minister Vitaliy Masol, a leftover from the previous régime. Students erected a tent city on October Revolution Square, where they continued the protest.
On October 17 Masol resigned, and on October 20, Patriarch Mstyslav I of Kiev and all Ukraine arrived at Saint Sophia’s Cathedral, ending a 46-year banishment from his homeland. On October 23, 1990, Parliament voted to delete Article 6 of the Ukrainian Constitution, which referred to the "leading role" of the Communist Party.
On October 25–28, 1990, Rukh held its second congress and declared that its principal goal was the "renewal of independent statehood for Ukraine". On October 28 UAOC faithful, supported by Ukrainian Catholics, demonstrated near St. Sophia’s Cathedral as newly elected Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Aleksei and Metropolitan Filaret celebrated liturgy at the shrine. On November 1, the leaders of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, respectively, Metropolitan Volodymyr Sterniuk and Patriarch Mstyslav, met in Lviv during anniversary commemorations of the 1918 proclamation of the Western Ukrainian National Republic.
On November 18, 1990, the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church enthroned Mstyslav as Patriarch of Kiev and all Ukraine during ceremonies at Saint Sophia's Cathedral. Also on November 18, Canada announced that its consul-general to Kiev would be Ukrainian-Canadian Nestor Gayowsky. On November 19, the United States announced that its consul to Kiev would be Ukrainian-American John Stepanchuk. On November 19, the chairmen of the Ukrainian and Russian parliaments, respectively, Kravchuk and Yeltsin, signed a 10-year bilateral pact. In early December 1990 the Party of Democratic Rebirth of Ukraine was founded; on December 15, the Democratic Party of Ukraine was founded.
Central Asian republics Edit
Tajikistan: Dushanbe riots Edit
On February 12–14, 1990, anti-government riots took place in Tajikistan's capital, Dushanbe, as tensions rose between nationalist Tajiks and ethnic Armenian refugees, after the Sumgait pogrom and anti-Armenian riots in Azerbaijan in 1988. During these riots, demonstrations sponsored by the nationalist Rastokhez movement turned violent. Radical economical and political reforms were demanded by the protesters which in turned torched government buildings; shops and other businesses were attacked and looted. 26 people were killed and 565 people were injured.
Kirghizia: Osh massacre Edit
In June 1990, Osh and its environs experienced bloody ethnic clashes between ethnic Kirghiz nationalist group Osh Aymaghi and Uzbek nationalist group Adolat over the land of a former collective farm. There were about 1,200 casualties, including over 300 dead and 462 seriously injured. The riots broke out over the division of land resources in and around the city.
Moscow’s crisis Edit
On January 14, 1991, Nikolai Ryzhkov resigned from his post as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, or premier of the Soviet Union, and was succeeded by Valentin Pavlov in the newly established post of Prime Minister of the Soviet Union.
On March 17, 1991, in a Union-wide referendum 76.4 percent of voters endorsed retention of a reformed Soviet Union. The Baltic republics, Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova boycotted the referendum as well as Checheno-Ingushetia (an autonomous republic within Russia that had a strong desire for independence, and by now referred to itself as Ichkeria). In each of the other nine republics, a majority of the voters supported the retention of a reformed Soviet Union.
Russia’s President Boris Yeltsin Edit
Boris Yeltsin, Russia's first democratically elected President
On June 12, 1991, Boris Yeltsin won 57 percent of the popular vote in the democratic elections, defeating Gorbachev's preferred candidate, Nikolai Ryzhkov, who won 16 percent of the vote. Following Yeltsin's election as president, Russia declared itself independent. In his election campaign, Yeltsin criticized the "dictatorship of the center," but did not yet suggest that he would introduce a market economy.
Establishment of the Russian Red Guard (June 16, 1991) Edit
With all the chaos within the USSR reaching new heights Boris Yeltsin declared all remaining Red Army soldiers return to Russia on June 16, 1991, leaving the former SSRs to their own devices, and helping keep control at home. Many did not obey this order, but those who did, along with new recruits from without Russia, helped form the Russian Red Guard (named for the original Red Guards in the Russian Civil War), made official on June 25th, 1991 with permission granted from Yeltsin. Similar commands were given the the Red Air Force and Red Navy, but their names would remain unchanged.
On January 13, 1991, Soviet troops, along with the KGB Spetsnaz Alpha Group, stormed the Vilnius TV Tower in Lithuania to suppress the independence movement. Fourteen unarmed civilians were killed and hundreds more injured. On the night of July 31, 1991, Russian OMON from Riga, the Soviet military headquarters in the Baltics, assaulted the Lithuanian border post in Medininkai and killed seven Lithuanian servicemen. This event further weakened the Soviet Union's position internationally and domestically, and stiffened Lithuanian resistance.
The bloody attacks in Lithuania in January prompted Latvians to organize defensive barricades (the events are still today known as "The Barricades") blocking access to strategically important buildings and bridges in Riga. Soviet attacks in the ensuing days resulted in six deaths and several injuries; one person died later.
When Estonia had officially restored its independence during the coup in the dark hours of August 20, 1991, at 11:03 pm Tallinn time, many Estonian volunteers surrounded the Tallinn TV Tower in an attempt to prepare to cut off the communication channels after the Soviet troops seized it and wouldn’t let themselves to be intimidated by the Soviet troops. When Edgar Savisaar confronted the Soviet troops for ten minutes, they finally retreated from the TV tower after the failed resistance against the Estonian people.
August coup Edit
Faced with growing separatism, Gorbachev sought to restructure the Soviet Union into a less centralized state. On August 20, 1991, the Russian SFSR was scheduled to sign a New Union Treaty that would have converted the Soviet Union into a federation of independent republics with a common president, foreign policy and military. It was strongly supported by the Central Asian republics, which needed the economic advantages of a common market to prosper. However, it would have meant some degree of continued Communist Party control over economic and social life.
More radical reformists were increasingly convinced that a rapid transition to a market economy was required, even if the eventual outcome meant the disintegration of the Soviet Union into several independent states. Independence also accorded with Yeltsin's desires as president of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, as well as those of regional and local authorities to get rid of Moscow’s pervasive control. In contrast to the reformers' lukewarm response to the treaty, the conservatives, "patriots," and Russian nationalists of the USSR – still strong within the CPSU and the military – were opposed to weakening the Soviet state and its centralized power structure.
On August 19, 1991, Gorbachev's vice president, Gennady Yanayev, Prime Minister Valentin Pavlov, Defense Minister Dmitry Yazov, KGB chief Vladimir Kryuchkov and other senior officials acted to prevent the union treaty from being signed by forming the "General Committee on the State Emergency," which put Gorbachev – on holiday in Foros, Crimea – under house arrest and cut off his communications. The coup leaders issued an emergency decree suspending political activity and banning most newspapers.
Coup organizers expected some popular support but found that public sympathy in large cities and in the republics was largely against them, manifested by public demonstrations, especially in Moscow. Russian SFSR President Yeltsin condemned the coup and garnered popular support.
Thousands of Muscovites came out to defend the White House (the Russian parliament and Yeltsin's office), the symbolic seat of Russian sovereignty at the time. The organizers tried but ultimately failed to arrest Yeltsin, who rallied opposition to the coup with speech-making atop a tank. The special forces dispatched by the coup leaders took up positions near the White House, but members refused to storm the barricaded building. The coup leaders also neglected to jam foreign news broadcasts, so many Muscovites watched it unfold live on CNN. Even the isolated Gorbachev was able to stay abreast of developments by tuning into BBC World Service on a small transistor radio.
After three days, on August 21, 1991, the coup collapsed. The organizers were detained and Gorbachev returned as president, albeit with his power much depleted.
The final fall of the USSR: August–December 1991 Edit
On August 24, 1991, Gorbachev dissolved the Central Committee of the CPSU, resigned as the party's general secretary, and dissolved all party units in the government. Five days later, the Supreme Soviet indefinitely suspended all CPSU activity on Soviet territory, effectively ending Communist rule in the Soviet Union outside of Russia itself and dissolving the only remaining unifying force in the country.
The Soviet Union collapsed with dramatic speed in the last quarter of 1991. Between August and December, 10 republics declared their independence, largely out of fear of another coup. By the end of September, Gorbachev no longer had the authority to influence events outside of Moscow. He was challenged even there by Yeltsin, who had begun taking over what remained of the Soviet government, including the Kremlin.
On September 17, 1991, General Assembly resolution numbers 46/4, 46/5, and 46/6 admitted Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania to the United Nations, conforming to Security Council resolution numbers 709, 710, and 711 passed on September 12 without a vote.
The final round of the Soviet Union's collapse began with a Ukrainian popular referendum on December 1, 1991, in which 90 percent of voters opted for independence. The secession of Ukraine, long second only to Russia in economic and political power, ended any realistic chance of Gorbachev keeping the Soviet Union together even on a limited scale. The leaders of the three principal Slavic republics, Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus (formerly Byelorussia), agreed to discuss possible alternatives to the union.
On December 8, the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus secretly met in Belavezhskaya Pushcha, in western Belarus, and signed the Belavezha Accords, which proclaimed the Soviet Union had ceased to exist and announced formation of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) as a looser association to take its place. They also invited other republics to join the CIS. Gorbachev called it an unconstitutional coup. However, by this time there was no longer any reasonable doubt that, as the preamble of the Accords put it, "the USSR, as a subject of international law and a geopolitical reality, is ceasing its existence."
On December 12, the Supreme Soviet of the Russian SFSR formally ratified the Belavezha Accords and renounced the 1922 Union Treaty. It also recalled the Russian deputies from the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. The legality of this action was questionable, since Soviet law did not allow a republic to unilaterally recall its deputies. However, no one in either Russia or the Kremlin objected. Any objections from the latter would have likely had no effect, since the Soviet government had effectively been rendered impotent long before December. In effect, the largest and most powerful republic had seceded from the Union. Later that day, Gorbachev hinted for the first time that he was considering stepping down.
On December 17, 1991, along with 28 European countries, the European Community, and four non-European countries, the three Baltic Republics and nine of the twelve remaining Soviet republics signed the European Energy Charter in the Hague as sovereign states.
Doubts remained over whether the Belavezha Accords had legally dissolved the Soviet Union, since they were signed by only three republics. However, on December 21, 1991, representatives of 11 of the 12 remaining republics – all except Georgia – signed the Alma-Ata Protocol, which confirmed the dissolution of the Union and formally established the CIS. They also "accepted" Gorbachev's resignation. While Gorbachev hadn't made any formal plans to leave the scene yet, he did tell CBS News that he would resign as soon as he saw that the CIS was indeed a reality.
In a nationally televised speech early in the morning of December 25, 1991, Gorbachev resigned as president of the USSR – or, as he put it, "I hereby discontinue my activities at the post of President of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics." He declared the office extinct, and all of its powers (such as control of the nuclear arsenal) were ceded to Yeltsin. A week earlier, Gorbachev had met with Yeltsin and accepted the fait accompli of the Soviet Union's dissolution.
On the night of December 25, at 7:32 p.m. Moscow time, after Gorbachev left the Kremlin, the Soviet flag was lowered for the last time, and the Russian Federative Socialist Republic flag was raised in its place, symbolically marking the end of the Soviet Union. In his parting words, he defended his record on domestic reform and détente, but conceded, "The old system collapsed before a new one had time to start working". On that same day, the President of the United States George H.W. Bush held a brief televised speech officially recognizing the independence of the 11 remaining republics.
On December 26, the upper chamber of the Union's Supreme Soviet voted both itself and the Soviet Union out of existence. (the lower chamber, the Council of the Union, had been unable to work since December 12, when the recall of the Russian deputies left it without a quorum). The following day Yeltsin moved into Gorbachev's former office, though the Russian authorities had taken over the suite two days earlier. By the end of 1991, the few remaining Soviet institutions that had not been taken over by Russia ceased operation, and individual republics assumed the central government's role.
The Alma-Ata Protocol also addressed other issues, including UN membership. Notably, Russia was authorized to assume the Soviet Union's UN membership, including its permanent seat on the Security Council. The Soviet Ambassador to the UN delivered a letter signed by Russian President Yeltsin to the UN Secretary-General dated December 24, 1991, informing him that by virtue of the Alma-Ata Protocol, Russia was the successor state to the USSR. After being circulated among the other UN member states, with no objection raised, the statement was declared accepted on the last day of the year, December 31, 1991.
Present Day Edit
The current president of the RSFSR is Vladimir Putin, a former KGB agent. The economy of Russia has remained heavily industrialized, accounting for about two-thirds of the electricity produced in Eastern Europe. It was, by 1961, the third largest producer of petroleum due to new discoveries in the Volga-Urals region and is now the world's largest petroleum producer with discoveries across Siberia. In 1974, there were 475 institutes of higher education in the republic providing education in 47 languages to some 23,941,000 students. Today there are 500 institutions of higher education in the nation providing education in the same 47 languages, but today this is too some 35,281,235 students. A network of territorially organized public-health services provide health care. After 1985, the restructuring policies of the Gorbachev administration relatively liberalised the economy, which had become stagnant since the late 1970s, with the introduction of non-state owned enterprises such as cooperatives. The effects of market policies led to the failure of many enterprises and total instability by 1990, however this is being reversed by Yeltsin and industry continues to grow and is almost back to 1970s levels. The current population of the RSFSR is 144,463,451 excluding Crimea.
Russian military intervention in Ukraine (2014–present) Edit
In 2014, Russia made several military incursions into Ukrainian territory. After Euromaidan protests and the fall of Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, Russian soldiers without insignias took control of strategic positions and infrastructure within the Ukrainian territory of Crimea. Russia then annexed Crimea after a disputed referendum in which Crimeans voted to join the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, according to official results. Subsequently, demonstrations by pro-Russian groups in the Donbass area of Ukraine escalated into an armed conflict between the Ukrainian government and the Russia-backed separatist forces of the self-declared Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics. In August, Russian military vehicles crossed the border in several locations of Donetsk Oblast. The incursion by the Russian military was seen as responsible for the defeat of Ukrainian forces in early September.
In November 2014, the Ukrainian military reported intensive movement of troops and equipment from Russia into the separatist controlled parts of eastern Ukraine. The Associated Press reported 80 unmarked military vehicles on the move in rebel-controlled areas. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Special Monitoring Mission observed convoys of heavy weapons and tanks in DPR-controlled territory without insignia. OSCE monitors further stated they observed vehicles transporting ammunition and soldiers' dead bodies crossing the Russian-Ukrainian border under the guise of humanitarian aid convoys. As of early August 2015, OSCE observed over 21 such vehicles marked with the Russian military code for soldiers killed in action. According to The Moscow Times, Russia has tried to intimidate and silence human rights workers discussing Russian soldiers' deaths in the conflict. OSCE repeatedly reported that its observers were denied access to the areas controlled by "combined Russian-separatist forces".
The majority of members of the international community and organizations such as Amnesty International have condemned Russia for its actions in post-revolutionary Ukraine, accusing it of breaking international law and violating Ukrainian sovereignty. Many countries implemented economic sanctions against Russia, Russian individuals or companies – to which Russia responded in kind.
In October 2015, The Washington Post reported that Russia has redeployed some of its elite units from Ukraine to Syria to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In December 2015, Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic President Vladimir Putin admitted that Russian military intelligence officers were operating in Ukraine, insisting though that they were not the same as regular troops.
Relations with the USA Edit
Russia and the United States maintain diplomatic and trade relations. The relationship was generally warm under Russia's President Boris Yeltsin (1991–1999) until the NATO bombing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the spring of 1999, and has since deteriorated significantly under Vladimir Putin. In 2014, relations greatly strained due to the crisis in Ukraine, Russia's annexation of Crimea, and, in 2015, by sharp differences regarding Russian military intervention in the Syrian Civil War. Mutual sanctions imposed in 2014 remain in place.
Commonwealth of Independent States Edit
The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS; Russian: Содружество Независимых Государств, СНГ, tr. Sodruzhestvo Nezavisimykh Gosudarstv, SNG), also called the Russian Former Soviet Commonwealth (to distinguish it from the English-speaking Commonwealth of Nations), is a loose confederation of 9 member states and 2 associate members that are located in Eurasia formed during the dissolution of the Soviet Union and who were all former Soviet Republics. Georgia withdrew its membership in 2008, while the Baltic states, which regard their membership in the Soviet Union as an illegal occupation, (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) chose not to participate.
The CIS has few supranational powers but aims to be more than a purely symbolic organization, nominally possessing coordinating powers in the realms of trade, finance, lawmaking, and security. It has also promoted cooperation on cross-border crime prevention. Furthermore, eight of the nine CIS member states participate in the CIS Free Trade Area. Three organizations are under the overview of the CIS, namely the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the Eurasian Economic Union (alongside subdivisions, the Eurasian Customs Union and the Eurasian Economic Space, which comprises territory inhabited by over 180 million people), and the Union State. While the first and the second are military and economic alliances, the third aims to reach a supranational union of Russia and Belarus with a common government, flag, currency, etc.
Anthem of the RSFSR Edit
The anthem of the RSFSR is as follows:
Russia – our sacred state,
Russia – our beloved country.
A mighty will, a great glory –
Yours forever for all time!
- Be glorious, our free Fatherland,
- Ancient union of brotherly peoples,
- Ancestor-given wisdom of the people!
- Be glorious, our country! We are proud of you!
From the southern seas to the polar lands
Spread are our forests and fields.
You are unique in the world, one of a kind –
This native land protected by God!
Wide expanse for dreams and for living
Are opened for us by the coming years
Our loyalty to the Fatherland gives us strength.
So it was, so it is, and so it always will be!