What Countries Make up the Soviet Union?

The countries that were once part of the Soviet Union include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia and Georgia. Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania and Moldova also belonged. Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan round out the total. The Soviet Union dissolved on Dec. 26, 1991.

The Soviet Union was formed in 1922 from the wreckage of the Russian Empire. Although many of the former Russian holdings had experienced a period of freedom in 1917, after the empire fell, the communist leaders of Russia began to reassert their authority over the breakaway regions on Dec. 30, 1922. This date is marked by the signing of the Treaty of Creation of the USSR and the Declaration of the Creation of the USSR. The independent countries that agreed to these treaties included the Russian SFSR, the Transcaucasian SFSR, the Ukrainian SSR and the Byelorussian SSR.

In the 1980s, political and social reforms, paired with economic turbulence, began undermining the power of the USSR. Russian satellite states in Eastern Europe, such as Poland and Czechoslovakia, were the first to stride away from USSR dominion. The USSR itself began to dissolve soon after, beginning on March 11, 1990, when Lithuania declared its independence. Estonia and Latvia followed suit and withdrew from USSR control. Armenia and Georgia followed within the year, and the remaining countries became independent by the end of 1991.

As of 2015, several countries without widespread diplomatic recognition exist in the former Soviet territory: Abkhazia, Transnistria, Nagorno-Karabakh and South Ossetia.