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Photo file Special features How life has changed Countdown to collapse Introduction Russian Version
Collapse of the USSR Countdown to collapse How life has changed Gorbachev webcast Photo file

The collapse of the USSR opened up the world for me, and every minute I remember and am aware that the world is open.

Peter Bares, Estonia

The collapse of the Soviet Union broke up our whole life. Its been years since weve been able to see our own daughter, who lives in a neighbouring former republic.

Boris Kuzmin, engineer, Kyrgyzstan

In spite of the fact that materially Im much better off today than 10 years ago, I still feel nostalgic for the Soviet days. I had less money then, but I slept well, not worrying about how I would provide for myself in my old age.

Zinauda Bunu, entrepreneur, Moldova

I remember as a child I really thought: How good that I live in the USSR, the best country in the world! And now that great country is no more. Even the economy is in tatters.

Svetlana, housewife, Ukraine

Introduction 4. Lithuania 8. Georgia 12. Uzbekistan
1. Russia 5. Belarus 9. Armenia 13. Tajikistan
2. Estonia 6. Ukraine 10. Azerbaijan 14. Kyrgyzstan
3. Latvia 7. Moldova 11. Turkmenistan 15. Kazakhstan

The collapse of the Soviet Union has not only led to the creation of a new world order, but transformed the lives of all those who once lived there. The changes have been profound - economic, political, social and psychological.

The demise of one empire led to the birth of 15 independent countries. Click on the map to discover how each country has coped with the crumbling of communism, and how the lives of ordinary people have changed.

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