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Guide to New Nations: Former Soviet Union

by David Johnson


One of the first Soviet republics to break away, Estonia declared its independence from the Soviet Union in March 1990. Although the Soviet Union was at first reluctant to grant its independence, international support forced it to accept a free Estonia, which was admitted to the United Nations on September 17, 1991.

Estonia flag

Estonia Flag

Map of Estonia

Infoplease Atlas: Estonia


Following the leads of Lithuania and Estonia, Latvia declared its independence on August 21, 1991. It joined the United Nations on September 17, 1991.


Latvia Flag

Map of Latvia

Infoplease Atlas: Latvia


The first Baltic state to do so, Lithuania proclaimed its independence on March 11, 1990. At first the Soviet Union reacted with economic sanctions, but relented in the face of increasing international support for Lithuanian independence. Lithuania joined the United Nations on September 17, 1991.

Lithuania flag

Lithuania Flag

Map of Lithuania

Infoplease Atlas: Lithuania

Information Please® Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Did you know?
The longest inaugural speech was William Henry Harrison’s. At 8,445 words, it is nearly twice the length of any other president's.

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