A Brief History Of: Former Soviet Republics

Louisa Gouliamaki / AFP / Getty

Since the breakup of The Soviet Union in 1991, its former republics have attempted to take different political directions. Most came together in the Commonwealth of Independent States (C.I.S.), which is still led by Russia. The Baltic nations joined NATO and the European Union in 2004--a course Ukraine and Georgia have flirted with recently--while the resource-rich Central Asian republics have remained largely loyal to Moscow. But after the invasion of Georgia, former members of the U.S.S.R. face an inescapable truth: you can't run from geography. Try as they might to move closer to Europe, many are now nervously eyeing a resurgent...

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