30 years since the fall of the USSR

Was the collapse of USSR avoidable or inevitable, and what are the consequences today?

Members event, Panel
26 November 2021 — 12:00PM TO 1:00PM

In December 1991, the leaders of three Soviet republics – Belarus, Ukraine and Russia – met in the Belovyezhkaya Forest and, suddenly, proclaimed the end of the USSR. The Union was formally dissolved by the end of the month. The momentous decision was met with apathy in the Soviet republics and hardly anybody protested against the break-up. But the repercussions reverberate in the region and globally.

Arguably, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the end of a bipolar world set in motion changes, which have profoundly shaped international affairs for the last 30 years. But the regional effects have been no less dramatic and as Russia continues to try and reposition itself as a regional hegemon, debate continues as to the significance of the collapse of the USSR and the changes that it brought about for the former Soviet republics.

The panellists will discuss the following questions:

  • Why did the USSR collapse so quickly?

  • Why did the Soviet system crumble so comprehensively?

  • What has been the short and long-term legacy of the Soviet Union? 

  • Is it still meaningful to speak of a ‘post-Soviet space’?

As with all member events, questions from the audience drive the conversation.

Become an individual member

Individual membership provides you with the complete Chatham House experience, connecting you with a unique global policy community.

A member takes the opportunity to ask the panel a question at our event on the digital revolution.
Find out more Auto insert on member events