The Soviet Union de facto ceased to exist on 25 December 1991, when Mikhail Gorbachev announced that he was stepping down as the country’s president. Earlier that year, the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus agreed on the creation of the Commonwealth of Independent States.
European Council President Donald Tusk has claimed that the breakup of the Soviet Union was “not the greatest geopolitical catastrophe” of the last century.
“Today in Georgia I want to say loud and clear: the USSR collapse was a blessing to Georgians, Poles, Ukrainians and the whole of Central and Eastern Europe. And also to Russians”, he tweeted on Wednesday.
The tweet apparently came in a nod to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s annual state-of-the-nation address in 2005 when he specifically described the collapse of the Soviet Union as “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century”.
“And for the Russian people, it became a real drama. Tens of millions of our citizens found themselves outside the Russian Federation […]”, he said.
Putin reiterated his stand during a 2017 interview with US film director Oliver Stone, citing at least 25 million Russian people who he said found themselves abroad overnight.
According to Putin, this was followed by a full-fledged civil war as well as complete destruction of the country’s social protection and health care systems.
The army, Putin recalled, was in a deplorable condition at…