The End of the USSR
In the wake of the unsuccessful anti-Gorbachev coup by hardliners in Aug., 1991 authority shifted to the Russian Republic's president, Boris Yeltsin.
After Gorbachev dissolved the Communist party and granted the Baltic states independence, the Russian Republic and Ukraine declared their independence.
The Soviet Union became an empty shell, and on Dec. 25, Gorbachev resigned as president.
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Michael Gorbachev a biography