Decay period: last December of the Union. December 26, 1991

On December 26, 1991, the USSR ceased to exist, the decision was officially formalized by a decree of the union parliament. RBC ends the cycle of publications about December 1991 with a chronicle of the last day of the Soviet Union

Dismantling of the signboard “Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR” after the last meeting of the Council of Republics of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, which adopted a declaration on the termination of the existence of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

Last declaration

By December 26, 1991, the Soviet Union, in fact, already existed only on paper. State President Mikhail Gorbachev resigned from the job and handed over control of the “ nuclear button '' Russian leader Boris Yeltsin. The new Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) included 11 of the 15 former Soviet republics at once, with the exception of Georgia and the Baltic states. The USSR de facto ceased to exist, this decision had to be formalized legally.

The material was first published in 2016. Read the entire chronicle of the last December of the Union in the report of RBC “ 30 years without the USSR ''

The last decision in the history of the Soviet parliament had to be adopted in a limited composition: from two of its chambers, the quorum was preserved only in the upper & mdash; Council of Republics chaired by Anuarbek Alimzhanov.

The last meeting of the Council of Republics of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, which adopted a declaration on the termination of the existence of the USSR (Photo: Valentin Kuzmin/Photo chronicle TASS)

Dear People's Deputies! As you noticed, today the flag of the Soviet Union has been lowered over the Kremlin. And last night, you all witnessed how the president & mdash; the first president of this great country & mdash; submitted a vote.

I don’t know how the first session of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR went and what was the state of the people, but, It seems to me that great things were said then: world revolution, social equality, socialism, the dream of going to communism. There, probably, many good, kind, wonderful words were said about the future of this huge country.

However, it so happened that today I was a participant in the last meeting of the last session. Ito, it was dreamed about, what was said on the first session, frankly, did not come true. Apparently, it said that, building socialism, we are stepping over an entire historical epoch. Alas, it turned out that history is impossible to step over epochs. ” From the transcript of Anuarbek Alimzhanov's speech at the last session of the USSR Supreme Soviet.

At that time, only five delegations remained in the Council of Republics. Nevertheless, even representatives of those republics that stopped participating in the work of the union parliament, including Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, were present at the last meeting.

Chairman of the Council Anuarbek Alimzhanov during his speech at the meeting, which adopted a declaration on the termination of the existence of the USSR (Photo: Kuzmin Valentin/Photo chronicle TASS)

The presiding officer proposed to consider that there is a quorum, after which a vote was passed and declaration No. 142-N under the title “ In connection with the creation of the Commonwealth of Independent States '' was adopted.

“ Based on the will expressed by the highest state bodies of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Republic of Kyrgyzstan, the Republic of Moldova, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, the Republic of Uzbekistan and Ukraine on the establishment of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Council of the Republics of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR states, that by the re-establishment of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the USSR as a state and a subject of international law ceases to exist '' (preamble of the declaration).

Several mistakes were made in the text of the document – the agreement on the establishment of the CIS was not ratified in Russia, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.

Nevertheless, the legitimacy of the adopted document is already could not & mdash; the union parliament had to simply adopt this document in order to officially cease to exist.

It is interesting that this declaration was not the last in the history of the Supreme Soviet. A little later, the deputies made a decision to release from their positions as judges of the Supreme Court and the Supreme Arbitration Court of the USSR, as well as members of the collegium of the Union Prosecutor's Office. Their positions were abolished on January 2, 1992, and the employees were entitled to severance pay in the amount of three months' salary. This was the end of the history of the last operating body of power in the USSR.

An article in the Izvestia newspaper; dated December 26, 1991

Gorbachev's meeting with journalists

As a retired politician Mikhail Gorbachev met with journalists. The meeting took place at the Oktyabrskaya Hotel and lasted two hours. The ex-president of the USSR said on topics that for the entire last month: the responsibility of politicians, the need to continue reforms and that the Union should have been preserved.

“ I was opposed, now against, to go as scissors on the map of our country, the poet of a huge community. To redistribute powers, power, rights – yes, but not to diverge. And from the point of view of specific tasks, tactical tasks in the field of economics, social policy, finance, he believed that the union state with effective mechanisms is more necessary and justified than something incomprehensible. But the duty of every patriot is to help what has become a real process. Let these be steps towards agreement. It is necessary to choose, thinking on the people, the life of the “ real, today's ''. Mikhail Gorbachev at a meeting with journalists on December 26, 1991.

Most of the world's politicians followed Gorbachev with warm words, saying that he managed to change the course of history, and his achievements as the head of the Soviet Union were revolutionary.

  • “I salute him as the most outstanding person in the history of this century, who achieved the emergence of democracy in his country, the end of the Cold War and disarmament.” François Mitterrand, President of France.
  • “ This is a great man. He returned freedom to the countries of Eastern Europe. He presented it to the peoples of the Soviet Union for the first time. Real personal and political freedom. This is a huge accomplishment. And he did it without firing a single shot. '' Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister of Great Britain.
  • “ For almost seven years that he was the head of state, Gorbachev carried out revolutionary changes at home and renewed the foreign policy of the USSR. He led the country out of seventy years of paralysis and oppression. The German people will never forget Mikhail Gorbachev's contribution to the unification of Germany. '' Helmut Kohl, German Chancellor.
  • “Very few people have been given the power to change the course of history. But this is exactly what Gorbachev did. No matter what happens, he is guaranteed a place in history. Today the former Soviet Union is a country that is on the road to democracy. He left the presidency by making the world a safer place by reducing the nuclear threat. ” John Major, Prime Minister of Great Britain.
  • “ Without those changes in the Soviet Union, sponsored by Gorbachev, it would have been impossible to expect such a fundamental change in the policy of this state … NATO has been able to lend a hand of friendship to the countries of Central and Eastern Europe for these changes. '' Manfred Werner, NATO Secretary General.

Following the announcement of his resignation, Mikhail Gorbachev, the former President of the USSR, met with Soviet and foreign journalists (Photo: Yuri Lizunov/TASS Photo Chronicle)

Foreign Press

  • “ Gorbachev's resignation '' the date is inevitable. A lot of things will happen because of Gorbachev's shortcomings: his weak ability to understand people, his indecision and softness, which raised doubts about his adherence to principles. But in two moments he stood firmly on his own. He refused to use force to preserve the Soviet Union, and he saw the Soviet Union only as a single state. He eventually admitted that it was incompatible. '' (The Times)
  • “ Yesterday, despite two days of talks, the gap between Russia and Ukraine widened over nuclear weapons control and a joint military policy for the CIS countries. The degree of mistrust between Ukraine and its neighbor was demonstrated by the move by Russia of the largest and most aircraft-carrying cruiser in Ukrainian waters to a special pier in Murmansk. This was the first time that Russia attempted to establish control of over-Soviet military assets outside its borders, and it was a direct challenge to the Ukrainian decree providing for command of the armed forces and equipment over its territory. '' (The Times)

Other news of the day

  • The Parliament of Tajikistan has ratified the agreement on the establishment of the CIS.
  • The Supreme Council of Tatarstan adopted a declaration of accession to the CIS on the rights of one researcher.
  • Director of the allied Central Intelligence Service (CSR) Yevgeny Primakov headed the Russian intelligence service.
  • Vice-Mayor of Moscow Yuri Luzhkov, following a meeting with Yeltsin, stated that the grounds for the resignation of the head of the city, Gabriel Popov is no more, then the Russian leadership is ready to consider laws on the special status of Moscow.
  • The head of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia Vladimir Zhirinovsky on the air of the Belarusian television stated the need to liquidate Belarus and transform it into one of the Russian provinces. After that, an unauthorized rally took place in Minsk, during which supporters and opponents of the politician fought.

Chronicle of December 1991

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