Russia and Eastern Europe

Russia and the Former Soviet States

What is the Commonwealth of Independent States

The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), established by Russia just after the fall of the Soviet Union, is an organization that serves to keep the resources of the Soviet Union flowing between the now-independent countries. Ten of the 15 former Soviet republics are members: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. The Republic of Georgia withdrew in 2006, and Turkmenistan withdrew in 2005.

Ice melting along the Neva River in the Russian city of St. Petersburg, which in the past has also been called Leningrad and Petrograd (photo by Paul A. Tucci).

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