How are the former Soviet countries doing today? (Geopolitics) [Part 1]

How are the former Soviet countries doing today? (Geopolitics) [Part 1]


The Soviet Union covered
more than 15% of Earths land mass. It was incredibly diverse, with plenty of different
cultures and ethnicities. It consisted of 15 entities called Soviet Socialist Republics,
that became independent countries more or less instantly, when the Soviet Union collapsed. The world saw the new countries:
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania,
Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Despite their common Russian influenced upbringing,
these countries are very different and have moved in various directions. The Russian
language is still widely spoken, but most of the new states made policies to strengthen
their own languages. Azarbaijan, Moldova Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan even choose to change their
writing script from Cyrillic to the Latin after independence. Kazakhstan is currently
in the process of switching too. The Baltic languages was already written in Latin. Armenia
and Georgia has their own ancient scripts. There is a lot of different nationalities
living across the borders of the new states. More then a ¼’th of population of Estonia
and Latvia are Russians today. The different diasporas have caused quite a bit of tension.
Where should the country borders be drawn? Should it follow the pre-independence borders,
the ethnic groups or some other criteria? Also which places should be allowed to form
their own country? It was not only the 15 states that succeeded, who tried. A few placed
also declared independence, often leading to civil war. Like in Chechnya in Russia, Transnistria in Moldova, Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Georgia and Nagorno Karabakh
in Azerbaijan. Most of these disputed areas exists today, with limited- or no recognition. After their independence the Commonwealth
of Independent States or CIS was formed. It consisted all the former USSR countries, except
the Baltic states, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, who saw their membership in the Soviet Union
as an illegal occupation and moved as far away as possible. They formed their own Baltic
Assembly. Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan formed the Collective Security Treaty Organization – CSTO. It can
sort of be thought of, as a CIS version of NATO. Russia and Belarus was seeking even
closer integration and started the Union State, with ideas of a common currency, military
and freedom of migration. In the end of 1997 Georgia, Ukraine, Azarbaijan and Moldova made
their own group – the Organization for Democracy and Economic Development – GUAM – to get as far away from Russian influence. In 1999 Azerbaijan, Georgia and Uzbekistan all left CSTO and Uzebekistan
also joined GUAM – making it GUUAM. In 2004 the Baltic states joined the European
Union and NATO. A move Russia was not to happy about. Oh, and Georgia decided a nice flag
was better than an ugly one. Turkmenistan wanted to be neutral in as many matter as
possible, and choose to downgrade from full membership in CIS. Uzbekistan,
left GUUAM again and reentered CSTO. Georgia was leaning towards the west and away from
Russia. In 2008 tensions over the two breakaway regions Abkhasia and South Ossetia lead to
war between Georgia and Russia, which made Georgia withdrew completely from CIS. Uzbekistan
left CSTO again. (Make up your mind Uzbekistan!) The remaining CIS Countries except Aserbaijan
entered the Commonwealth of Independent States Free Trade Area or CISFTA.
Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia wanted even stronger integration when
it came to trade and formed the Eurasian Economic Union or the EAEU. It can sort of be
compared to the EU and it introduces the free movement of goods, services and people. It
provides for common policies in transport, industry, agriculture, energy and foreign
trade. The idea of a single currency have also been suggested
In 2014 the peninsula of Crimea in Ukraine, with a Russia majority declared independence.
It was annexed by Russia the very next day. The eastern regions Donetsk and Lugansk followed,
and also declared independence resulting in war between Ukraine and Russian-backed separatist.
So Ukraine also left CIS. Today relations between the remaining CIS
members are overall quite good, but with a few points of tensions. Armenia and Azerbaijan
are still in a frozen, but bitter conflict. Both Kirgizstan and Tajikistan is having a
feud with Uzbekistan and Moldova is split between the west and Russia.
Right after soviet times, all the new countries saw economic recession. Production chains
across the state lines of the republics broke down. Most countries began right away a transition
to a market economy from a command economy. It took some time, but the GDP of almost all
the countries is now higher then at independence. Turkmenistan, who is rich in natural gas,
experienced the most growth, with an increase in GDP at more then 300% since independence,
followed by Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan, while Ukraine today is still below Soviet times.
Russia is by far the biggest economy, with around 70% of the regions total GDP. In terms
of GDP per capita, the Baltic are leading, with Estonia taking the absolute lead. Next
is Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, the countries in the Caucasus, Ukraine and Moldova. In the
end we have Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and finally Tajikistan.
The Human Development Index tells a very similar, with the Baltic countries in front and Kyrgyzstan
and Tajikistan still coming in last. When it comes to politics some of the new
states have also had their problems with democracy and corruption. On the Democracy Index The
Baltic are in front and ranked as flawed democracies. Next comes Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia, Kyrgizstan
and Armenia who are all labelled as a hybrid regimes. And the remaining countries are considered
authoritarian. The leaders today of these have a tendency to hold on the power and not
let go. If you get the presidency, it’s often a job for life. Lukashenko in Belarus
and Nazarbayev in Kazakhstan have been in charge since independence. Rahmon of Tajikistan
also came to power soon after. Mirziyoyev in Uzbekistan and Berdimuhamedow in Turkmenistan,
became their countries second presidents only when their predecessors died. Aliyev in Azerbaijan
inherited the presidency from his father, who had been president since 93. Recently
he also made his wife the vice president. Then there is also of cause this guy in Russia.
It will be very interesting to see which directions these countries will move in the future.

71 Comments on "How are the former Soviet countries doing today? (Geopolitics) [Part 1]"


  1. Good video! Great job, man! Enjoyed your graphics. Simple and easy to follow. Especially with how much information you were presenting. There were a couple times I was having trouble keep up because you started talking a little fast. Excited to see more videos from you! 💜

    Reply

  2. So, in short, the farther you are away from Russian economic/political influence, the more successful your country is.

    Reply

  3. Great video dude !!!
    There are not a lot of videos on stuff like this so I am glad someones's trying(and being good at that) 😄

    Reply

  4. Most of the Western world sees the incorporation of the Baltics within USSR as illegal occupation.

    Reply

  5. I think this is a good video but I was a little overwhelmed in the middle when you started splitting off the countries into groups. It would have been better if you gave reasons why the groups formed, exactly why they formed as they did, defining features of its members, and so on… I am not well-versed in the backgrounds of all these states…

    Reply

  6. Lithuanian, latvian and estonian languages were not rewritten to latin alphabet. Since the form of christianity that was spread among populations of native speakers is so called "latin christianity" or "western christianty" (roman catholicism and evangelical liutheranism) the written forms of these languages always used latin alphabet. Soviet occupiers did not changed that. So please do not create myths.

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  7. Considering there are various democracy rankings and one of them lists half of European countries as "flawed democracies", you should have brought that better into context and showed other rankings as well.

    Reply

  8. I PEE IN SOVIET UNION AND IN RUSSIA … IN 50 YEARS HE GOT BACK IN TIMES … OUT ECONOMY HAS NOT GROWTH 1% in 50 yEARS IN THAT SHIT " SOVIET SLAVES UNION " …

    Reply

  9. Its not Russians its the Bolsheviks who occupied Russia killed czar (king) and used Russians to attack others. Its the fuckin Bolsheviks who destroyed these countries

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  10. Could you explain what data source you used to model soviet union gdp per capita at constant 2011 prices, un data relating to soviet union gdp per capita has completely different numbers. Similarly gdp per capita (ppp) numbers do not match with official imf data. It appears that you are using nominal gdp per capita rather than gdp per capita (ppp) at constant prices. Could you share your data sources.

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  11. Are you f***g kidding?
    The baltic countries are the poorest countries in the region.
    They are so poor that quarter of their population already left these countries.
    They have no jobs, no money, all they can do is beg EU for money. They live on EU credit card.
    What a lie you are posting. )))))

    Reply

  12. People often recall Union…
    Studotryadah and cheap sausage…
    People love to live in captivity of their illusions…
    Little by little we all feel nostalgic …

    * chorus * About Stalin's terror, and about
    Holodomor
    On ubiquitous grief, the sick men are silent.
    Soviet sickle and hammer
    Brought us death and hunger
    And now the vigorous and young East
    adversary.

    Toilet paper from the newspaper,
    In the doorways drink triple cologne.
    Sickening without filter cigarettes, Hopeless, dullness and entrances stench.

    chorus
    About endless hustle, About one hundred rates,
    And about the empty stalls, So you want to be sad.
    About eternal deficiencies, Party erysipelas
    Millions of souls killed …
    (Do not forget Chernobyl!)
    About Stalin's terror, and about the Holodomor,
    About ubiquitous grief
    Textbooks are silent.
    Soviet sickle and hammer
    Brought us death and hunger
    And now vigorous and young East adversary…

    Reply

  13. I've never understood why did Russians think that Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia should be part of the Soviet Union. It was truly illegal occupation and dictatorship started by Stalin that draged them in.

    Reply

  14. Якісь нісенітниці у відео. Російські окупанти напали на Молдову і утримують у заручниках частину молдовської території. Російські окупанти напали на Грузію два рази і утримують у заручниках 25% Грузії. Російські окупанти напали на Україну і анексували український Крим і розв'язали криваву війну на сході України, мета якої знищити російськомовне населення, а тоді завезти туди свіжих вузькооких мьішебратьев і анексувати ОРДЛО. Автор неук.

    Reply

  15. Together they were a superpower .But now these are poor little countries which have no significance in today's modern world.Most of the people of the world even do not know the names of these small countries…..

    Reply

  16. Russia needs to calm the fuck down and use its soft power and make economic changes in order to attract the post ussr countries to its side. It don't need hard power and just need to use Chinese strategy. It will be a win-win. Love Russia but its government needs to know how to win friends and at times give concession and lose itself to smaller countries.

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  17. This video is not completely accurate. Some would say, the Baltics are a success story from the USSR. I disagree. Despite their small size, unemployment is High, it is so bad that over 20% of the population LEFT their country for Poland and Germany. And the people that remain praise Independence, yet literally signed their Independence over to be under the EU. Defeats being "independent". Not to mention, their military is nothing as their land is overtaken by USA/EU military to be a war field playground. And if provoked, it's Riga, Tallinn that going to get bombed, not NYC or London.

    A lot of people speak of how bad the USSR was, but very few want to talk about the good. In Belarus, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan…their entire INFRASTRUCTURE that is being used Right now, today 2019 was built by Lenin dating back to 1920s. All of the dams in Ukraine that provide power, water, and energy was built by Soviets. The same thing in Moldova…a landlock country that requires pipes for oil and water were built under the USSR. It was until 2014 that Crimea saw an upgrade pertaining to electricity, bridges, and road…despite being under Ukraine for 25 years! The reason being, Russia annexed Crimea.

    No countries other than Russia grew stronger since the fall of the USSR. Americans speak about illegal immigration, yet Russia has the same exact problems. People from Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. Their country has not really involved much after the USSR, and are fleeing to Russia for work. And ask almost everyone born prior to 1985 in those former Soviet Republics….they will tell you life was much better back under the USSR.

    Reply

  18. 4:45
    One correction, the graph actually shows GDP per capita (nominal), in terms of GDP per capita (PPP) Lithuania is actually in the first place since 2016
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_past_and_projected_GDP_(PPP)_per_capita#IMF_estimates_between_2010_and_2019

    Reply

  19. The farther away from Russia you are, the more rich, free and successful your country is. Thankfully Poland was never in the Soviet Union… Although we were a soviet puppet.

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  20. im modlovan and my country is most corrupt and poor in europe ;-( i likeold moldova not now and i hate americans, love belarus and russia

    Reply

  21. most countries suffer a lot after ussr collapsed. For example im from lithuania, 90s were total chaos, mafia and privatization almost killed country. In 1989 we had almost 3.9 milion of citizens, now 2018 2019 we barely have 2 milions, cause of insane emigration, we lead world in suicide rates, alcohol consumption, lowest wages in EU, high taxes, pay for universities etc etc. Even tho propaganda payed by west tells different side that we starting to prosper, its not true, life gone just worse after ussr dissolved. Most post soviet countries according to various polls still miss ussr and consider it better times than today.

    Reply

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