Special Report

A Look at the Recent Military History of Every Former Soviet Republic

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> GDP: $12.64 billion
> GNI per capita: $13,110
> Population: 2,963,234

Armenia’s history has been a tragic one, marked by the genocide committed against its people by the Ottoman Empire during World War I. But not all of Armenia was under Ottoman control. A part of Armenia that was within the Russian Empire declared independence in 1918 but was invaded by both Turkey and Soviet Russia. Armenia became a Soviet republic in 1920 and remained one until 1990, declaring its sovereignty in 1990 as the Soviet Union dissolved.

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> GDP: $42.61 billion
> GNI per capita: $14,390
> Population: 10,093,121

Azerbaijan, a landlocked country at the crossroads of Europe and Asia has had a turbulent history. It was briefly independent after the collapse of the Russian Empire in 1918 and became part of the Soviet Union. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Azerbaijan has been embroiled in a protracted dispute with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region that is home to ethnic Armenians.

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> GDP: $60.26 billion
> GNI per capita: $19,400
> Population: 9,379,952

Belarus, which borders both Russia and Ukraine, has had the closest ties to Russia of all the former Soviet republics. In 1999, the two nations signed a pact with the goal of more political and economic integration. Alexander Lukashenka was elected president in 1994 and has remained in power. Under his leadership, the economy is centralized and political and civil rights are restricted.

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> GDP: $30.65 billion
> GNI per capita: $37,520
> Population: 1,331,057

The Baltic nation of Estonia was ruled by various European powers for centuries until it became independent between the world wars. It was occupied by the Soviet Union in June of 1940 and overrun by the German army in 1941. After the Soviet Union repelled German forces from Estonia, the nation remained in the Soviet orbit until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Since then, Estonia has drawn closer to the West, joining NATO and the European Union in 2004.

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> GDP: $15.85 billion
> GNI per capita: $14,080
> Population: 3,714,000

Georgia, the birthplace of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, is located on the eastern shore of the Black Sea between Turkey and Russia. Georgia was part of the Russian Empire and was briefly independent after the empire collapsed before it was incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1921. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Georgia has had disputes with Russia over the separatist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia that led to a Russian invasion in 2008.

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