Dissolution of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact
In the mid-1980s, the Soviet Union launched a series of liberal political and economic reforms, widely known as perestroika. It led to liberalization of political institutions, censorship decrease and broad freedom of information.
Eastern European countries were influenced by this process as well. In the meantime, Soviet Union abandoned the policy of using its military power for supporting foreign communist governments.
In 1989 pro-Soviet regimes of former Warsaw Pact countries Poland, Hungary, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria and Romania had fallen in a few months as a result of peaceful revolutions (except Romania - not so peaceful). No communist country left in Eastern Europe.
Political liberalization and the economic crisis have also intensified requests for political and economic autonomy in the Soviet republics. By late 1991, the USSR had collapsed.
First republics to declare a sovereignty were Baltic states: Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia.
Soon other former soviet republics became independent states: Azerbaijan, Georgia, Russia, Uzbekistan, Moldova, Belarus, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan.
Following the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact collapse, all former communist countries transformed their economies into a market economy. But not all countries have succeeded the same way based on such development indicators as GDP per capita and life expectancy.
The former Warsaw Pact countries and the Baltic states were initially oriented towards the western economies and integrated into the European Union. These countries achieved better results than the rest of former USSR countries.
GDP per capita, based on purchasing power parity and expressed in constant 2017 international $
GDP annual growth, average () and each country's ()
Most of the former Soviet bloc countries experienced population decrease during the period of 1991 - 2020. Especially Baltic states Lithuania and Latvia where the population loss was the highest. However, in the ex-USSR countries of Central Asia population growth was rapid.
Life expectancy at birth
Soon after the USSR had collapsed former USSR countries including Baltic states faced a demographic crisis. Life expectancy in most of the countries dropped significantly. But the crisis didn't affect former Warsaw Pact countries so much, except Romania and Bulgaria.
30 years after former Warsaw Pact countries and Baltic states are ahead of other ex-USSR countries by life expectancy levels.