Skip to main content
The Soviet Union ceased to exist in December 1991, leaving 15 independent republics, including Russia. The U.S. moved quickly to set up diplomatic posts in 14 new countries.


U.S. Diplomats Recall Challenges, Opportunities after the End of the Soviet Union

Pioneer Diplomacy in Newly Independent Kazakhstan by Jackson McDonald

Public Diplomacy in Newly Independent Kazakhstan by Renee Earle

Launching USAID in the New Independent States by Desaix Myers

From Soviet State to Independent Estonia by Patricia H Kushlis

Captive Nations Once, NATO Allies Now by Beatrice Camp

Rebuilding Diplomacy: DACOR Conference Summary by John Harbeson and Keith McCormick

Considering a Career with the State Department by George Sibley


Books for the Baltics by Bob Baker

Where in the World Is Barbados? by Jonathan B. Rickert

ADST Moments in Diplomatic History

The Soviet Union fell just as quickly as it had risen sixty-nine years prior, and with its dissolution came a great deal of local and regional transformations.

From the Ground Up: USAID in Post-Soviet Russia

“Kazakhstan made the decision, I think a very wise one, to get rid of its weapons.”

Operation Sapphire: Nuclear Diplomacy in Kazakhstan



Dissolution of the USSR and the Establishment of Independent Republics, 1991

When the Soviet Union disintegrated in December 1991, it left behind in Central Asia five new countries that were without coasts on world oceans: Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. The United States moved very quickly to establish diplomatic relations and set up embassies in each of their capitals.

In Memoriam

Phyllis Oakley had to resign from the foreign service in 1958 when she married. She rejoined in 1974, going on to a distinguished career that included positions as Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration and Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research.

Charles Stuart “Stu” Kennedy created the Foreign Affairs Oral History Collection after he retired from a 30-year foreign service career. As Director for Oral History at the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training, he personally interviewed more than 1,000 retired American diplomats, some of whose careers date back to the 1920s.