Guided Primary Source Analysis: Republics of the Soviet Union

Republics of the Soviet Union
United States Central Intelligence Agency. “Republics of the Soviet Union.” 1991. Library of Congress Geography and Map Division.

How many Soviet republics are shown on this map? Which three were not recognized by the U.S. government?

Use the Library’s online zoom feature to compare and contrast this 1991 U.S. CIA map of the Soviet Republics to a 2009 U.S. CIA map of Russian administrative divisions. What major differences do you notice? How are republics referred to in Russia today?

Provide a rough estimate of the size difference (kilometers or miles) between the two areas. Which Soviet republics shown on the map are now independent countries?

What other observations, reflections or questions do these sources inspire? Let us know!

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