The post-Soviet states, also commonly known as the Former Soviet Union (FSU) or former Soviet republics, are the 15 independent states that split off from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in its dissolution in December 1991. They were also referred to as the Newly Independent States (NIS), notwithstanding that the Baltic states consider themselves to have resumed their pre–World War II sovereignty upon their separation from the Soviet Union.
States and geographical groupings
The 15 post-Soviet states are typically divided into the following five groupings. Each of these regions has its own common set of traits, owing not only to geographic and cultural factors but also to that region's history in relation to Russia. In addition, there are a number of de facto independent, but internationally unrecognized states (see the section Separatist conflicts below).