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The Republics of the former USSR, CIA, 1991

The ballot paper used in the UKraine referendum back in 1991, with the text of the Declaration of Independence printed on it.

From Wikipedia:

"A referendum on the Act of Declaration of Independence was held in Ukraine on 1 December 1991. A majority of 92.3% of voters approved the declaration of independence made by the Verkhovna Rada on 24 August 1991.

The referendum

Voters were asked "Do you support the Act of Declaration of Independence of Ukraine?" The text of the Declaration was included as a preamble to the question. The referendum was called by the Parliament of Ukraine to confirm the Act of Independence, which was adopted by the Parliament on 24 August 1991. Citizens of Ukraine expressed overwhelming support for independence. In the referendum, 31,891,742 registered voters (or 84.18% of the electorate) took part, and among them 28,804,071 (or 92.3%) voted "Yes".

On the same day, a presidential election took place. All six candidates campaigned in favour of a "Yes" vote in the independence referendum. Leonid Kravchuk, the parliament chairman and de facto head of state, was elected to serve as the first President of Ukraine.

From 2 December 1991 on Ukraine was globally recognized as an independent state (by other countries). That day thePresident of the Russian SFSR Boris Yeltsin did the same.[6] In a telegram of congratulations President of the Soviet UnionMikhail Gorbachev sent to Kravchuk soon after the referendum, Gorbachev included his hopes for close Ukrainian cooperation and understanding in "the formation of a union of sovereign states".

Ukraine was the second-most powerful republic in the Soviet Union both economically and politically (behind only Russia), and its secession ended any realistic chance of Gorbachev keeping the Soviet Union together. By December 1991 all former Soviet Republics except the RSFSR[8] and the Kazakh SSR[8] had also proclaimed themselves independent.[9] A week after his election, Kravchuk joined with Yeltsin and Belarusian leader Stanislau Shushkevich in signing the Belavezha Accords, which declared that the Soviet Union had ceased to exist.The Soviet Union officially dissolved on December 26."


Drills with over thousand Russian military start in Armenia

Πηγή: ARKA
April 14 2015

YEREVAN, April 14. /ARKA/. The Russian military started tactical drills in Alagyaz training complex in Armenia, the press office of the South army command reported.

More than 1,000 military are involved in the exercises and about 300 units of weapons, including self-propelled artillery, mortars and air defence, are used, Novosti-Armenia reports referring to RIA Novosti.

The Russian military base N102 is located in Giumry, north of Armenia. In 2010 Russia and Armenia signed an agreement extending the deployment of the base until 2044. The original agreement was signed in 1995 for 25 years.

See also: USAID mission director: Strategic projects in Armenia will be cut and Turkey Recalls Ambassador Over Pope's Armenia Genocide Words

Russia officially joins $50bn China-led infrastructure bank

China's President Xi Jinping (C) poses for photos with the guests at the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank launch ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing October 24, 2014. (Reuters/Takaki Yajima)

Πηγή: RT
April 14 2015

On Tuesday Russia officially becomes a founder of the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). It means Russian companies can take part in infrastructure projects in the Asia-Pacific region, and could attract foreign investment into Russia.

Russia applied for membership as a founding member of the AIIB 2 weeks ago, along with another 52countries. The founding members have the right to establish the rules guiding the bank’s activities. China reportedly had rejected requests from North Korea and Taiwan to join the AIIB. The final list of the bank’s founding members will be announced on April 15.

"Russia as a country belonging to the target region of the bank's operations, and is meant to play an important role in investment decisions and also attract investment funds from the bank in the interest of improving the infrastructure of Siberia and the Russian Far East. We expect that the bank will become an effective tool for strengthening transcontinental links and will contribute to Eurasian integration,”Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Aleksandr Lukashevich said, according to RIA Novosti.