Since September, 1991 The Soviet Union in former, traditional sense no longer existed. Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia became completely independent, they were recognised by Russia and some other countries. Georgia, Armenia, the Ukraine and Moldavia also urged to go along fully independent road. The remarkable situation of 1917 repeated, when downfall of central political structures, power structure, ruling ideology led to appearance of new centres of power.
In 1991 conditions for the communist empire decomposition happened to be much more favourable. Objectively the conditions had been prepared by Bolsheviks themselves at the time of constructing the USSR: in Soviet ideology the right of the nations for self-determination down to separation was established from the very beginning. The state machinery was based upon formally voluntary, but fixed in the Constitution contractual unification of the "union" (that is belonging to the Union) states. Republican managing bodies were practically the same (in terms of their real credentials) as managing bodies of big regions of the Russian Federation. They had nevertheless all the attributes of federal power bodies.
With crash of the CPSU the power institute, uniting all the power structures of the USSR, disappeared. The USSR's people's Deputy Congress couldn't fulfil that cementing role as the Communist Party did: the Congress was just a superstructure, which didn't have control levers in province. The President of the USSR couldn't fulfil that also, since he had been elected by the same Congress.
A delayed action mine, put under Russia state system at the time of the USSR creation, was to blow up. Centripetal forces, objectively based upon long-term collectivity of the majority of the Russian Empire territories, fixed with powerful integration processes in Soviet time, in concrete socio-political and economic situation on the barrier between 80-s and 90-s happened to be rather weakened. Decomposition in conditions of economic ties crisis, wreck of power structures, of the joint state ideology, at the time of clear guidelines disappearing, perplexity of broad masses of population in the critical situation - all this was a rich soil for political forces, interested in collapse of the USSR as a unified nation.
There weren't influential forces in the Soviets, interested in and capable for retention of the USSR. Available forces and the idea itself had been discredited by the Putch. After its defeat decomposition of the USSR, that had begun in early 80-s, became a snowballing process. The republican power bodies were interested in cardinal redistribution of power credentials for their benefit long before 1991 Autumn. Behind them were interests of local politicians. After the Putch defeat both of them used motto of national independence, some of them in order to gain power, others - to keep it. No one was troubled with objective interests of domestic people, of threat of acute sharpening of economic crisis as the result of the USSR decomposition, of fall of population's life level, of national conflicts inevitability, down to a civil war. Republican power structures were interested in elimination of central political institutions, including the Congress of People's Deputies (and the Supreme Soviet), and in cancelling the post of the USSR President.
Events at the end of 1991 were like the last act of the USSR decomposition political drama. On the I-st of December referendum about the Ukraine future was held. Unlike the previous referendum, on which the majority of inhabitants voted for saving the USSR, that referendum resulted in idea of independence. That meant that the Ukrainian administration received a legal base, and the Ukraine's secession from the USSR became an impulse for final decomposition of the Soviet Union. Gorbatshev's fussy attemts to save the union of republics in that form or other failed: the time was lost, and influence of central power bodies was lost as well.
The Union Agreement of 1822 was denounced by the Ukraine. Positions of other republics was not equal. Belovezhskiy Agreement completed crash of the USSR. On December 8, 1991 in Viskuly (Belorussia leadership residence) leaders of the three Slovenian republics - Russia, the Ukraine and Belorussia, which were state-founders of the USSR, fixed that the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics as "a subject of international law and geopolitical reality ceases its existence". Simultaneously creation of the Commonwealth of Independent States was declared.
The meeting of the three republics' leaders caused a certain tense in relations with other republics. On December 12 a meeting of the Presidents of Middle Asia and Kazakhstan republics was held in the city of Ashkhabad, where a common position was worked out. On December 21 Alma-Ata Declaration was accepted, in which it was declared that the 11 former Soviet Union republics established the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). On December 25 Michael Gorbatshev for the last time, as the President of non-existing state addressed to his people by television.
This was actually the end of the USSR history. Russia became the USSR's cessionary. This was a different state, which constructed its relations with other former republic on an interstate base. The huge conglomerate of peoples broke down, disintegrated. In 1992 a new stage of development began in our country.