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March 11 -- Beginning with Lithuania, over the course of the next two years, ten other republics, once forced to be part of the Soviet empire, declare their independence from the Soviet Union.


October 3 -- Germany is reunified and Berlin is restored as the nation’s capital.  By year’s end the first all-German election in almost sixty years is held.


June 12 -- Boris Yeltsin is elected president of the Russian Federation.


December 21 -- The Soviet Union is ended when eleven of its republics sign a protocol forming a new, loose alliance.  Four days later Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as president of the Soviet Union.