December 30th marks the ninetieth anniversary
of the founding of the USSR. The USSR was dissolved
on December 8, 1991 when presidents of the republics of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus met in secret and signed the Belavezha Accords dissolving the Soviet Union and replacing it with the loose voluntary union, the Commonwealth of Independent States. On December 25, 1991
, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev stepped down from office, declaring the USSR extinct.
The survey was done by the All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center. The decline in those feeling nostalgic about the era is not surprising since a lot of the older people who felt nostalgic about the era are now dead. Anyone under 21 was not even born when the USSR dissolved.
Most of those who felt nostalgic were more than 45 years of age, less educated, did not use the Internet, and resided in cities in the Russian regions. Young people, the better educated, and active Internet users prefer life in modern Russia.
While two thirds of respondents said that the Soviet Union furthered the cultural and economic development of those who lived in the republics, almost 20% thought that it did not.
Over half of those questioned thought that the collapse of the USSR could have been prevented but over a third thought the collapse was inevitable.
Many older people were left in dire straits with the collapse of the USSR. When price subsidies were removed pensioners were left without means to purchase food. There was an astonishing decline in life expectancy
after the collapse of the Soviet Union.:
Age-adjusted mortality in Russia rose by almost 33% between 1990 and 1994. During that period, life expectancy for Russian men and women declined dramatically from 63.8 and 74.4 years to 57.7 and 71.2 years, respectively, while in the United States, life expectancy increased for both men and women from 71.8 and 78.8 years to 72.4 and 79.0 years,
The reasons for this decline are numerous but the US National Center for Biotechnology
Information cites the following:
" Many factors appear to be operating simultaneously, including economic and social instability, high rates of tobacco and alcohol consumption, poor nutrition, depression, and deterioration of the health care system."