Revolutions of 1989

series of protests during 1989 overthrowing communist governments in Eastern Europe

The Revolutions of 1989 or the Fall of Communism were a series of revolutions against communist and socialist governments around the world, especially in Europe. It caused the end of the Cold War, saw the end of most communist states and the United States becoming the world's only superpower. It also caused the end of the Soviet Union due to the 1991 Soviet coup d'état attempt and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. After the revolutions, the only remaining communist countries were China, Cuba, Laos, North Korea and Vietnam, however people in these countries did hold protests against the government (like the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests in China) and there were many reforms after 1991 (like đổi mới in Vietnam, which was similar to Mikhail Gorbachev's reforms in the Soviet Union, glasnost and perestroika).

End of communism and socialism by country


In Europe

Country Year communism ended
  Poland 1989
  Hungary 1989
  East Germany 1989[a]
  Czechoslovakia 1989[b]
  Bulgaria 1989
  Romania 1989
  Yugoslavia 1990
  Albania 1990
  Mongolia 1990
  Soviet Union 1991

Outside Europe


Outside Europe, communist and socialist governments in Africa, Asia and the Middle East also lost power in the late 1980s and the early 1990s, as did the short-lived People's Revolutionary Government of Grenada in 1983 (after the Americans invaded Grenada).

Breakup of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia


Soviet Union


All of the republics of the Soviet Union except for Lithuania fully left the Soviet Union at some point in 1991; Lithuania left in 1990, making it the first to declare independence.

Country Year of leaving
  Lithuania 1990
  Georgia (country) 1991
  Estonia 1991
  Latvia 1991
  Ukraine 1991
  Moldova 1991
  Kyrgyzstan 1991
  Uzbekistan 1991
  Tajikistan 1991
  Armenia 1991
  Azerbaijan 1991
  Turkmenistan 1991
  Belarus 1991
  Kazakhstan 1991
  Russia 1991


Country Year of leaving
  Slovenia 1991
  Croatia 1991
  Macedonia 1991
  Bosnia and Herzegovina 1992
  Serbia and Montenegro 1992[c]


  1. Unified with West Germany to become Germany in 1990.
  2. Split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1992.
  3. Serbia and Montenegro was officially called the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, not to be confused with the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the country that existed until 1992. In 2006, the country split into Serbia and Montenegro. In 2008, Kosovo declared independence from Serbia, but this is still disputed, see political status of Kosovo and international recognition of Kosovo.