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The parade of sovereignties (Russian: Парад суверенитетов, Parad suverenitetov) was a series of declarations of sovereignty of various degree by the constituents of the Soviet Union in late 1980s - early 1990s. These declarations stated the priority of the constituent republic power within its territory over the central power, which have led to the War of Laws between the center and the republics. The process followed the loosened power grip of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union as a result of demokratizatsiya policy of the perestroika period of Mikhail Gorbachev. Despite the efforts of Gorbachev to preserve the union under a new treaty in the form of the Union of Sovereign States, soon afterwards many constituents declared their full independence, and the process resulted in the dissolution of the Soviet Union.[1]

The first region to declare independence was the Nakhichevan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (January 19, 1990; however Heydar Aliyev, the leader of Azerbaijan SSR, having roots in Nakhchivan, managed to keep Nakhchivan Republic within Azerbaijan).[2]

The first top-level Soviet republic to declare independence was Estonian SSR (November 16, 1988: Estonian Sovereignty Declaration, March 30, 1990: decree on the transition to the restoration of the Estonian statehood,[3] May 8, 1990: Law on the State Symbols, which declared the independence [4], August 20, 1991: Law of the Estonian restoration of Independence).

This massive secessionist event has served as a testbench for various theories of secession.[5][6]


  1. ^ The Revenge of the Past: Nationalism, Revolution, and the Collapse of the Soviet Union, Ronald Grigor Suny, Stanford University Press, 1993, ISBN 0-8047-2247-1 Retrieved on 2009-04-25
  2. ^ "Крах большевистской империи: как гласность «довела» СССР", Znak, January 20, 2017
  3. ^   Russian Wikisource has original text related to this article: Постановление ВС ЭССР от 30.03.1990
  4. ^   Russian Wikisource has original text related to this article: Закон ЭССР от 08.05.1990 О символике Эстонии
  5. ^ Henry E. Hale, "The Parade of Sovereignties: Testing Theories of Secession in the Soviet Setting", British Journal of Political ScienceVol. 30, No. 1, 2000, pp. 31-56
  6. ^ Emizet F. Kisangani, Vicki L. Hesli, "The Disposition to Secede: An Analysis of the Soviet Case", Comparative Political Studies vol. 27, January 1995, doi:10.1177/0010414095027004002