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Were You There?

Are you in this photo? Contact us, we want your story.

The photos in this gallery were taken 20 years ago in various countries and cities of the former U.S.S.R. RFE/RL would like to talk to the people in these photos. We would like to interview you, to hear your story about your life in the 20 years since the Soviet Union collapsed. Please contact us in any language you like -- we will get back to you.

People demonstrate in central Almaty square, then called New Square, on December 17-18, 1986, as thousands took to the streets in spontaneous protest.Are you in one of these photos? We would like to interview you, to hear your story about your life in the 20 years since the Soviet Union collapsed. Please contact us in any language you like -- we will get back to you.
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People demonstrate in central Almaty square, then called New Square, on December 17-18, 1986, as thousands took to the streets in spontaneous protest.

Are you in one of these photos? We would like to interview you, to hear your story about your life in the 20 years since the Soviet Union collapsed. Please contact us in any language you like -- we will get back to you.

Crimean Tatars demonstrate in Krasnodar to demand the return to their homeland on March 6, 1988, in what were the first ethnic protests to be reported by the Soviet press.
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Crimean Tatars demonstrate in Krasnodar to demand the return to their homeland on March 6, 1988, in what were the first ethnic protests to be reported by the Soviet press.

A rally organized by the Popular Front of Moldova demands new laws establishing the Moldovan language as a state language in June 1989.
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A rally organized by the Popular Front of Moldova demands new laws establishing the Moldovan language as a state language in June 1989.

Demonstrators gather in Kyiv for a rally organized by the Ukrainian Popular Movement for Perestroika (RUKH) in support of national rebirth and independence on October 23, 1989.
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Demonstrators gather in Kyiv for a rally organized by the Ukrainian Popular Movement for Perestroika (RUKH) in support of national rebirth and independence on October 23, 1989.

Demonstrators gather in Kyiv for a rally organized by the Ukrainian Popular Movement for Perestroika (RUKH) in support of national rebirth and independence on October 25, 1989.
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Demonstrators gather in Kyiv for a rally organized by the Ukrainian Popular Movement for Perestroika (RUKH) in support of national rebirth and independence on October 25, 1989.

Three million Ukrainians joined hands on January 21, 1990, to form a human chain from the western Ukrainian city of Lviv to the capital, Kyiv, to commemorate the 71st anniversary of Unity Day, when the Ukrainian National Republic and the Western Ukrainian National Republic united into one state.
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Three million Ukrainians joined hands on January 21, 1990, to form a human chain from the western Ukrainian city of Lviv to the capital, Kyiv, to commemorate the 71st anniversary of Unity Day, when the Ukrainian National Republic and the Western Ukrainian National Republic united into one state.

Demonstrators gather in Bogdan Khmelnitsky Square (now Sofia Square) in Kyiv on January 21, 1990, to celebrate the Historic Act of Unification of Ukraine on January 22, 1919, when the Ukrainian National Republic and the Western Ukrainian National Republic united into one state.
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Demonstrators gather in Bogdan Khmelnitsky Square (now Sofia Square) in Kyiv on January 21, 1990, to celebrate the Historic Act of Unification of Ukraine on January 22, 1919, when the Ukrainian National Republic and the Western Ukrainian National Republic united into one state.

Protesters rally on February 15, 1990, on Lenin square in Dushanbe, following bloody riots as Islamists emerged on the political scene.
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Protesters rally on February 15, 1990, on Lenin square in Dushanbe, following bloody riots as Islamists emerged on the political scene.

Topchubek Turgunaliev (first right on stage) and Jypar Jekshe (second right on stage), co-chairmen of the Kyrgyzstan Democratic Movement anticommunist bloc, address a rally in Frunze's (now Bishkek) Ala-Too Square demanding peace in the southern Osh region and democratic reforms in the Soviet Kyrgyz republic on June 5, 1990.
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Topchubek Turgunaliev (first right on stage) and Jypar Jekshe (second right on stage), co-chairmen of the Kyrgyzstan Democratic Movement anticommunist bloc, address a rally in Frunze's (now Bishkek) Ala-Too Square demanding peace in the southern Osh region and democratic reforms in the Soviet Kyrgyz republic on June 5, 1990.

A symbolic "Burial of the USSR" was organized by the Union of Independent Ukrainian Youth in Kyiv on September 30, 1990. The banners read: "USSR is the prison of the peoples" and "Hammer and sickle means death and hunger."
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A symbolic "Burial of the USSR" was organized by the Union of Independent Ukrainian Youth in Kyiv on September 30, 1990. The banners read: "USSR is the prison of the peoples" and "Hammer and sickle means death and hunger."

Members of the People's Movement of Ukraine rally in Kyiv on September 30, 1990, to demand the secession of Ukraine from the Soviet Union.
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Members of the People's Movement of Ukraine rally in Kyiv on September 30, 1990, to demand the secession of Ukraine from the Soviet Union.

Members of the Kyrgyzstan Democratic Movement, the umbrella bloc of several anticommunist organizations, rally in the central square of Frunze (now Bishkek) against the Soviet Army’s involvement in the internal affairs of the Baltic states on January 21, 1991.
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Members of the Kyrgyzstan Democratic Movement, the umbrella bloc of several anticommunist organizations, rally in the central square of Frunze (now Bishkek) against the Soviet Army’s involvement in the internal affairs of the Baltic states on January 21, 1991.

A Georgian national guard dances on April 10, 1991, in Tbilisi after the republic declared independence from the Soviet Union.
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A Georgian national guard dances on April 10, 1991, in Tbilisi after the republic declared independence from the Soviet Union.

Tanks are deployed on Kalinin Prospect in central Moscow during the abortive putsch against Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev on August 19, 1991.
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Tanks are deployed on Kalinin Prospect in central Moscow during the abortive putsch against Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev on August 19, 1991.

Protesters in Chisinau rally in support the decision of the presidium of the parliament of Moldova on the declaration of independence on August 27, 1991.
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Protesters in Chisinau rally in support the decision of the presidium of the parliament of Moldova on the declaration of independence on August 27, 1991.

A Baku resident chops out a portrait of Russian Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin on September 21, 1991, a month before the Supreme Council of Azerbaijan adopted a declaration of independence.
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A Baku resident chops out a portrait of Russian Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin on September 21, 1991, a month before the Supreme Council of Azerbaijan adopted a declaration of independence.

A confrontation in Dubasari between supporters of Transdniestrian independence and those of integration into Moldova on October 1, 1991.
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A confrontation in Dubasari between supporters of Transdniestrian independence and those of integration into Moldova on October 1, 1991.

Tajik protesters in October 1991 demand the speaker of parliament, Rahmon Nabiev, step down to provide equal opportunity for all candidates in the presidential election scheduled for November 24, 1991.
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Tajik protesters in October 1991 demand the speaker of parliament, Rahmon Nabiev, step down to provide equal opportunity for all candidates in the presidential election scheduled for November 24, 1991.

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