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When the Soviet Union fell in 1991 due to many pressures both internal and external the ex-soviet satellites were given their independence much to Russias dismay A new trend towards sovereignty made it difficult for the largest country in the world to deny its former members the right to separate However even with the creation of the Commonwealth of Independent States CIS Russia is still heavily involved with the matters of its former soviet members This then leaves the question are those former states truly sovereign In the following pages we will examine the many reasons as to why this question is currently being posed Firstly we will look at Russias history on the international scene and how they have not really changed their agenda throughout the last century up into the present Along with the brief history we shall elaborate on the reasons why the CIS was founded Furthermore modern day Russia seems to feel the need to impose itself upon these new sovereign states for various reasons that we will elaborate upon Lastly the members of the CIS see Russia as both a friend and foe to the organisation which will be shown by looking at their interests and why they have divided views However to fully understand the complexities that are the Russian Empire let us take a step back in time to when Peter the Great was building a country of grandeur In the early 18th century Peter the Great continued the expansion set forth by his predecessors and fought a long war against the seasoned Swedish army With the final defeat of their army Peter gained control of several small countries Latvia Lithuania Ingria and Estonia Upon his return from the war the Russian senate voted that he bear the title of the Great and Emperor his acceptance of the last title marked the official inauguration of the Russian Empire Peter the Great continued to fight wars
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