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Two maps show NATO’s growth and Russia’s isolation since 1990


An exercise was held by the Swedish army on May 17th, 2022. Together with Finland and Sweden, she now wishes to be a NATO member.

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Over the past 30 years Russia has grown more isolated from Europe. Maps of Russia show how dramatic the changes have been.

The NATO alliance was announced this week by Sweden and Finland, endorsing decades of bilateral military neutrality. Their plans came about after Russia invaded Ukraine in late February — allegedly to stop it from joining NATO.

Russia invaded Ukraine first in 2014 after an uprising by civilians forced the expulsion of a proRussian leader. Ukraine had sought assistance and military training from Western nations afterward, but it was never admitted to NATO.

NATO member countries are bound by treaty each other to protect one another. As with Ukraine, Finland has a long border to Russia.

Europe in 1990

The Russia-dominated Soviet Union, which was established in 1990 after the fall of the Berlin Wall, included Ukraine, Baltic States and other countries that are now independent. Six satellite countries were included in the Warsaw Pact (an alliance also controlled by Russia) that is now autonomous.

Russia was the dominant power in the Soviet Union, six Warsaw Pact countries and the Soviet Union, 1990.


Europe in 2022

Germany has become a united country over the last 32 year and every former member of the Warsaw Pact joined NATO. Three countries that were once part of the Soviet Union — Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania — have joined NATO as well.

NATO expanded in 2022 to include three ex-Soviet states as well as all former Warsaw Pact nations.