There was a referendum mere months before the illegal dissolution of the USSR, one of the most externally observed elections in history due to glasnost policies, and the overwhelming majority of voters chose to stay in the union. The sovereign states who seceded earliest refused to put independence to popular vote until the USSR was already mostly dissolved, the significance of which is shown by 20+% shifts in pre-election polling.
Working class people of the former USSR, people of all ages, genders, and nations, suffered the greatest and quickest drop in life expectancy and quality of life in modern history, and possibly all time. Their nations became the playgrounds of Western oil barons and mineral tycoons, and the country was looted so voraciously that several NUKES straight up disappeared.
The USSR wasn't a utopia, but it wasn't hell either.
You can find tons more articles for free if you're willing to give an academic aggregator your email but I understand if that sketches you out lol. Good if you're like me and curious yet not an academic though!!
I don't want to say "you're wrong" but I will say that the claim doesn't stand to academic rigor. In real talk, the headlines don't match what can actually be proven when a well-trained researcher actually goes and conducts their own study in Tibet without influence from the CPC *or* the diaspora like this study did.
As for the North Korea thing, I'm not sure what you're trying to get at specifically lol, but I still wanna help. I always recommend the documentary Loyal Citizens of Pyongyang in Seoul, it interviews DPRK defectors in the ROK. Super concise, no frills!
A prominent Cossack leader literally stated "America should not spend billions supporting the Soviets with trade. We don't have to be afraid of the Russian army because half of it is made up of Captive Nations"
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