Russia and the Commonwealth
of Independent States
M. E. Vartanyan,
V. S. Yastrebov,
V. G. Rotstein, T. A. Solokhina,
Yu. I. Liberman, and L. S. Shevchenko
Current events in the former USSR are so dynamic that any publication will inevitably lag behind. The leading role of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union was eliminated in August 1991, after a failed attempted coup d'état by people from the former Communist structures. The President and the Supreme Soviet took leadership into their own hands, at the same time active work on the Soviet Treaty, which was supposed to define new relations between Union republics, was being carried out. However, complex relations between republics failed to result in the signing of the Union Treaty on federal unification. That is why in December 1991 the presidents of Russia, Ukraine, and Belorussia declared the creation of a new political structure, the Commonwealth of Independent States, which does not have a common administration. In line with this, all the all-union agencies ceased their activities, including the USSR Ministry of Health. The ex-republics of the USSR, having become independent states now solve their problems independently, including problems of health services. Obviously, all these changes may lead to serious differences between the various states in services and in the legal status of the mentally ill. It may happen that the statistical data concerning the number of mental patients and the clinical structure of the contingent known to the mental health services will tend to differ more significantly than at the present time. These differences may affect the provision of mental health services by professional personnel, agencies, and institutions and the use of medication and medical equipment.
However, at present it is hard to judge what is happening. The countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States and the ex-Soviet republics who did