1991 Soviet Union referendum
A referendum on the future of the Soviet Union was held on 17 March 1991 across the Soviet Union. The question put to voters was
Do you consider necessary the preservation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics as a renewed federation of equal sovereign republics in which the rights and freedom of an individual of any ethnicity will be fully guaranteed?
(Russian text: Считаете ли Вы необходимым сохранение Союза Советских Социалистических Республик как обновлённой федерации равноправных суверенных республик, в которой будут в полной мере гарантироваться права и свободы человека любой национальности?)
(Russian transliteration: Schitayete li Vy neobkhodimym sokhraneniye Soyuza Sovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik kak obnovlonnoy federatsii ravnopravnykh suverennykh respublik, v kotoroy budut v polnoy mere garantirovat'sya prava i svobody cheloveka lyuboy natsional'nosti?)
The referendum was made with the aim of approving the Union of Sovereign States.
In Kazakhstan, the wording of the referendum was changed by substituting "equal sovereign states" for "equal sovereign republics".
In Uzbekistan, Ukraine and Kyrgizia additional questions were asked about sovereignty and independence of these republics.
While the vote was boycotted by the authorities in Armenia, Estonia, Georgia (though not the breakaway province of Abkhazia, where the result was over 98% in favour, and in South Ossetia), Latvia, Lithuania, and Moldova (though not Transnistria or Gagauzia), turnout was 80% across the rest of the Soviet Union. The referendum's question was approved by nearly 80% of voters in all nine other republics that took part. It was the only referendum in the history of the Soviet Union, as the August Coup prevented the formation of the renewed federation, causing the Soviet Union to be dissolved on 26 December 1991.