Ethnic Russians in post-Soviet states
After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, about 25 million ethnic Russians in post-Soviet states found themselves living outside the Russian Federation, which was the successor state to the USSR by CIS treaty.
All former Soviet citizens were offered a time window within which to transfer their former Soviet citizenship to Russian citizenship. Where that choice was not made, their resulting citizenship status outside Russia varied by state: from no perceivable change in status, as in Belarus, to becoming permanently resident "non-citizens" as in Estonia and Latvia, which restricted citizenship to their pre-World War II citizens and their offspring (regardless of ethnic group) upon restoration of their independence in continuity with their sovereign identities prior to World War II.
Today largest ethnic Russian diasporas outside of Russia live in the "near abroad" countries of and in the United States: Ukraine (about 8 million), Kazakhstan (about 4.5 million), United States (about 3 million), Belarus (about 1.2 million), Uzbekistan (about 650,000) Kyrgyzstan (about 600,000) and Latvia (about 556,422).