The Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic (Estonian S.S.R.) was the name for Estonia when it was part of the USSR, occupied by the USSR on 17 June 1940. It was subsequently conquered by the Germans before being re-annexed by the Soviets in 1944.
The Estonian SSR was a constituent republic of the USSR; its economy, however, fared better than other Soviet states. Today, Estonia remains the wealthiest of the states of the former USSR. It was one of the smallest republics of the USSR and was also smaller than most European countries. In addition to the mainland, it covered over 1500 islands.
Approximately 65% of the population were ethnic Estonians (1979), although there was a large Russian minority (28%). Other statistically noteworthy minorities included Ukrainians (2.5%), Belarusians (± 2%) and Finns (± 1.5%).
The Estonian SSR became the Republic of Estonia in 1990 and ceased to be a Soviet republic in 1991. On 20 August of that year, Estonia declared its independence.
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