The Soviet Union officially ceased to exist in late 1991, but the photos of the fall of the USSR still linger in the public consciousness. Whether through protests held from Estonia to Hungary or decapitating a statue of dictator Josef Stalin in Bucharest, people rose up against tyranny - and it had an effect. As a result, Soviet influence crumbled, and the countries under it's power became open to the world once again.
Finally allowed behind the Iron Curtain, western viewers were struck by photos depicting the end of the USSR, shocked at images of nearly empty grocery stores or tanks rolling through city streets. Here are a few of the most fascinating images from that time period.