In the period since the disintegration of the USSR, there appeared a great number of studies dedicated to this event. There is a sufficient body of scientific works: articles, monographs, memoirs, periodicals and other publications. All this calls for further reflection and systematization. In this regard, what is important is the analysis of the authors’ methodological positions. This article constitutes an attempt to characterize such methodological approaches of various researchers. The paper reviews monographs and articles published by Russian scholars since the disintegration of the USSR as well as the works by foreign authors published during the existence of the USSR. Classified are their methodological principles, with the analysis aimed at identifying distinctive characteristics of individual theoretical paradigms. As a result, this made it possible to highlight the most valuable aspects of existing theoretical approaches, which, in sum, bring us closer to understanding the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The Russian historiography on this problem was initially – and to this day – influenced by theoretical concepts formulated in the West in the second half of the 20th century. Nowadays, the basic approaches used in this field are «totalitarian», «modernizing», «imperial», Marxist, cultural and synergistic.
methodological approach; disintegration of Soviet Union; historiography; ethnic nationalism; theory of modernization; theory of totalitarianism; social synergetics.