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 nationality 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 and was oblivious to the reform of the economic system question that will take place after the victory of Yeltsin in the elections.
In Kazakhstan, the wording of the referendum was changed by substituting "equal sovereign states" for "equal sovereign republics".
Although 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 70% 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.
On December 24, 1990, deputies of the 4th Congress of People's Deputies, having voted by name, decided to consider it necessary to preserve the USSR as a renewed federation of equal sovereign republics, which will be fully ensured human rights and freedoms of any nationality. The referendum considered five questions: