The collapse of the U.S.S.R in 1990 had a variety of wide-ranging and long-lasting effects throughout Central Asia. Having awoken from more than seventy years of colonial rule, the newly independent States and peoples found themselves in a tenuous position. Economic, Political, and Social upheaval sent reverberations throughout the region and had a direct impact on the citizens of these new republics. This paper focuses on the experiences of the individual-- the ways in which the collapse affected the daily lives and concerns of the population. In order to fully understand the implications of the Soviet dissolution, a focus has been placed on several important and high-risk groups: women, ethnic minorities, and religious adherents. These individual stories complement the history of the collapse and are meant to give a personal context and increased insight into the days leading up to and following the Soviet collapse. In focusing on a wide-ranging and inclusive set of participants, an effort has been made to best capture the collective memory of Central Asia in regards to the U.S.S.R. Specific attention has also been focused on the development of national identities in the wake of regional independence.