January 03, 2024

5 Countries That No Longer Exist

Countries make up the world, from distinct regional dialects and cultures shared across an area, to geopolitics and international trade. Borders aren’t merely a line of demarcation to show where one nation starts and another ends, but a pragmatic way to determine boundaries.

That is, until a country is no more, and maps need to be redrawn.

Here are five countries that no longer exist:


The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia was once known as Abyssinia, named after the Abyssinians found mostly around present-day Ethiopia and neighboring Eritrea during the 13th century. Abyssinia became Ethiopia over time through multiple treaties with the United States of America and Britain, starting in 1926.

The country endured several invasions, Muslim-Christian conflicts – due to its proximity to the Middle East – and World War II. Despite all these conflicts, Ethiopia finally gained its independence on 21 August 1995.


The island state situated off the coast of India has a history going all the way back to the sixth century, when the Sinhalese people decided to set up camp and live there in peace. That is, until the Tamil kingdom from the mainland took over in the 15th century.

The following centuries saw the Portuguese, Dutch and British fighting over it. Originally called Ceylon, it eventually became its own nation on 4 February 1948, taking the name “Sri Lanka” from the original people who once inhabited it.

The Republic of Texas

Once upon a time, the “Lone Star State” was its own country after it declared itself independent from the Republic of Mexico on 2 March 1836. It applied for annexation to the United States of America (USA)in the same year, but was turned down.

Six years later, however, on 29 December 1845, the Republic of Texas was annexed into the USA, becoming the 28th state and thus gaining admission into the union.

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR)

The most powerful federal union of states in the world started its existence in 1922, after the October Revolution of 1917 saw the Bolshevik revolutionaries overthrow the House of Romanov of the Russian Empire.

The USSR endured a man-made famine in 1932, as well as World War II which ended in 1945; two years later, it entered into a Cold War with the USA that ended in 1989, but it was in 1991 that the USSR saw its demise after a failed coup by hardcore communists, which led to the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, resigning from office.


The Democratic Republic of Congo was once known as the Republic of Zaire in 1971. Its name was derived from the Congo River that flows through the region.

A popular uprising by the Congolese people saw the Belgium authorities surrender power to the
local populace and the country gained its independence on 30 June 1960. The change in name arrived after the conflict between Laurent-Desire Kabila’s militia and president Mobuto Sese Seko’s security forces in 1996, leaving the former in charge.