Eastern Europe is a region of Europe. Eastern Europe usually includes Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, the former Yugoslav states, Romania, Moldova, Bulgaria, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia. Sometimes the Baltic states are also included in this region. Eastern Europe was under the influence of the Soviet Union from the end of World War II to the fall of communism in 1989. As such, most of Eastern Europe is less developed than the rest of Europe, although their economies are growing rapidly.