Twenty-five million Russians live in the newly independent states carved from the territory of the former Soviet Union. When they or their ancestors emigrated to these non-Russian areas, they seldom saw themselves as having moved "abroad." Now, with the dissolution of the USSR, these Russians find themselves to be minorities—often unwelcome—in new states created to fulfill the aspirations of indigenous populations. Will the governments of these newly independent states be able to accept the fact that their populations are multi-national? Will the formerly dominant and privileged Russians be able to live with their new status as equals or, more often, subordinates? To what extent do the new regimes' policies of accommodation or exclusion establish lasting patterns for relations between the titular majorities and the minority Russians? Developing the concept of interactive nationalism, this timely book explores the movement of Russians to the borderlands during the Russian Empire and Soviet times, the evolution of nationality policies during the Soviet era, and the processes of indigenization during the late Soviet period and under the newfound independence of the republics. The authors examine questions of citizenship, language policy, and political representation in each of the successor states, emphasizing the interaction between the indigenous population and the Russians. Through the use of case studies, the authors explore the tragic ethnic violence that has erupted since the demise of the Soviet Union, and weigh strategies for managing national conflict and developing stable democratic institutions that will respect the rights of all ethnic groups.
Preface -- The Theoretical and Historical Background -- Introduction -- Nations, Nationalism, Inter-National Conflict, and Conflict Management -- Core and Periphery in the Russian Empire -- The "National Problem" in the USSR -- The Newly Independent States -- The Baltics -- Belarus and Ukraine -- Moldova* -- Kazakhstan -- Central Asia -- Transcaucasia -- Conclusions -- Conclusions and Implications