1st Edition

The Russian Minorities in the Former Soviet Republics Secession, Integration, and Homeland

By Anna Batta Copyright 2022
    234 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    234 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book explores the differing treatment of Russian minorities in the non-Russian republics which seceded from the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. Providing detailed case studies, it explains why intervention by Russia occurred in the case of Ukraine, despite Ukraine’s benevolent and inclusive treatment of the large Russian minority, whereas in other republics with less benevolent approaches to minorities intervention did not occur, for example Kazakhstan, where discrimination against the Russian minority increased over time, and Latvia, where the country on its accession to the European Union was deemed to have good minority rights protection, despite a record of discrimination against the Russian minority. Throughout the book emphasises the importance of the perceptions of the republic government regarding the interaction between the minority’s kin-state and the minority, the role that minorities played within the nation-building process and after secession, and the dual threat coming from both the domestic and international spheres.

    1. Introduction 2. A Theory of Minority Protection after Secession 3. The Russian Minority in the Frontier States of Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova 4. The Russian Minority in the Baltic States 5. The Russian Minority in Central Asia 6. Conclusion


    Anna Batta is an Associate Professor of International Security Studies, at the US Air War College, Maxwell Airforce Base, Alabama

    "This book represents an important theoretical and empirical contribution to understanding the politics of the countries of the former Soviet Union. Theoretically, it explores the complex interaction between international and domestic factors to explain why an ethnic minority in one country is treated better than the same ethnic minority in another. Using the empirical example of Russian and Russophone minority groups that were left in the countries that became independent after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, this book helps explain the varied role that these minority groups have in the state building and democratization processes in the countries of the former Soviet Union."

    John Ishiyama, University of North Texas

    "Anna Batta’s book systematically analyzes the role of minority threat perceptions in the nation-building choices of post-secession states. Using more than one hundred interviews with analysts, politicians and practitioners in the field, she weaves a compelling story about why Russian minorities are accommodated in some post-Soviet states, but not in others. Her answer is counterintuitive yet important: perceptions of moderate minority threat are most likely to produce exclusionary policies."

    Erin Jenne, Central European University

    "This book provides a fascinating, in-depth analysis of relations between newly independent, post-Soviet states and their Russian minorities. Dr. Batta provides a compelling theory of how foreign and domestic threat perceptions impact the integration of minority groups, and rich case material across a diverse set of countries. Given ongoing conflicts in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia, this book could not be timelier and will surely resonate for years to come."

    Idean Salehyan, University of North Texas