1st Edition

The Russian-speaking Populations in the Post-Soviet Space Language, Politics and Identity

Edited By Ammon Cheskin, Angela Kachuyevski Copyright 2021
    194 Pages
    by Routledge

    194 Pages
    by Routledge

    In the wake of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, this volume examines the relationship Russia has with its so-called ‘compatriots abroad’. Based on research from Belarus, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Latvia and Ukraine, the authors examine complex relationships between these individuals, their home states, and the Russian Federation.

    Russia stands out globally as a leading sponsor of kin-state nationalism, vociferously claiming to defend the interests of its so-called diaspora, especially the tens of millions of ethnic Russians and Russian speakers who reside in the countries that were once part of the Soviet Union. However, this volume shifts focus away from the assertive diaspora politics of the Russian state, towards the actual groups of Russian speakers in the post-Soviet space themselves. In a series of empirically grounded studies, the authors examine complex relationships between ‘Russians’, their home-states and the Russian Federation. Using evidence from Belarus, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, and Ukraine, the findings demonstrate multifaceted levels of belonging and estrangement with spaces associated with Russia and the new, independent states in which Russian speakers live. By focusing on language, media, politics, identity and quotidian interactions, this collection provides a wealth of material to help understand contemporary kin-state policies and their impact on group identities and behaviour.

    The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of Europe-Asia Studies.

    Introduction: The Russian-Speaking Populations in the Post-Soviet Space: Language, Politics and Identity

    Ammon Cheskin and Angela Kachuyevski

    1. Minority Reconsidered: Towards a Typology of Latvia’s Russophone Identity

    Mārtiņš Kaprāns and Inta Mieriņa

    2. Identity and Media-use Strategies of the Estonian and Latvian Russian-speaking Populations Amid Political Crisis

    Triin Vihalemm, Jānis Juzefovičs and Marianne Leppik

    3. Diversity in Daugavpils: Unpacking Identity and Cultural Engagement among Minority School Youth in Eastern Latvia

    Indra Ekmanis

    4. Where Do I Belong? Narratives of Rodina among Russian-speaking Youth in Kazakhstan

    Alina Jašina-Schäfer

    5. Russian-speaking Belarusian Nationalism: An Ethnolinguistic Identity Without a Language?

    Marharyta Fabrykant

    6. The Ukrainian–Russian Linguistic Dyad and its Impact on National Identity in Ukraine

    Nadiia Bureiko and Teodor Lucian Moga

    7. Identity in Transformation: Russian-speakers in Post-Soviet Ukraine

    Volodymyr Kulyk


    Ammon Cheskin is Senior Lecturer in Central and East European Studies at the University of Glasgow, UK. His work focuses largely on ‘Russian speakers’ in the post-Soviet space. His monograph Russian Speakers in Post-Soviet Latvia: Discursive Identity Strategies was published in 2016 by the University of Edinburgh Press, UK.

    Angela Kachuyevski is Associate Professor of Political Science at Arcadia University, Philadelphia, USA. She specialises in conflict resolution, critical security studies and divided societies, with a particular focus on conflicts involving Russian-speaking minorities in Ukraine, the Baltic States and Moldova.