The Russian-speaking Populations in the Post-Soviet Space
Language, Politics and Identity
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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.
Table of Contents
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
4. Where Do I Belong? Narratives of Rodina among Russian-speaking Youth in Kazakhstan
5. Russian-speaking Belarusian Nationalism: An Ethnolinguistic Identity Without a Language?
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
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.
Angela Kachuyevski is Associate Professor of Political Science at Arcadia University in suburban 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.