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. Jeff Chinn is associate professor of political science at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Robert Kaiser is assistant professor of geography at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

part 1|90 pages

The Theoretical and Historical Background

chapter Chapter 1|14 pages


chapter Chapter 3|28 pages

Core and Periphery in the Russian Empire

chapter Chapter 4|26 pages

The "National Problem" in the USSR

part II|177 pages

The Newly Independent States

chapter Chapter 5|36 pages

The Baltics

chapter Chapter 6|34 pages

Belarus and Ukraine

chapter Chapter 7|21 pages


chapter Chapter 8|21 pages


chapter Chapter 9|36 pages

Central Asia

chapter Chapter 10|25 pages


part III|17 pages


chapter Chapter 11|15 pages

Conclusions and Implications