In the newly independent non-Russian states of the former Soviet Union, Russians and their changing status have become the latest and potentially most explosive "national problem." Demographic russification—particularly in the Baltic republics—became a catalyst for rising titular nationalism that was both anti-Soviet and anti-Russian. The developing institutions and laws of the newly independent non-Russian states are expressions of the nationalism of the populations that considered themselves to be disenfranchised and persecuted under Soviet rule. The 1991 Soviet dissolution dramatically accelerated the pace of cultural, socioeconomic, and political indigenization as well as the decline in the status of Russians outside Russia. The process of creating successor states is young. Particularly during this developmental stage, the evolving relationship between members of the titular nations and the Russian minorities is having an important impact on both the states' developing political institutions and the nature of political discussion. The chapter also presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in this book.