Russian political and religious leaders and many Russian think tank experts and scholars believe Ukraine should implement eastern Slavic identity policies and become a ‘Belarus-2.’ A bold and brave Russian democratic dissident community did exist which sympathised with, and in some cases supported, the demands of Ukrainian and other non-Russian opposition movements, but it was small and did not have deep roots in Russian society. An important reason for the weakness of liberalism and national democracy in Russia is the Russian ‘imagined community’ has never dovetailed with the Russian SFSR or Russian Federation. The USSR, the CIS, the Russian Union, the Russian World and Eurasia are the Russian ‘imagined communities.’ Russian territorial claims towards Crimea and Sevastopol began in the first months of the Russian independence and continued throughout the 1990s and 2000s, culminating in invasion and annexation in 2014.