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Russian irredentism

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ethnic Russians in the other republics of the former USSR (shares of ethnic groups according to the 1989 census, population of the countries given for 1994)
Ethnic Russians in the other republics of the former USSR (shares of ethnic groups according to the 1989 census, population of the countries given for 1994)

Russian irredentism refers to irredentist claims to parts of the former Russian Empire or the Soviet Union made during the 21st century for the Russian Federation. It seeks to unify all Russians outside of Russian borders inside a unified state.

The annexation of Crimea is an example of an irredentist claim. Russian irredentists claim many lands outside of Russia such as Russian-majority regions in the Baltic states, the Russian-majority regions in north Kazakhstan and east Ukraine.

History

Russian Empire

From roughly the 16th century to 20th century, the Russian Empire followed an expansionist policy.[n 1] Few of these actions had irredentist justifications, though the conquest of parts of the Ottoman Empire in the Caucasus to bring Armenian Christians under the protection of the Tsar may represent one example.[1]

Post-Soviet Union (21st century)

Orthographic projection of Greater Russia and near abroad:.mw-parser-output .legend{page-break-inside:avoid;break-inside:avoid-column}.mw-parser-output .legend-color{display:inline-block;min-width:1.25em;height:1.25em;line-height:1.25;margin:1px 0;text-align:center;border:1px solid black;background-color:transparent;color:black}.mw-parser-output .legend-text{}  The Soviet Union in 1945  Soviet territories that were never part of the Russian Empire: Tuva, Eastern Prussia, Zakarpattia and Western Ukraine  Additional annexed/occupied territory from the Russian Empire: Finland and Poland  Maximum extent of the Soviet near abroad, 1955: Warsaw Pact, Mongolia and North Korea  Maximum extent of the Russian Empire's sphere of influence after the sale of Alaska in 1867, despite later Soviet attempts to restore them (Northern Iran, Xinjiang, Manchuria)
Orthographic projection of Greater Russia and near abroad:
  The Soviet Union in 1945
  Soviet territories that were never part of the Russian Empire: Tuva, Eastern Prussia, Zakarpattia and Western Ukraine
  Additional annexed/occupied territory from the Russian Empire: Finland and Poland
  Maximum extent of the Soviet near abroad, 1955: Warsaw Pact, Mongolia and North Korea
  Maximum extent of the Russian Empire's sphere of influence after the sale of Alaska in 1867, despite later Soviet attempts to restore them (Northern Iran, Xinjiang, Manchuria)
Flag map of a Greater Russia, showing the territories once under direct control, or within the sphere of influence of the Russian Empire and the USSR
Flag map of a Greater Russia, showing the territories once under direct control, or within the sphere of influence of the Russian Empire and the USSR

After the dissolution of the USSR in 1991, it was thought that the Russian Federation gave up on plans of territorial expansion or kin-state nationalism, despite some 25 million ethnic Russians living in neighboring countries outside Russia.[2] Stephen M. Saideman and R. William Ayres assert that Russia followed a non-irredentist policy in the 1990s despite some justifications for irredentist policies—one factor disfavoring irredentism was a focus by the ruling interest in consolidating power and the economy within the territory of Russia.[3] Furthermore, a stable policy of irredentism popular with the electorate was not found, and politicians proposing such ideas did not fare well electorally.[4] Russian nationalist politicians tended to focus on internal threats (i.e. "outsiders") rather than on the interests of Russians outside the federation.[5]

It has been proposed that the annexation of Crimea in 2014 proves Russia's adherence to irredentism today.[6][7][8][9] After the event in Crimea, the Transnistrian authorities requested Russia to annex Transnistria.[10][11][12]

The annexation of Crimea led to a new wave of Russian nationalism, with large parts of the Russian far right movement aspiring to annex even more land from Ukraine, including the unrecognized Novorossiya.[13] Vladimir Socor proposed that Vladimir Putin's speech after the annexation of Crimea was a de facto "manifesto of Greater-Russia Irredentism".[14] However, after international sanctions were imposed against Russia in early 2014, within a year the "Novorossiya" project was suspended: on 1 January 2015, the founding leadership announced the project has been put on hold, and on 20 May the constituent members announced the freezing of the political project.[15][16]

Some Russian nationalists seek to annex parts of the "near abroad", such as the Baltic states,[17] while some fear potential escalation due to Russian irredentist aspirations in northern Kazakhstan also.[18]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ The state expanded eastwards, westwards and southwards, which led to the conquests of Siberia, the Caucasus, Turkestan, and Uzbekistan.

References

  1. ^ Saideman & Ayres 2008, p. 96.
  2. ^ Tristan James Mabry; John McGarry; Margaret Moore; Brendan O'Leary (2013). Divided Nations and European Integration: National and Ethnic Conflict in the 21st Century. University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 365. ISBN 9780812244977.
  3. ^ Saideman & Ayres 2008, p. 197.
  4. ^ Saideman & Ayres 2008, p. 199.
  5. ^ Saideman & Ayres 2008, p. 196.
  6. ^ Armando Navarro (2015). Mexicano and Latino Politics and the Quest for Self-Determination: What Needs to Be Done. Lexington Books. p. 536. ISBN 9780739197363.
  7. ^ Joseph J. Hobbs (2016). Fundamentals of World Regional Geography. Cengage Learning. p. 183. ISBN 9781305854956.
  8. ^ Marvin Kalb (2015). Imperial Gamble: Putin, Ukraine, and the New Cold War. Brookings Institution Press. p. 163. ISBN 9780815727446.
  9. ^ Stephen Saideman (March 18, 2014). "Why Crimea is likely the limit of Greater Russia". The Globe and Mail.
  10. ^ Bocharova, Svetlana; Biryukova, Liliya (18 March 2014). "Приднестровье как Крым". Vedomosti (in Russian).
  11. ^ "Moldova's Trans-Dniester region pleads to join Russia". BBC. 18 March 2014.
  12. ^ "Transnistria wants to merge with Russia". Vestnik Kavkaza. 18 March 2014.
  13. ^ Casey Michael (19 June 2015). "Pew Survey: Irredentism Alive and Well in Russia". The Diplomat.
  14. ^ Vladimir Socor. "Putin's Crimea Speech: A Manifesto of Greater-Russia Irredentism". 11 (56). Eurasia Daily Monitor.
  15. ^ "Russian-backed 'Novorossiya' breakaway movement collapses". Ukraine Today. 20 May 2015.
    Vladimir Dergachev; Dmitriy Kirillov (20 May 2015). Проект «Новороссия» закрыт [Project "New Russia" is closed]. Gazeta.ru (in Russian).
  16. ^ "Why the Kremlin Is Shutting Down the Novorossiya Project". Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Retrieved 2015-12-20.
  17. ^ William Maley (1995). "Does Russia Speak for Baltic Russians?". The World Today. 51 (1): 4–6. JSTOR 40396641.
  18. ^ Alexander C. Diener (2015). "Assessing potential Russian irredentism and separatism in Kazakhstan's northern oblasts". Eurasian Geography and Economics. 56 (5): 469–492. doi:10.1080/15387216.2015.1103660.

Sources

  • Saideman, Stephen M.; Ayres, William R. (2008), For Kin Or Country: Xenophobia, Nationalism, and War, Columbia University Press

Further reading

This page was last edited on 17 October 2021, at 14:30
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