Russian compatriots in the near abroad and the construction of the post-soviet russian identity

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2016
Kaya, Rüştü
This thesis examines the impact of the existence of multimillion Russian diaspora in the former-Soviet republics on the nation building policies of the post-Soviet Russia. With the dissolution of the Soviet Union, twenty-five millions of ethnic Russians found themselves beyond the borders of the Russian Federation. The responsibilities of the newly independent Russian state toward the Russian communities in the Near Abroad and regarding them as an integral part of the Russian state and nation have bocome the core issue of the political and intellectual debates in the post-Soviet Russia. In this thesis, it is argued that there are three important dynamics that affect the post-Soviet political oritentaions and self identification of Russian individuals in the Near Abroad: their Soviet and pre-Soviet historical experiences, policies of their host states towards them in the post-Soviet era, and the policies of the Russian Federation as a homeland toward them. In this thesis after examining briefly the first and the second dynamics, the main focus is devoted to the third one. Within this scope, firstly I evaluate the policies of Russian Federation toward Russian diaspora in the Near Abroad; then, examine how the existence of multimillion Russian diaspora in the Near Abroad and efforts to count them as an integral part of the Russian nationhood have affected the nation building policies of the post-Soviet Russia.