From February to October 1992, Valery Tishkov served as Minister of Nationalities of the government of Russia. This book is his account of ethnicity, nationalism, and conflict in the territory of the former Soviet Union, focusing particularly on the Russian federation, and drawing on his personal political experience and inside knowledge of major events. He analyzes the demographic, ecological, and cultural backgrounds of ethnic tensions and conflict, and carefully measures grassroots ethnic attitudes and cultural interactions, which do not always correspond to intellectual and political statements and claims.

The Russians are Leaving: Central Asia and Kazakhstan
The Russians are leaving: Central Asia and Kazakhstan
6.1 Introduction

After acquiring their independence unexpectedly and with little, if any, preparation, the states of the Central Asian region have entered a transitional period in their histories. All these states are now searching for new formulae and sociopolitical foundations of national development, hoping to find their own niche in the new geopolitical space. Inasmuch as the disintegration of the USSR took place under the banner of ethnic nationalism, it is only natural that the proclamation of so-called ‘national states’ within the borders of the former union republics should be made on behalf of the titular ethnonations: the Kazakhs, Kirgiz, Tajiks, Turkmens, and Uzbeks.

Over the past 70 years, these formerly diverse cultural ...

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