The Rebuilding of “Greater Russia”: From Kievan Rus’ to the Eurasian Union (Note 1)

Roger E. Kanet


The purpose of the present examination is 1) to summarize briefly the evolution of historical Russia as the amalgam of multiple ethnic and cultural communities into a growing imperial domain; 2) to outline more specifically the policies pursued by the tsarist and communist regimes to integrate minority communities into the Russian majority; 3) to examine the impact on Russia of the collapse of the former USSR; and 4) to trace current efforts by the Russian government to reintegrate the disparate parts of the former USSR, including especially regions of other post-Soviet states with a significant ethnic Russian population, into a new “Greater Russia.” Although it will touch on Soviet integration policies that targeted national minorities who, by 1989, represented half of the population, the focus will be on recent and current policies intended to “Greater Russia.”

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