All 15 former Soviet Republics share a unique federal history with a particular understanding of the right to self-determination. Moreover, seven of them were federalised during the Soviet era, amounting to a major challenge to their territorial integrity after independence. While these states confronted their minorities in different ways, the Russian solution to its inherited national question has been the most comprehensive. This has made Russian understanding on self-determination essentially different from the mainstream of the international community, which in turn explains Russian persistent objections over the Kosovo independence (2008) and partly clarifies the events in Georgia (2008) and Crimea (2014). This article analyses how the former Soviet Republics coped with the transformation from the ethnofederal state to independence. The focus will be on Russia as the most affected of them and on the persistent Soviet legacy in its interpretations of self-determination and, consequently, its policies towards its post-Soviet neighbours.
- 513 Oikeustiede