Post-Soviet De Facto States: Trajectories of Their Struggle for Sovereignty

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2021-65-12-79-89
S. Markedonov,
Institute for International Studies at GIMO University, 76, Prosp. Vernadskogo, Moscow, 119454, Russian Federation.

Received 28.07.2021.

Acknowledgements. The reported study is funded by MGIMO-University, project number is 1921-01-05.

Abstract. The de-facto statehood is a multi-faceted phenomenon of the international politics. They are key elements of the ethno-political conflicts in the contexts of collapse of multi-ethnic federations, empires as well as processes of decolonization. In spite of growing scientific interest to this phenomenon de-facto states’ studies face a clear lack of interdisciplinary research. Most of papers are devoted to the conflict dynamics, issues of theory and international law issues or cover some particular country cases. The topical perspectives of de-facto states are often studied with no special attention to their historical background. The offered article examines the trajectories of the struggle for the sovereignty of Post-Soviet de facto entities. The author provides a comprehensive analysis of their evolution in the last years of the existence of the Soviet Union and in the period after of the USSR dissolution. The article offers a typology of de facto states. From the author’s point of view, we can talk about two generations of such formations. If the first generation was a result of the once single state collapse as well as growing fight for revisiting statuses of former union and autonomous entities, the second one was a consequence of the crisis of nation-building in the newly independent states and the growing competition between Russia and the West for influence in Eurasia. The article presents the evolution of the trajectories of the de facto states struggle for sovereignty in the context of three successive Post-Soviet regional orders. According to the author, all the Post-Soviet unrecognized republics were formed in the conditions of the destruction of the constitutional consensus of 1977–1978. However, then the trajectories of asserting and protecting the sovereignty of the de facto entities diverged significantly. The author evaluates the general and special features of these processes. In his view, this dynamic has depended on the regional context changes (revision of “the Belavezha order”) but at the same time, changes within de facto states seriously influenced the international environment.

Keywords: de-facto states, the USSR dissolution, Post-Soviet space, ethno-political conflicts, nation-building, sovereignty, independence, autonomy, self-determination, state-patron


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For citation:
Markedonov S. Post-Soviet De Facto States: Trajectories of Their Struggle for Sovereignty. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2021, vol. 65, No 12, pp. 79-89.

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