DOI: https://doi.org/10.11649/sn.2016.003

Sovereignty issues in the Caucasus: contested ethnic and national identities in Chechnya, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia

Vasili Rukhadze, Glen Duerr

Abstract


Sovereignty issues in the Caucasus: contested ethnic and national identities in Chechnya, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia

The issue of sovereignty has been at the forefront of regional politics in the Caucasus since the dissolution of the USSR in 1991. In particular, the Russian government has approached various—seemingly similar cases—in very different ways. Although each specific region examined—Chechnya, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia—is unique, the nature of ethnic and national identity has been framed differently by the Russian government. In Chechnya, the Putin administration has framed any outstanding separatist claims in conjunction with terrorism and national security issues. In Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the Putin administration has instead noted the need for “liberation.” The outcome has been to stifle secessionist desires in Chechnya, while supporting those same secessionist desires outside of Russia’s borders, in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

 

Kwestia suwerenności na Kaukazie: kontestowane tożsamości etniczne i narodowe w Czeczenii, Abchazji i Osetii Południowej

Kwestia suwerenności wysunęła się na czołowe miejsce w polityce regionalnej na Kaukazie z chwilą rozpadu Związku Sowieckiego w 1991 roku. W istocie rząd rosyjski do poszczególnych, pozornie podobnych, przypadków podszedł w odmienny sposób. Aczkolwiek każdy z interesujących nas tutaj regionów – Czeczenia, Abchazja i Osetia Południowa – jest unikatowy, to charakter tożsamości etnicznej i narodowej został ujęty przez rząd rosyjski w inne ramy. W Czeczenii administracja Putina wiązała wysuwane tam roszczenia separatystyczne z terroryzmem i kwestiami bezpieczeństwa narodowego. Z kolei w Abchazji i Osetii Południowej Rosja dostrzegła potrzebę „wyzwolenia”. W efekcie nastąpiło stłumienie aspiracji do secesji w Czeczenii, podczas gdy poza granicami Rosji, w Abchazji i Osetii Południowej, te same dążenia secesjonistyczne zyskały sobie poparcie.


Keywords


Chechnya; Abkhazia; South Ossetia; secession; terrorism

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