Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Soviet Legacy Lingers as Estonia Defines Its People

Soviet Legacy Lingers as Estonia Defines Its People

Though short and lacking in some historical depth, this article conveys the complexity of identity and nationality that persists twenty years after the breakup of the Soviet Union:

Whoever is at fault, deep friction is one legacy of Soviet ethnic and demographic policies that moved millions of people around — and shifted many borders — in order to cement Kremlin control over a vast patchwork of territories. The fallout endures, and the post-Soviet countries are constantly confronting it.

Just scan recent headlines: Major rioting breaks out in areas of Kyrgyzstan that Stalin gave to the Kyrgyz, but are still populated by Uzbeks; a firefight erupts over an enclave disputed between Armenia and Azerbaijan; Georgia asserts that Russia wants to go to war again in support of two separatist territories, as it did two years ago; Moldova demands that Russian troops leave its own breakaway region.

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