Monday, October 26, 2015

Novorossiya, or New Russia

If any of you have been paying attention to Russian/Ukrainian politics in the last few years, there has been a series of unrest in this region, due to a variety of factors. One of these reasons is Novorossiya (Новороссия).

A region in southeastern Ukraine, Novorossiya historically was a military frontier region of the Russian Empire, whether during the Russo-Turkish wars in the late 1700's, or or the anti-Bolshevik White Party movements from 1918-20. After the Soviet Union was officially formed, this region was assimilated into the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

A map of the various regions of Ukraine; Novorossiya is clearly marked.
Novorossiya happily remained part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic until the collapse of the Soviet Union, when unrest was fostered. In 1992, before the movement for Ukrainian independence took shape, an attempt was made to give Novorossiya the status of a republic in its own accord, especially in the Odessan, Nikolayev, Crimean, and Kherson oblasts. However, this failed to ever gain any real support, and the movement fell to pieces.

However, the Novorossiya movement was revived in 2014, following an interview with President Putin in April where he referred to several oblasts as part of Novorossiya. Novorossiya itself is considered to be the combination of two separate people's republics--Donetsk and Luhansk--both of which have been classified terrorist groups by the Ukrainian national government. Novorossiya was never officially recognized by any government in the world as a governing body, and by spring of 2015, the leaders announced the freezing of the confederation project, until more support could be gained.
The Novorossiyan flag in the city of Donetsk.

Novorossiya is significant in the current Russo-Ukrainian struggle because the majority of the unrest in the region is coming from pro-Russian supporters, and support for an independent republic still survives despite the dissolution of the confederation project.

No comments: