Abstract

In comparison with what has taken place in other republics of the former USSR, especially in Central Asia, the Transcaucasus, and Moldova, where military operations were until quite recently (or still are) in progress, the situation in Russia is on the whole relatively stable, with a rather low level of interethnic tension. Although specialists have counted up to one hundred and thirty points of ethnopolitical tensions or conflicts in the past three to four years, nonetheless in most cases these merely amounted to local groups making demands on one another, demands for cultural autonomy and the defense of national-cultural interests of ethnic minorities, and so on. An exception concerns the border regions of Russia—the North Caucasus and Tuva, where approximately 3 percent of Russia's population lives, and where Russians and Russian-speaking people culturally close to them (non-titular national groups) constitute a clear minority, from 10 percent to 35 percent of the population of former autonomous republics. Events in the North Caucasus (especially military clashes between Ossetians and Ingush), as well as the chronic conflicts and tension in the Transcaucasus, are having a direct impact on the situation in contiguous regions of Russia (Stavropol', Rostov Oblast, and Krasnodar Krai).

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