Sovereignty, Secession, and Successor States
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Sovereignty, Secession, and Successor States



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Sovereignty, Secession, and Successor States Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Sovereignty, Secession, and Successor States: Conflict and the Caucasus in a “Post-Soviet” World Ben Gavin Hist 5264 : 20th Century Russia April 2010 Monday, April 19, 2010
  • 2. “Is it possible that there is not room for all men on this beautiful earth? Can it be? That amidst this enchanting nature, feelings of hatred, vengeance and the desire to exterminate their fellow beings can endure in the souls of men?” -The Count, Leo Tolstoy Monday, April 19, 2010
  • 3. So...apparently the Soviet Union doesn’t exist? Monday, April 19, 2010
  • 4. But what happened to all those Soviet Socialist Republics? Monday, April 19, 2010
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  • 6. It can’t be that simple.... Monday, April 19, 2010
  • 7. You’re right. It wasn’t. It’s not. Monday, April 19, 2010
  • 8. Think of this... The largest land empire in modern history essentially dismantled itself. Do you mean to tell me that it was an entirely peaceful affair? On the whole, yes. But not completely. Not all was peaceful. Some areas on the periphery of the “old” Soviet Union and the “new” Russian Federation declared independence, formed guerilla and standing armies, took up arms, and fought violently against their parent state in what is commonly referred to as the Wars of Post-Soviet Succession. And guess what? In every case but one -- which coincidentally (or not) happens to be the only one fought against the Russian Federation -- the guerilla armies won. (Disclaimer: Though, often with the help of the Russian Federation.) Monday, April 19, 2010
  • 9. But first of all... What is Nationalism? Monday, April 19, 2010
  • 10. Okay. So then what’s Minority Nationalism? Monday, April 19, 2010
  • 11. “Today it is easy to forget that the difference between an independence movement and a separatist movement depends entirely on the normative perspective of the beholder.” -Charles King, 2010 Monday, April 19, 2010
  • 12. Terms of the day! • “Soviet ethnofederalism” (Christoph • Passport Diplomacy Zurcher, 2007) • Pyrrhic victory • Sovereignty - Secession - Successor State • Political economy of war • “Frozen Conflict” - “Post-Soviet Purgatory” (Peter Lavelle) • The 6 risk factors for internal war • Diaspora politics - Armenian, Russian • Kosovo Precedent (both meanings) Monday, April 19, 2010
  • 13. “Soviet ethnofederalism” • The Bolsheviks inherited a multi-ethnic empire. A new question arose, how could they administer these territories in line with doctrine of “Scientific Marxism?” They couldn’t. But the process by which they attempted became known as “Soviet ethnofederalism.” • SSRs - Soviet Socialist Republics. “Sovereign states.” Willing members of the USSR which maintained right of secession. ( e.g. Georgian SSR, Armenian SSR, Azerbaijani SSR) • ASSRs - Autonomous... “National states” - “Positive Discrimination” - Did not have the right to secession. (e.g. Dagestani ASSR, Chechen-Ingush SSR, North Ossetian ASSR, Abkhazian ASSR in Georgian SSR, Ajarian ASSR in Georgian SSR, Nakhichevan ASSR in Armenian SSR, Karchai-Cherkessian ASSR) • Autonomous Oblasts AO’s and Autonomous Okrugs AOks (e.g. South Ossetian AO in Georgian SSR and Nagorno-Karabakh AO in Azerbaijani SSR) • Krai - NOT ethnically, but geographically defined border districts - Krasnodar, Stavropol against the North Caucasus. Khabarovsk, Krasnoyarsk in the far East. What did Stalin’s forced deportations do to the ethnic makeup of these administrative districts? How does this resonate today? Monday, April 19, 2010
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  • 15. Sovereignty or Secession? • “Take as much sovereignty as they can swallow.” -Boris Yeltsin to Tartar delegation Aug. 5, 1990 • In the early 1990s, the fear of more secession from the newly formed Russian Federation allowed ethnic republics in Russia more bartering power with the Kremlin. Some regions, like Tatarstan, stayed within the Russian Federation but with considerably more autonomy; others, like Chechnya, opted for declarations of full independence and armed resistance -- considerable violence has ensued. economist, 2010 Monday, April 19, 2010
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  • 19. Why would the ethnic republics, like Tatarstan, opt to stay a part of the Russian Federation with “considerable autonomy” instead of declaring full independence like Chechnya? Monday, April 19, 2010
  • 20. Internal markets baby! (remember this for later...) Monday, April 19, 2010
  • 21. Broadly speaking... What increases the risk of experiencing internal conflicts? • Six factors which increase the risk of internal war - • Low level of economic development • State weakness and state collapse • Financial opportunity and organization • Recent experiences with war (the last 5 years in particular) • Complex ethnic geography (disputed and disputable) • Mountainous terrain (usually dependent on natural resources) Taken from; The Post Soviet Wars: Rebellion, Ethnic Conflict, and Nationhood in the Caucasus. Christoph Zurcher, 2007. Monday, April 19, 2010
  • 22. BTW, What the F&%$ is a frozen conflict? • Areas in Russia’s (and Turkey’s) periphery where unsettled conflicts remain -- usually stemming from the dissolution of the Soviet Union -- over unrecognized sovereignty and territorial integrity. These often, but not always, draw upon ethnic identifications and undermine the current internationally recognized government. Usually, the government of the geographic parent state is not recognized at all by the self-declared republic and the self-declared republic’s legitimacy is under question among the international community. The Usual Suspects... 1. Transnistria 2. South Ossetia 3. Abkhazia 4. Cyprus 5. Kosovo 6. Nagorno-Karabakh 7. Crimea Note: Frozen conflicts defy specific categorization. Don’t get bogged down by attempting to create a definition that suits all conflicted zones because that singular definition doesn’t exist. Monday, April 19, 2010
  • 23. So, how does the conflict sustain itself? • Rogers Brubaker’s “triadic nexus” of • Western institutions (i.e Council of Europe) nationalism in Eurasia post USSR and Yugoslavia (circa 1993 -1996... old school yo!) • Local elites • “nationalizing state” • Diaspora financing-Passport diplomacy • “national minorities” • Weapons • “external national homelands” • Black market economy - No tariffs or taxes • History, tradition of violence, discriminatory • State organized violence, such as torture and policies extra judicial killings (Natalya Estimirovna) vs. guerilla violence and terrorism • Mother Russia as pacifier, peacekeeper, and protector? • Resentment of local citizens to appointed and anointed local elites (i.e Kadyrov) and the policies carried out by these leaders. Monday, April 19, 2010
  • 24. So... What’s the endgame? Do these regions want to become sovereign states? Do they want to join other states or federations? Or does sustaining status quo somehow benefit them? If not them, who? BTW, who is “them?” Are these really “frozen conflicts” or are they just examples of successful state building by war? Monday, April 19, 2010
  • 25. The “Kosovo Precedent” “If we decide that in today’s world the principle of a nation’s right to self-determination is more important than the principle of territorial integrity, then we must apply this principle to all parts of the world and not only to regions where it suits our partners. In this case, the principle of self-determination should apply not just to the peoples living in the former Yugoslavia, but also to peoples, including the peoples of the Caucasus, in the post-Soviet area. We see no difference in the situations of one and the other.” -Vladimir Putin. (Former president, current prime minister of Russian Federation) The G8 summit in Heiligendamm Germany. June 4, 2007. • Feb 18, 2008 - Kosovo, a UN protectorate since 1999, declares unilateral, self determined independence from Serbia and its legitimacy is widely recognized by the international community, including the USA. • “Krajina Precedent?”-- “Montenegro Precedent?” But... Is this “legitimacy” a double edged sword for the Russian Federation? Think Chechnya... Monday, April 19, 2010
  • 26. Okay. Now that we’ve got today’s terms out of the way... Monday, April 19, 2010
  • 27. Our Focus... The Caucasus Monday, April 19, 2010
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  • 32. Now... I am going to give an overview about what has happened in the Caucasus since 1991. Then... WE are going to go back to those “six risk factors” and discuss why WE think that it happened the way it did and is playing out the way it is today Monday, April 19, 2010
  • 33. The Caucasus after 1991... The States The Nations • North - Russian Federation • North - Chechnya/Republic of Ichkeria, Across North Caucasus • South - Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan • South - South Ossetia, Abkhazia, Ajaria, Nagorno-Karabakh Monday, April 19, 2010
  • 34. Chechnya: (and Ingushetia) “When compared with all civil wars that took place after World War II, only four wars claimed more lives relative to prewar population” Monday, April 19, 2010
  • 35. The North: Russian Federation - Chechnya - Republic of Ichkeria - N. Caucasus Republics • Stalin deported almost the entire Chechen nation to Central Asia in the ‘40s due to supposed “collaboration” with the Nazis. Reprieved only after his death. • Sovereignty declaration 1990 • Unilaterally declares independence (including portion of Ingushetia) in 1991. Never fully realized. • Appoints a Kazakhstan born, but Chechen by birth, Air Force general who spoke better Russian than Chechen and was stationed in Estonia as new leader -- Dzhokar Dudayev. Dudayev killed in 1996. After that Aslan Maskhadov same back story but a colonel and Vilnius... • Like Tatarstan, essentially independent from 91-94 • First Chechen War 1994-1996 (Caucasian Domino theory) • Second Chechen war, technically, 1999-2009, But, for real, 1999... Should Chechnya be considered a “Frozen Conflict?” Monday, April 19, 2010
  • 36. Chechnya cont... • Epicenter of organized violence and resistance to Russian Federation in Caucasus • Pyrrhic victory 1996-1999 (1996- lebed) • Culture of local elites, patriot businessmen, Teips, and Adat - Shura and sharia? • Dudayav... Kadyrov • Basayev... Umarov • Moscow theater, Moscow apartment bombings, Beslan, Nevsky Express, Moscow underground... And, you know, just about every day in the North Caucasus. • Since the end of the first Chechen war there has been an “Islamification” of the Chechen resistance. Early on, the stated goal was for independence and establishment of an independent and specifically defined Chechen-Ingush republic but, as we recently saw with Doku Umarov’s video where he declared himself “Emir of the Caucasian Emirate” after the Moscow underground bombing, the recent violence has had more focus on founding a broader independent Islamic nation across the peoples of the North Caucasus. Monday, April 19, 2010
  • 37. North Caucasus: Chechnya con’t... Does Dudayev seem different? Monday, April 19, 2010
  • 38. The South: Georgia - Abkhazia - South Ossetia - Ajaria • “Divide and Rule” • Eduard Shevardnadze out -- Mikhail Saakashvilli in... • Mhkedrioni - St. Ilya the Righteous • 2004 - Ajaria is brought back into Georgia as Aslan Abishidze flees to Moscow. • Gamsakhurdia, Kostava, Iosalini, Kitovani • August 8, 2008 - Russian troops invade Georgia repel and Abkazia Georgian troops from Ossetia . Georgia • Independence declared April 9, 1991. accepts defeat. • Three internal wars between 89-93: • August 26, 2008 Russia recognizes independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. (Feb. 2008 western leaders recognize independence of Kosovo) • First, with South Ossetia 89-92 (M vs. B) • August 28, 2008 Georgia drafts resolution stating that • Second, civil war 91-93 both regions are “Russian occupied territories.” • Third, with Abkhazia 92-93 (NOT Ajaria) • December 2009 Moscow and Tbilisi agree to resume direct flights. • “Rose Revolution” 2003. Monday, April 19, 2010
  • 39. The South: Armenia - Azerbaijan - Nagorno Karabakh • 1988 parliament of Nagorno-Karabakh NKAO • 1992- full scale war breaks out in Nagorno- in Azerbaijan declares intentions to join Karabakh. Armenia sides with ethnic Armenia. Sporadic ethnic fighting breaks out. Armenians. • 1998 violence Sumgait.19th party congress... • 1993- Armenia successfully drives out No subordination to Moscow. Karabakh Azerbaijani forces and occupy nearly 20% of announces move to Armenian SSR. Azerbaijani territory. • 1989 subordinated directly to Moscow • May 12, 1994- Both sides agree to Russian mediated ceasefire. This ends the majority of violence but does not help to solve the • Armenia and Azerbaijan both declare problems of territorial integrity involving independence 1991. Nagorno-Karabak. • Azerbaijan declares independence August • Kocharian, Sargsian -- Samvel Babayan 30th. Nagorno-Karabakh declares independence September 2nd. • Is this a “Post-Soviet” or Soviet conflict? Monday, April 19, 2010
  • 40. Recently... In Russia • Essentially, deadly fighting continues across North Caucasus every day. It has spread out from Chechnya and into neighboring republics. • Installation of Ramzan Kadyrov in Chechnya has had dual effect: He has restored order in the republic but only through subversive, unrelenting, and extra-legal torture and violence against his own people. This has swelled the ranks against him. • Continued fears of Wahhabi-influenced extremism have, once again, brought “Islamic terrorism” to the forefront of everyday Russian media. (Just watch RT’s Prime Time Russia.) • June 2009 - President of Ingushetia, Yunus Bev Yevkurov, who had vowed to take a softer approach to the militants than Kadyrov, motorcade is hit by suicide bomber and he is seriously injured. • August 2009 - A suicide bomber detonates explosives at police headquarters in Nazran, Ingushetia. • November 2009 - Nevsky Express train between Moscow and St. Petersburg is bombed, killing 25 people. • March 2010 - Two suicide bombers detonate explosives in Moscow metro stations. Monday, April 19, 2010
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  • 42. Memory jogger... Six factors increasing risk of internal war... The Caucasus... • Low level of economic development • Hmm... • State weakness and state collapse • Is that what happened? • Financial opportunity and organization • Does crime pay? Ask the traffickers... Diaspora funding, Chechen criminals • Recent experiences with war (the last 5 years in particular) • Some places, like Chechnya, but not others • Complex ethnic geography. (disputed and disputable) • To say the least • Mountainous terrain • Are they mountains? Monday, April 19, 2010
  • 43. Why don’t these conflicts thaw? • “It’s the economy, stupid” • “Russia’s privileged sphere of influence” • Conflict zones act as security buffers • Allows the Kremlin to undermine political, economic, and military security of neighbors. Thereby, securing favorable position in any forthcoming negotiations. • The weakness of the parent state • Wine wars - Moldova and Georgia (the RF will even wage Dairy Wars against Belarus) • Who is status quo benefitting? Monday, April 19, 2010
  • 44. Cont... • Is any “first-hand” reporting on these regions objective? • “The benefits of ethnic war” (Charles King, 2009) • Consider Diaspora Politics and Passport Diplomacy and the financing, pension, security, etc... opportunities they offer. • Repressive policies combined with violent and illegal actions of government officials in geographic parent state fuel willingness and fervor to fight by other side. • “Kosovo Precedent” strengthened the resolve for recognition in other conflict regions -- and the resolve of the Russian government not to acquiesce over Abkhazia or S. Ossetia. • Western institutions • Peace is better than war, right? Monday, April 19, 2010
  • 45. But I guess that begs the question... What does “resolution” even mean to these conflicts, regions, and peoples? общий государства (obshchee gosudarstvo) (20 min 30 sec) Monday, April 19, 2010
  • 46. And last but not least... Why should we care? Monday, April 19, 2010
  • 47. You tell me... Monday, April 19, 2010
  • 48. References: 1. Nationhood and the National Question in the Soviet Union and Post-Soviet Eurasia: An Institutionalist Account, Brubaker, Rogers Theory and Society, Vol. 23, No. 1 (Feb., 1994), pp. 47-7 2. The Soviet Economy – An Experiment that was Bound to Fail. Barnett, Vincent. History Review. Dec. 2005, issue 53, pp. 19-22. 3. Zurcher, Christioph. The Post Soviet Wars: Rebellion, Ethnic Conflict, and nationhood in the Caucasus. (NYU, 2007) 4. Vesilind, Priit J. “The Baltic Nations.” National Geographic Nov. 1990 5. King, Charles. Extreme Politics: Nationalism, Violence, and the END of Eastern Europe (Oxford, 2010) 6. Corney, Frederick R. Telling October Memory and the Making of the Bolshevik Revolution. (Cornell, 2004) 7. Bunin, Ivan. Notes by Marullo, Thomas Gaiton, Cursed Days (Chicago, 1998) first published as Okainannye dni, 1936. 8. Hirsch, Francine. Empire of Nations: Ethnographic Knowledge and the Making of the Soviet Union. Cornell, 2005. (Chapters 1-2 in particular.) 9. King, Charles. The Ghosts of freedom: A History of the Caucasus. (Oxford, 2010) 10. Beckwith, Christopher. Empires of the Silk Road: A History of Central Eurasia from the Bronze age to the Present. (Princeton, 2010) 11. Mcdowell, Bart. Journey Across Russia: The Soviet Union Today. (National Geohraphic press, 1977) 12. Lynch, Dov. Engaging Eurasia’s Separatist States. (United States Institute for Peace, 2004) Video- 1. Michael Palin’s New Europe. BBC, 2007. Documentary Series. 2. A Journey Through Russia with Jonathan Dimbleby. BBC. 2009. 3. Places That Don’t Exist: Holidays in the danger zone. 4 Episodes: Transnistria, Nagorno-Karabakh, S.Ossetia, Abkhazia (attempted). BBC. 2005 4. Ca La Moldova. ExPat Films. 2009. 5. Transnistria Trafficking Arms. France TV. Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Part 1- Ehbd4&feature=PlayList&p=E0A3BB033745E35A&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=17 Part 2- http:// Part 3- Part 4- 6. Part 5- Michael Palin’s New Europe. BBC, 2007. Documentary Series. 7. Places That Don’t Exist: Holidays in the danger zone. 4 Episodes: Transnistria, Nagorno-Karabakh, S.Ossetia, Abkhazia (attempted). BBC. 2005 8. Ca La Moldova. ExPat Films. 2009. 9. Transnistria Trafficking Arms. France TV. Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Part 1- Ehbd4&feature=PlayList&p=E0A3BB033745E35A&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=17 Part 2- http:// Part 3- Part 4- Part 5- Monday, April 19, 2010