№ 3, 2017
The article explores the reasons behind the ebbs and flows in the Soviet ethnic policy. Building on the geopolitical theory of R.Collins, the authors hypothesize that the ethnic policy of the USSR was closely connected with its foreign policy. The authors study the dynamics of the Soviet ethnic policy and compare it with the dynamics of geopolitical tensions to conclude that the changes in priorities that defined the principles of interethnic relations in the USSR at least in part depended on the level of geopolitical tensions in the international arena. At the times when “peaceful coexistence” prevailed in foreign policy, the Soviet leadership pursued the policy of “indigenization”, encouraged the development of ethnic minorities, nurtured their cultures and identity. The escalation of the international conflict bred the need for national unity, which spurred shifts towards the policy of Russification.
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