Understanding the ukrainian conflict from the perspective of post-soviet decolonization

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Abstract

This article aims to explain the causes (in particular, the motives and objectives of Russia’s actions) of the Ukrainian conflict from a decolonization perspective and its impact on Eurasian interstate and West-Russia relations. Russia’s positioning in Eurasian decolonization is identified as “defensive.” This defensive position as a postimperial metropole has been constructed by combin-ing its “semiperipheral” status within the liberal international order with the assertiveness of a “neocolonial” power challenged by “post-colonial” indepen-dent countries in Eurasia. To a certain extent, the annexation of Crimea was merely an illegitimate settlement of disputes over property rights between two countries, in that the seizure of Crimea occurred in a combination of several factors at various levels. As a result, the motives and objectives of a Russian invasion can be regarded as neither a challenge to the whole post–Cold War European order nor irredentism to reclaim the territory of the Soviet empire. Consequently, post-Crimea development could herald the closing stage of the historical period called the post-Soviet era as the period of Eurasian decoloni-zation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-27
Number of pages27
JournalRegion: Regional Studies of Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020 Jul
Externally publishedYes

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