Cover Osteuropa 5/2017

In Osteuropa 5/2017

Ukrainian curse, Siberian blessing
Russia’s regionalism and its colonial origins

Vladislav Inozemcev

Deutsche Fassung


The breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991 is strongly reminiscent of the disintegration of the European colonial empires. Many of the problems that Russia faces today are related to the country’s colonial past: the loss of territories conquered during the 19th century, the precarious state of the few remaining dependencies, and the explosive population and administrative structure in the Russian Federation. The greatest challenges lie in the North Caucasus and in Russia’s relationship with Siberia and Ukraine. For Russia, the latter is both a breakaway colony and a former centre of colonisation. The economic significance of Siberia, meanwhile, is reflected neither in the living standards of the local population, nor in the political importance of the region. Russia’s future will be decided by developments in the socio-economic conditions in Siberia.

(Osteuropa 5/2017, pp. 101–114)