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Journal of Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics and Society

Guest editors: Gergana Dimova, George Soroka, Tomasz Stepniewski, Andreas Umland

Vol. 6, No. 2 (2020)

Special Section: Russian Foreign Policy Towards the “Near Abroad”

This special section deals with Russia’s post-Maidan foreign policy towards the so-called “near abroad,” or the former Soviet states. This is an important and timely topic, as Russia’s policy perspectives have changed dramatically since 2013/2014, as have those of its neighbors. The Kremlin today is paradoxically following an aggressive “realist” agenda that seeks to clearly delineate its sphere of influence in Europe and Eurasia while simultaneously attempting to promote “soft-power” and a historical-civilizational justification for its recent actions in Ukraine (and elsewhere). The result is an often perplexing amalgam of policy positions that are difficult to disentangle. The contributors to this special issue are all regional specialists based either in Europe or the United States.

Special Section: Russia's Annexation of Crimea II

JSPPS’s second special section on Russia’s annexation of Crimea is less focused on Moscow’s 2014 land grab per se. Instead it discusses how to interpret and contextualize some salient judicial, historical and political issues concerning the annexation. The section’s papers document how these issues have been interpreted and contextualized by various relevant public actors including politicians, journalists and scholars, in Ukraine, Russia and the West. Natalya Belitser’s “The Status of the Crimean Tatars in Ukrainian and International Law” shines new light on the long legal and political fight of the Crimean Tatars to acquire the special status of indigenous people. Alina Cherviatsova’s “The 1954 Transfer of Crimea: Debunking the Myth of a ‘Royal Gift’ to Ukraine” focuses on select Soviet legal and historical issues related to Moscow’s various apologetic discourses since 2014. Maryna Rabinovych’s “How the Federal Republic Reacted to Russia’s Annexation of Crimea: Berlin’s Diplomatic Response and German Media Representations in 2014-2020” portrays today’s Germany as caught in the middle of two of its fundamental competing foreign affairs principles, multilateralism and Ostpolitik, in the aftermath of Russia’s annexation of Crimea and intervention in the Donets Basin (Donbas). The three papers add new observations, comparisons, and interpretations to the growing body of academic literature, on Russia’s annexation of Crimea. They provide insights into hitherto insufficiently highlighted aspects of this consequential event in current European history.


Special Section: Russian Foreign Policy towards the “Near Abroad”

George Soroka, Tomasz Stepniewski: Introduction: Russia and the Rest: Permeable Sovereignty and the Former Soviet Socialist Republics

Yuval Weber: When War is Preferable to Peace: Russia, the Post-Cold War Settlement, and the Kremlin’s Policy towards Ukraine

Boris Barkanov: A Realist View from Moscow: Identity and Threat Perception in the Writings of Sergei A. Karaganov (2003–2019)

Jeanne L. Wilson: Soft Power in Russian Foreign Policy toward Azerbaijan

Special Section: Russia’s Annexation of Crimea II

Gergana Dimova, Andreas Umland: Introduction. Russia’s 2014 Annexation of Crimea in Historical Context: Discourses and Controversies

Natalya Belitser: The Status of the Crimean Tatars in Ukrainian and International Law

Alina Cherviatsova: The 1954 Transfer of Crimea: Debunking the Myth of a “Royal Gift” to Ukraine

Maryna Rabinovych: How the Federal Republic Reacted to Russia’s Annexation of Crimea: Berlin’s Diplomatic Response and German Media Representations in 2014–2020


Alexander Etkind, Yevhenii Poliakov, Bohdan Shumylovych: Ukrainian Labor and Siberian Oil in the Late Soviet Empire

Dennis Soltys: Democratic Centralization and Institutional Development in Ukraine from the Maidans of 2004 and 2014: A Holistic Interpretation


Jan C. Behrends on:

Andrei P. Tsygankov, Russian Foreign Policy: Change and Continuity in National Identity

Vasily V. Gatov on:

Jeremy Friedman, “Shadow Cold War”: The Sino-Soviet Competition for the Third World

Nicolaas A. Kraft van Ermel on:

Paul Hanebrink, A Specter Haunting Europe: The Myth of Judeo-Bolshevism

Aijan Sharshenova on:

Keir Giles, Moscow Rules: What Drives Russia to Confront the West

Oleksii Poltorakov on:

Anna Velikaya and Greg Simons (eds.), Russia’s Public Diplomacy: Evolution and Practice

Javeed Ahwar on:

Jean-François Caron (ed.), Kazakhstan and the Soviet Legacy: Between Continuity and Rupture

Elise Westin on:

Jelena Subotić, Yellow Star, Red Star: Holocaust Remembrance after Communism

Special Sections:

Russian Foreign Policy towards the “Near Abroad”


Russia’s Annexation of Crimea II

JSPPS 6:2 (2020)

Guest Editors:

George Soroka, Harvard University
Tomasz Stępniewski, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin
Gergana Dimova, University of Winchester
Andreas Umland, Swedish Institute of International Affairs

General Editor and Issue Editor-in-Chief: Julie Fedor, University of Melbourne

Consulting Editor: Andreas Umland, Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation, Kyiv

Editors: Andrey Makarychev, University of Tartu

Editorial Assistant:
Olena Nedozhogina, University of Tartu/University of Melbourne

358 pages, Paperback. 2020

ISSN 2364-5334

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