Ethnic tension and movements for greater autonomy, sovereignty, and independence for Soviet ethnic groups expanded with surprising speed during the late 1980s and early 1990s. These developments profoundly affected the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic, as well as the other 14 republics of the Soviet Union. Russians are no longer united in their commitment to maintain the Soviet system. Nor does any effective majority among them seek to preserve the communist system in their own republic. This Note analyzes the ethnic and regional interests that are increasingly affecting all dimensions of Russian life. It presents basic ethnic data, identifies trends, and points to likely future developments.
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