Russia and Eastern Eurasian Republics

The Soviet Union had several kinds of subnational entities:

Azerbaijan SSR

“In Azerbaijan, fundamental changes are inevitable, and the people intend to participate in them,” Qambar said.

The car plant in the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan plans to assemble 1,000 to 1,500 cars this year.

The Nakhchivan Automobile Plant (NAZ) which opened in January 2010, assembled 500 Chinese-made Lifan cars last year, the plant’s head of sales and marketing, Tamerlan Abdullazade, told APA.

Georgian SSR

The United Nations’ top court has dismissed a case filed by Georgia that accuses Russia and separatist rebels of ethnic cleansing.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague said it could not examine Georgia’s complaint because negotiations had not taken place.

Georgia said Russia and the rebels had used ethnic violence against Georgians in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Russia took control of the two Georgian regions in a brief war in August 2008.

Thousands of ethnic Georgians fled the regions during the conflict and many remain internally displaced in Georgia.

Moscow, Sokhumi Dispute Village in ‘Border Talks’

Resolving a dispute in border talks between Moscow and Sokhumi will be “an important test” for Abkhaz-Russian “friendly relations”, Vice Speaker of the breakaway Abkhazia’s Parliament, Irina Agrba said, according to the Abkhaz news agency Apsnipress.

A joint Abkhaz-Russian commission “on border delimitation and demarcation between the Russian Federation and Republic of Abkhazia” held its second meeting in Moscow this week.

Abkhaz TV station, Abaza, reported on March 31, that in a joint communiqué after the meeting the commission said talks were held “in a constructive spirit” and the sides have to define exactly the border line in an area at the village of Aibga during the next rounds of talks.

Georgia, Tbilisi, March 17

Tbilisi will celebrate Novruz today.

The event will be held at the Rustaveli Theater and is organized by the Georgian Azerbaijanis Congress and the Azerbaijan Business Association in Georgia, the Tbilisi City Hall told Trend.

Local dance troupes and singers will perform at the event.

The Selskiy Dom restaurant will also host a cultural event and banquet with Azerbaijani dishes. Representatives of the diplomatic corps and official authorities have been invited to the events.
Novruz is a celebration of spring, life and farming.
Georgia acceded to the list of countries celebrating Novruz as a national holiday in 2011.

Russian SFSRThe 1978 Constitution of the RSFSR recognized sixteen autonomous republics within the RSFSR. Their current status (as of October 2007) within the Russian Federation is given in parentheses:

UFA, Russia — A leader of the Bashkir Youth Union (BYI) has received a three-year suspended sentence after he was found guilty of attacking journalists as a member of the Republic of Bashkortostan’s government in 2009, RFE/RL’s Tatar-Bashkir Service reports.

Regional merger referendum positive – Russian election official

Topic: Regional elections in Russia (2007)

13:48 12/03/2007
MOSCOW, March 12 (RIA Novosti) – Two regions in southeast Siberia are likely to merge following voter’s 90% backing for their unification at a Sunday plebiscite, Russia’s top election official said Monday.The merger proposal was made by the two regional authorities – the Chita Region and the Aginsk-Buryat Autonomous Area. The unification, one of a series of similar moves in Russia recently, is expected to provide an economic boost to the region and raise local living standards.

Gorno-Altai Autonomous Oblast (now Altai Republic), Adygea Autonomous Oblast (now Republic of Adygea), and Khakassian Autonomous Oblast (now Republic of Khakassia) were all promoted in status to that of an ASSR in 1991, in the last year of the Soviet Union. Only the Jewish Autonomous Oblast retained its autonomous oblast status in Russia.

Other autonomous republics also existed within RSFSR at earlier points of the Soviet history:

Divorce in haste, repent at leisure

Written by Patrick Armstrong on Saturday, 19 March 2011 09:25 | Published in Patrick Armstrong’s Russia SitRepnniversary. Twenty years today the USSR held a referendum on whether to support the proposed New Union Treaty. The new setup would have given much more power to the republics; the word used to describe it then was “confederation”. I recall much brouhaha about how the referendum would be a bust and even some “experts” claiming that no one knew what they were voting on (despite the fact that all the iterations of the treaty – 3 as I remember – had been published in the Soviet press). In the event there was a decent turnout and a strong support for continuing in the new arrangement.

The Islamic Republic of Chechnya

Why is the Kremlin-imposed leader of this republic sounding so much like the militants he’s meant to be cracking down on?


Prospekt Pobedy (Victory Avenue), the central boulevard, was lined with tottering ruins. By the Minutka roundabout stood rows of five-story apartment blocks half-destroyed by bombing and artillery strikes a few years earlier. No one could possibly live there, you thought — until you noticed a light bulb burning dimly through a shell hole, or a splash of color where clothes hung to dry on a balcony.

Seen today, the city is almost unrecognizable. Putin Avenue — as Prospekt Pobedy is now called — is a pleasant street lined with cafes, shops, and beauty salons. At its southern end rises the biggest mosque in Europe, its fluted minarets gracefully puncturing the sky. Beyond that, a cluster of high-rise office buildings are under rapid construction: At a squint, it could be a corner of Dubai. And all around are huge billboards with the grinning, bearded face of the man deemed responsible for Grozny’s remarkable turnaround: Chechnya’s leader, Ramzan Kadyrov.

Raid Killed Umarov’s Bodyguard

03 April 2011
Combined Reports

Chechen warlord Doku Umarov‘s personal bodyguard was killed in clashes between rebels and law enforcement officers in Ingushetia, a rebel web site said Friday.

Chechen-born Supyan Abdullayev was the closest companion of Umarov, Russia’s most-wanted man, reported. He fought against the Russians in two Chechen separatist wars.

Abdullayev was killed during a March 28 raid of a rebel training camp in Ingushetia during which the Air Force was employed, a rare occurrence in such clashes. He was one of 17 rebels killed by law enforcement officers. Three officials were also killed.

Europe to help develop Crimea

Feb 27, 2009 at 22:27 | Interfax-Ukraine

Ambassadors to the European Union member states and the head of the EC delegation in Ukraine are touring Crimea to study the social and economic situation in the autonomous republic and to present a joint cooperation initiative in Crimea.

This initiative was put forth by the European Commission and a number of the EU states concerned and its goal is “to coordinate an approach in order to facilitate the social and economic development of Crimea,” German Ambassador to Ukraine Hans-Jurgen Heimsoeth said at a press conference in Simferopol on Friday.

The group of the ambassadors touring Crimea consists of the heads of the diplomatic missions of Finland, Hungary, Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and Head of the Delegation of the European Commission to Ukraine Jose Manuel Pinto Teixeira.

Read more:

Has The FSB Penetrated The Kabardino-Balkaria Insurgency?

The case against Asker Jappuyev is based on a directive he issued in early February after a group calling itself the “Black Hawks” began targeting the homes of insurgents’ families. The leader of that group has since been identified as an FSB officer.

One of the biggest Russian fishery companies invests up to 5 bln RUB into Karelia


Yesterday, Karelia Republic signed a cooperation agreement with Russkoye More on salmon breeding. Accordingly, Russkoye More is to invest up to 5 bln RUB into development of commercial salmon breeding.

This is one of the most strategically important agreements for Karelia, said Andrey Nelidov, the head of the Republic. The entry of the biggest fishery company lets us presume that Karelian salmon breeding will take leading positions both in Russia and abroad.


Dig sites threatened by climate change

One project is to save frozen tombs in the Altai Mountains of Kazakhstan and Russia, which in the past 60 years have yielded burials with well-preserved grave goods. Many have been frozen for more than two millennia, sandwiched between frozen subsoil and the insulating mound of rubble above which forms a kurgan, similar to the round barrows of Salisbury Plain in appearance. The bodies have been mummified by the cold, and their clothing, often with elaborate appliqué designs, and stomach contents have been preserved intact.


“The material is so well preserved it’s almost a kind of ethnography instead of archaeology,” says Hermann Parzinger, of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, after excavating the tomb of a Scythian warrior three years ago.


Friday, March 11, 2011 – Global warming is damaging archeological treasures that have been frozen for millennia, British researchers said this week.

Warming temperatures are causing ice and hardened ground to thaw exposing remains in some of the coldest places on earth, British news outlets reported on Friday.


Ukrainian SSR

Uzbek SSR

Terms used to describe oblasts in post-Soviet countriesThe oblasts in other post-Soviet countries are officially called:

Viloyat and welayat are derived from the Arabic language term wilāya (ولاية)

Azerbaijan SSR

Byelorussian SSR

Georgian SSR

A More Proactive U.S. Approach to the Georgia Conflicts

Georgia faces a stark choice between two mutually exclusive futures.

The first depicts Georgia as a modern-day divided Berlin and envisions the conflicts it currently faces as a Cold War in the Caucasus—a long-term and largely bloodless division between sides whom outside forces have divided so profoundly that compromise is ruled out a priori. The conflicts are resolved when the other side surrenders, its own residents tear down the artificially imposed division, and its government implodes due to the weakening of its patron.

Such a scenario invokes the artificiality of Berlin’s division, the perceived inevitability of communism’s collapse, and the nobility of West Berliners as they constructed a thriving market democracy on the frontlines of the Cold War. It therefore strikes a chord with many in the West.

Unfortunately, an outcome like Berlin 1989 is highly unlikely for the Georgia conflicts even in the long term. Residents of Abkhazia and South Ossetia—selfgoverning entities currently recognized as independent states by Russia and three other countries—would have to magically “get over” their grievances—some of which originate from conflicts fought with Georgians in the 1990s while others are a product of more recent hostilities. But they would also have to embrace the Georgian government as their own and renounce their longstanding ambitions for self-government. In other words, the divisions among peoples in Georgia are anything but artificial.

Russian SFSRWhile the 1978 Constitution of the RSFSR specified that the autonomous oblasts are subordinated to the krais, this clause was removed in the December 15, 1990 revision, when it was specified that the autonomous oblasts were to be directly subordinated to the Russian SFSR. In June 1991, five autonomous oblasts existed within the RSFSR, four of which were elevated to the status of the republic on July 3, 1991:


Mentally ill Russian pilot suspended from duty

20:46 29/03/2011


A mentally ill man who has worked as a civilian pilot for about a year has been suspended from duty in Russia’s southern republic of Adygea, the Prosecutor General’s Office said on Tuesday.

Over the past decade, the deficit of pilots in Russia has become very acute. The country needs at least 700-800 pilots a year. There are currently about 10,000 commercial pilots in Russia, but an estimated 1,000 are lost every year through retirement or finding work abroad.

Gambling in Russia

March 15, 2011 15:25
There is good news for gamblers. The government plans to create four impoverished areas which will soon transform into gambling meccas. The first is nicknamed Vegas East (oficially — Siberian Coin). According to Gadling resource, “the Altai region of Siberia will host the ambitious project located near the boarder of Kazakhstan and China. Russian developers have budgeted about $1 billion for the cause which includes the construction of 15 casinos and 30 hotels”. The outside experts expect the project costs to total $50 billion.


Russian Court Rules Farmers Get Compensation For Losses To China

KHABAROVSK, Russia — A regional court in Russia’s Far East has upheld a court decision obliging the Finance Ministry to pay compensation to farmers who lost their land as a result of the Russo-Chinese border demarcation, RFE/RL’s Russian Service reports.

Following the 2005 border demarcation, several small islands and the western part of the Big Ussuri Island (Heixiazi Dao) in the Amur River in Khabarovsk Krai were ceded by Russia to China. The move sparked negative reactions among the local Russian population when the land transfers were made in 2008.

Other autonomous oblasts also existed at earlier points of the Soviet history:

Tajik SSR

Ukrainian SSR

Uzbek SSR

In addition, some cities and regions, while located within subnational entities had special status:


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