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Russian minorities in Central Asia

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  1. The decline of Russians' social, political and demographic influence
    1. Consequence of nationalization policies of Central Asian states
    2. The difficult solution for many Russians: to emigrate
  2. Hesitations of a community between a cultural and a civic nationality
    1. The option to integrate into the new republics and the behavior of Central Asian states toward Russian minority
    2. The political and affective links with Russia, the land of their ancestors

As citizens of countries which they consider not to be theirs, the Russians of Central Asia have faced a loss of identity and a collapse of their influence since the end of the USSR. The presence of Russians in Central Asia is a consequence of military conquests which really started in the 19th century with the Tsarist expansions. Russia occupied the basin of the Ural River and the region of the Altai Mountains located at the border of present-day Kazakhstan. The colonization movement accelerated in the second half of the 19th century under the USSR. It was encouraged by economic programs like industrialization and farming in particular after the World War II and the reinstallation of a part of weapons industry in Central Asia. As a highly-skilled population and being the representatives of the cultural and political domination of Russia under the soviet rule, Russians constituted the elites of Central Asian soviet republics until 1991, year when the Central Asia's republics became suddenly and half-heartedly independent.

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