Lazar Dražeta

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PERIODICS

CREATING STATE IDENTITY OF NOVORUSSIYA

This paper deals with the case of revival and instrumentalization of the territory of Novorussiya, originally a historical region at the southwestern border of the former Russian Empire. The process of creating Novorussiya’s state identity is still carried out, hence the aim of this research is the analysis of that phenomenon. Nowadays Novorussiya is no longer just an alliance of two self-proclaimed republics at Donetsk and Lugansk regions in the eastern part of Ukraine, but the idea of returning to the “general Russian principles” through the renewal of the Russian language, culture, moral values and the alliance of the Eurasian people. This process is based upon the concept of the neo-Eurasianism as geopolitical and historically founded idea of the reintegration of the post-Soviet and Russian imperial space. Cultural backround for this project is the Russian concept of multiculturalism, i.e. the “Russian World” (Russian: Русский мир). This concept is based upon the Russian language, the Cyrillic alphabet and the coexistence of different ethnic groups. The notions of Novorussiya, Little Russia, Great Russia, and Ukraine were also explained from a historical perspective, while Pridnestrovye (Transnistria) has been analyzed as a precursor to the socio-political model of Novorussiya. This model encompasses multi-ethnicity, separation from the previous nation-state, pro-Russian position as well as economic and cultural self-sufficiency. The usage of the news sources and literature about geopolitical situation in the world indicates that the creation of Novorossiya’s state identity fits the principles of multi-ethnic and multi-polar world. As the civil war in Imperial Russia erased the notion of Novorossiya from the historical stage, so the civil war in Ukraine brought the same notion back. Hence, this study may provide a new impetus for future research that will direct its attention to the current social and cultural processes in Eurasia.

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