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Author: Thomas de Waal

Uncertain territory. The strange life and curious sustainability of de facto states

The international order has never been tidy or complete, always having lands with contested sovereignty. The breakdown of empires is the most common catalyst for producing new aspirant states. The post-Soviet space is especially rich in these territories, which includes Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh, South Ossetia and Transnistria, along with two more recently established shadowy entities in eastern Ukraine.

April 26, 2018 - Thomas de Waal

Revenge of the border

In the Soviet Union the concept of a border was ambiguous. The Soviet borders were both very open and very closed. Since the fall of the Soviet Union 25 years ago, however, the concept of the border has emerged to reinforce the nationalities of the new republics. Yet, these were borders based on the nationality policies of Lenin and Stalin, the consequences of which persist today.

December 8, 2016 - Thomas de Waal

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