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Two Reasons Why Russia Keeps Losing Influence Over Post-Soviet States


After the USSR ceased to exist, the Kremlin was counting on retaining their influence in the region. However, the truth is that Russia as the major successor to the USSR has been losing its influence over the remaining post-soviet states. There are 2 reasons for that.

 

 

 

 
According to the related report recently published by private American analytic company Stratfor, there is a range of new tendencies making it difficult for Russia to stay influential in the post-soviet region, especially when it comes to Ukraine. The two major reasons for that are believed to be the declining role of the Russian language in the region as well as the existing threats of mass protest inside Russia itself.
 
Over more than 70 years of the USSR existence, the soviet people got used to living in an environment with a centralized political system, corruption, and low standards of living. Even when the USSR ceased to exist, that environment didn’t change in an instance. Most of the post-soviet states retained their centralized political and economic systems despite trying to move democracy and capitalism. Maybe the Baltic states can be called an exception to this rule.
 
Since then, the Russian language has been the language of communication between those post-soviet states. After recovering from the chaos of the first post-soviet years, top-ranking Russian politicians revived their ties with their peers with other post-soviet states. In order to restore the influence over the region, Russia used different methods, including political games and military deployment. However, the signs of the soviet era started to vanish gradually.
 
At this point, the average age of the Russians, the Belarusians, and the Ukrainians is around 40 years. This means that the average citizen of those states spent less than 50% of their lives living in the USSR. In Asian post-soviet countries, the average age is under 30 years. The whole point is, that in a couple of decades, most of the population of the post-soviet states won’t have any experience or direct memories about the soviet period of their history. Apparently, demographic changes also lead to political, economic, and cultural changes in the post-soviet region, which is a challenge for Russia trying to retain the influence over the entire region.
 
Yet those changes have already been underway for years. The use of the Russian language in the region has been going down. Most post-soviet states have diminished the official role of the Russian language.

 

 

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The research shows that that fewer citizens of the post-soviet states use Russian in everyday conversation. Even though they understand Russian, they use it less frequently than they used to. Some posit-soviet states in Central Asia and the Caucasus are now thinking about moving from the Cyrillic alphabet to the Roman alphabet. This is also a step to diminish the influence of Russia.
 

 

As for internal challenges, Russia’s post-soviet generations are less tolerant to the political and economic injustice than their parents and grandparents. Protests and anything else against the soviet government was punished severely. Over the first 10-15 years after the USSR disintegration, there was a wave of revolutions changing the mindset and the political situation in many post-soviet countries. Those showed the world that the local population wouldn’t tolerate the chaos and corruption anymore. Now the situation seems to be changing in Russia as well as more people go on anti-corruption protests demanding justice. Those protests are led by the younger generation.

 

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