From the moment the Soviet Union legally ceased to exist on 25 December 1991 the issue of how the new post-Soviet Russia would relate to its freshly independent neighbours has been highly fraught, within the region, in Russian domestic politics, and in Moscow’s relations with the West. Three decades later, particularly following Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and subsequent intervention in eastern Ukraine, the issue is more contested than ever. Despite the passage of time and the cementing of a number of trends, the future of the region, referred to here as post-Soviet Eurasia (i.e. the former- Soviet republics minus the three Baltic states), remains highly uncertain, with a number of scenarios possible.
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