The Soviet legacy and Russian federalism, 1991–93
in Federalism and democratisation in Russia

This chapter examines the origins of Russia's ethno-territorial form of federalism. The USSR's adoption of an ‘ethno-territorial’ form of federalism was originally designed as a temporary measure, adopted to entice the non-Russian nationalities to join the union. The discussion considers federalism and nationalism under Gorbachev; the foundations of Russia's constitutional institutions; and the Federal Treaty of March 31, 1992 which created an ‘asymmetrical federation’ with the rights granted to the ethnic republics far outweighing those given to the territorially based regions.


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