Publication: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 13 Issue
By: Paul Goble
Because Vladimir Putin has made the presence of ethnic Russians in other countries so central to his efforts to expand Moscow’s influence, their departure from any region or country means far more now than it did a decade ago. Nowhere has their exit been more massive—and, consequently, the influence of ethnic Russians on local governments more reduced—than in Central Asia, where they are now half as numerous as they were a generation ago. And because the titular nationalities there have been growing rapidly, the share of ethnic Russians in the population of these five countries has fallen even more.