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A split Ukraine?

A humiliated Russia may try to split Ukraine if its supporters lose the next vote

By Tom Reed   January 2005

Russia is a collector of failed states. Several of them decorate its borders, like a grisly necklace of severed ears. The many festering wars along Russia’s frontiers – in Transdniestria, Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Nagorno-Karabakh – are a big reason why the newly independent states of the former Soviet south have failed miserably, and these serial failures have allowed the Kremlin to maintain its position as power-broker.

At the heart of each of these conflicts is some self-proclaimed mini-state, whose rulers prevailed by dint of Russian arms and advisers. These statelets share many of the same pathologies: harsh, militarised societies…

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