- On Monday night, Russia formally recognized the independence of Donetsk and Luhansk, a move that sparked stark reactions around the region.
- The Caucasus has a large concentration of post-Soviet breakaway states and Russia has already recognized some of them such as Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
- Putin attempted to reassure leaders in the region by claiming that Ukraine was different because it had been influenced by foreign actors and represented a threat to Russia.
Russia’s formal recognition of eastern Ukraine’s two separatist republics has been closely watched – with dread, celebration, or quiet concern, depending on the viewer’s own geopolitical situation – in the Caucasus, which boasts the post-Soviet world’s greatest concentration of unrecognized breakaway states.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the formal recognition of the Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic (known as the DNR and LNR, respectively, using their Russian acronyms) in a late-night speech at the Kremlin on February 21.
The news reverberated heavily in the Caucasus, home to two self-proclaimed independent states that have been recognized by Russia since 2008 – Abkhazia and South Ossetia – and one that has not been, Nagorno-Karabakh…read more.