Near abroad

   The term “near abroad” (blizhneie zarubezh’ ie) is commonly used by Russians both inside and outside the Russian Federation to refer to the Newly Independent States, which formerly comprised the Soviet Union (excepting Russia itself), and which contain some 19 million ethnic Russians. This geographic space is differentiated from the “far abroad,” a concept that refers to the rest of the world. The term contains imperialistic overtones for many non-Russian residents of the former Soviet Union, who see its use as emblematic of Russia’s reticence to fully abandon its empire. Advanced by a number of Kremlin theoreticians, the notion of the near abroad as Russia’s “backyard” and within its exclusive sphere of influence has been growing since the early 1990s.
   See also Monroeski Doctrine; National identity.

Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation. . 2010.

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