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The three colors of Novorossiya, or the Russian nationalist mythmaking of the Ukrainian crisis


Post-Soviet AffairsJournal abstract

While the annexation of Crimea boosted Putin's popularity at home, the Donbas insurgency shattered the domestic ideological status quo. The Kremlin's position appeared somehow hesitant, fostering the resentment of Russian nationalist circles that were hoping for a second annexation. In this article, I explore the term Novorossiya as a live mythmaking process orchestrated by different Russian nationalist circles to justify the Donbas insurgency. The powerful pull of Novorossiya rests on its dual meaning in announcing the birth of a New Russia geographically and metaphorically. It is both a promised land to be added to Russia and an anticipation of Russia's own transformation. As such, Novorossiya provides for an exceptional convergence of three underlying ideological paradigms – “red” (Soviet), “white” (Orthodox), and “brown” (Fascist). The Novorossiya storyline validates a new kind of geopolitical adventurism and blurs the boundaries, both territorial and imaginary, of the Russian state.

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