Prospective group position in a prospective state – or dynamic state identity – arguably explains why territorial preferences differ among ethnic Russians, ethnic non-Russian Slavs, and the non-Slavs, while also explaining why all ethnic groups in Russia strongly support Putin’s expansionist policies in Crimea. At the same time, the findings in 2014 also indicate that the annexation of Crimea potentially reduces Russia’s public support for further territorial expansion.

Mikhail Alexseev is Professor (political science) at San Diego State University, California. He is an internationally recognized authority on migration, ethnopolitical conflict, and post-Soviet Russia.