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Kalmykia during Late Perestroika and the Dissolution of the USSR (1990–1991): a New Vision of the Republic’s Status as a Subject of Soviet and Russian Federalism

https://doi.org/10.22162/2619-0990-2020-47-1-26-40

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Abstract

Introduction. During the 1990 ‘sovereignty parade’, Soviet autonomous republics tended to adopt respective declarations as a means to denounce their autonomous status and, thus, raise their political standing in the context of reformed national and state structures. And Kalmykia was part of the trend: in October 1990, the region was reorganized into a Soviet Socialist Republic and, like other ex-autonomous republics, acquired a formal right to claim the status of a USSR member state. In RSFSR, this was paralleled by the preparation of a Federal Treaty that would reflect Russia’s new national-state structure. Goals. The paper investigates positions of regional authorities during the troubled period of fundamental reforms, and provides insight into the then emerged vision of the republic’s status as a subject of Soviet and Russian federalism. Materials. The article introduces a number of documents of the Kalmyk SSR that reveal the essence of Kalmykia’s Declaration of State Sovereignty, attitudes towards respective draft treaties developed for the USSR and RSFSR. Results. The work explores reasons underlying adoptions and principal provisions of the documents, focusing on positions of Kalmykia’s executives towards state sovereignty, renaming of the republic, change of its status within the USSR and particularly RSFSR, primacy of the republic’s laws, citizenship, economic independence, interregional and interethnic relations. Conclusions. Authorities of the Kalmyk ASSR sought to transform the republic into a USSR member state, though as part of the RSFSR. In this regard, great expectations were placed on a new Union Treaty that would recognize political and economic rights of the republic, and grant certain representative quotas in Union-level agencies. Similar efforts were made by the republic later as part of the Federal Treaty. The latter specified political and economic provisions (requirements) set forth by the republic in more detail, a significant role played there by the Law of the RSFSR on Rehabilitation of Repressed Peoples adopted in April 1991.

About the Author

Evgeny A. Gunaev
Kalmyk Scientific Center of the RAS
Russian Federation

Cand. Sc. (Law), Senior Research Associate

8, Ilishkin St., Elista 358000, Russian Federation



References

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For citations:


Gunaev E.A. Kalmykia during Late Perestroika and the Dissolution of the USSR (1990–1991): a New Vision of the Republic’s Status as a Subject of Soviet and Russian Federalism. Oriental Studies. 2020;13(1):26-40. (In Russ.) https://doi.org/10.22162/2619-0990-2020-47-1-26-40

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ISSN 2619-0990 (Print)
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