Claiming the diaspora: Russia's compatriot policy and its reception by Estonian-Russian population



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Nearly a decade ago Russia took a turn from declarative compatriot protection discourse to a more programmatic approach consolidating large Russophone1 populations abroad and connecting them more with Russia by employing the newly emerged concept of Russkiy Mir as a unifying factor for Russophones around the world. Most academic debates have since focused on analyzing Russkiy Mir as Russia’s soft power tool. This article looks at Russia’s compatriot policy from the perspective of the claimed compatriot populations themselves. It is a single empirical in - depth case study of Russia’s compatriot policy and its reception by the Russian-speaking community in Estonia. The focus is on Russia’s claims on the Russophone population of Estonia and the reactions and perceptions of Russia’s ambitions by the Estonian-Russians themselves.



compatriots, Russian diaspora, diasporisation, integration in Estonia, identity of Russian-speakers, kaasmaalased, venekeelne diasporaa, lõimumine Eestis, venekeelse elanikkonna identiteet, diasporaastumine