Demographic Upheavals in Central Asia

Independence came suddenly to the states of Central Asia, with advance notice of only a few weeks, and the populations in those states were far from unanimous in desiring sovereign statehood. To be sure, many in the new states were enthusiastic about the opportunity that so suddenly emerged. But many more would have been happy to accept a status short of full independence had it provided autonomy within a more loosely defined USSR. That is especially true of the people who came to Central Asia as part of Russia’s expansion or Soviet development efforts.

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