Post-Soviet conflicts

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This article lists the post-Soviet conflicts; the violent political and ethnic conflicts in the countries of the former Soviet Union following its dissolution in 1991.

Some of these conflicts such as the 1993 Russian constitutional crisis or the 2013 Euromaidan protests in Ukraine were due to political crises in the successor states. Others involved separatist movements attempting to break away from one of the successor states.

According to Gordon M. Hahn, the post-Soviet conflicts led to the death of at least 196,000 people, excluding pogroms and interethnic violence, between 1990 and 2013.[1][page needed]

Frozen conflicts

Some post-Soviet conflicts ended in a stalemate or without a peace treaty, and are referred to as frozen conflicts. This means that a number of former-Soviet states are left sovereign over the entirety of their territory in name only. In reality, they do not exercise full control over areas still under the control of rebel factions. Rebel groups are essentially left independent over large chunks of the territories they claim. In many instances, they have created institutions which are similar to those of fully fledged independent states, albeit with little or no international recognition. Notable such cases include Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Georgia; Nagorno-Karabakh on the border between Azerbaijan and Armenia; Transnistria in land near to Moldova's eastern border with Ukraine; and the Donetsk People's Republic and the Luhansk People's Republic breakaway areas in Ukraine.[2]

Recognition of these rebel groups varies. In some instances such as Transnistria, no UN-member state has given its recognition, including Russia. In the case of Georgia's Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Russia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Nauru and Syria have recognized them.

Central Asia

Conflict Parties Start End Detail
Tajikistani Civil War Tajikistan/ Tajikistan
Russia/ Russia
United Tajik Opposition
Jamiat-i Islami
 Afghanistan al-Qaeda
Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan
5 May 1992 27 June 1997 Began when ethnic groups from the Gharm and Gorno-Badakhshan regions of Tajikistan, which were underrepresented in the ruling elite, rose up against the national government of President Rahmon Nabiyev, in which people from the Leninabad and Kulab regions dominated. The war ended with the signing of the General Agreement on the Establishment of Peace and National Accord in Tajikistan and the Moscow Protocol.[3]
Kyrgyz Revolution of 2010 KyrgyzstanGovernment KyrgyzstanOpposition 6 April 2010 14 December 2010 Also known as the People's April Revolution, the Melon Revolution or the April Events. Began with the ousting of Kyrgyz president Kurmanbek Bakiyev in the capital Bishkek. The violence ultimately led to the consolidation of a new parliamentary system in Kyrgyzstan.[4]
2010 South Kyrgyzstan ethnic clashes Kyrgyzstan Government Ethnic Kyrgyz rioters
Ethnic Uzbek rioters
19 May 2010 June 2010 Clashes between ethnic Kazakhs and ethnic Dungans (a Muslim group with Chinese origins) in the village of Masanchi within the Korday District of Kazakhstan.[5]
Tajikistan insurgency  Tajikistan United Tajik Opposition 19 September 2010 September 2015 Sporadic fighting in Tajikistan between rebel and government forces.
2020 Dungan–Kazakh ethnic clashes  Kazakhstan Ethnic Kyrgyz rioters
Ethnic Dungans rioters
5 February 2020 5 February 2020 Clashes between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbeks in southern Kyrgyzstan, primarily in the cities of Osh and Jalal-Abad, in the aftermath of the ouster of former President Kurmanbek Bakiyev on April 7.
2021 Kyrgyzstan–Tajikistan clashes  Kyrgyzstan  Tajikistan 28 April 2021 1 May 2021 Clashes between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan over water dispute.[6][7]
2022 Kazakh unrest Kazakhstan Government
Kazakhstan Opposition 2 January 2022 11 January 2022 Protests across Kazakhstan that were sparked by an abrupt increase of gas prices, but have escalated into general protests. Kazakhstan's government has requested CSTO assistance in quelling the protests.

North Caucasus

The breakaway republics within the Caucasus
Conflict Parties Start End Detail
East Prigorodny conflict  North Ossetia-Alania
30 October 1992 6 November 1992 Inter-ethnic conflict in the Eastern part of the Prigorodny district.
First Chechen War  Russia  Chechen Republic of Ichkeria 11 December 1994 31 August 1996 Russian troops invaded after Chechnya declared independence, but withdrew in 1996 leading to a de facto Chechen independence.
War of Dagestan  Russia Islamic Djamaat of Dagestan 7 August 1999 14 September 1999 The Islamic International Brigade invaded the neighbouring Russian republic of Dagestan in support of the Shura of Dagestan separatist movement.
Second Chechen War  Russia  Chechen Republic of Ichkeria 26 August 1999 31 May 2000 Russia restores federal control of Chechnya.
Insurgency in Chechnya  Russia  Chechen Republic of Ichkeria
Caucasus Emirate
1 June 2000 16 April 2009 Separatist insurgency in Chechnya, Dagestan, and other parts of the North Caucasus region.
War in Ingushetia  Russia Caucasus Emirate 21 July 2007 19 May 2015 Separatist insurgency in Ingushetia.
Low-level insurgency in the North Caucasus  Russia Caucasus Emirate
 Islamic State
16 April 2009 19 December 2017 Separatist insurgency in Chechnya, Dagestan, and other parts of the North Caucasus region.

South Caucasus

Conflict Parties Start End Detail
1991–1992 South Ossetia War  Georgia  South Ossetia 5 January 1991 24 June 1992 The separatist conflict leads to South Ossetia's de facto independence.
Georgian Civil War Georgia (country) Pro-Gamsakhurdia forces Georgia (country) Pro-State Council forces
 South Ossetia
22 December 1991 31 December 1993 Inter-ethnic and intranational conflicts in the regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
War in Abkhazia (1992–1993)  Georgia  Abkhazia
14 August 1992 27 September 1993 Abkhaz separatism leads to the de facto independence of Abkhazia from Georgia.
Nagorno-Karabakh conflic border skirmishest  Azerbaijan  Armenia
 Republic of Artsakh
12 May 1994 27 September 2020 Sporadic border war on the Armenian–Azerbaijan border and at the line of contact between the Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan.
War in Abkhazia (1998) Georgia (country) Ethnic Georgian rebels  Abkhazia 18 May 1998 26 May 1998 Ethnic Georgians launched an insurgency against the Abkhazian secessionist government.
Pankisi Gorge crisis  Georgia al-Qaeda
Chechen Republic of Ichkeria Chechen rebels
2002 2004 An incursion by Al-Qaeda forces on behalf of Chechen rebels fighting in the North Caucasus. They were forced out in 2004 by Georgian forces with American and Russian backing.
Rose Revolution Georgia (country) Government Georgia (country) Opposition 3 November 2003 23 November 2003 A peaceful revolution over threw President Eduard Shevardnadze in favor of Mikheil Saakashvili.
2004 Adjara crisis  Georgia
 Adjara loyalists
Adjara separatists 23 November 2003 20 July 2004 A popular revolt ousted the autocratic ruler Aslan Abashidze, Adjara reaffirmed its integration into Georgia as an autonomous republic.
Russo-Georgian War  Russia
 South Ossetia
 Georgia 1 August 2008 12 August 2008 A war between Georgia on one side and Russia, South Ossetia and Abkhazia on the other side confirms the de facto independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and leads to their recognition by Russia and Nicaragua.[8]
2016 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict  Azerbaijan  Armenia
 Republic of Artsakh
1 April 2016 5 April 2016 Armenian and Azerbaijani forces fight a four-day long conflict along the border of the unrecognized Republic of Artsakh. Azerbaijani forces make minor territorial gains, some of which are retaken by Armenian forces before the end of the conflict.
July 2020 Armenian–Azerbaijani clashes  Azerbaijan  Armenia 12 July 2020 16 July 2020 Armenian and Azerbaijani forces engage in border clashes along the Tavush Province of Armenia and Tovuz District of Azerbaijan. The death of Azerbaijani major general Polad Hashimov sparks the July 2020 Azerbaijani protests. Turkey and Azerbaijan organize large-scale military exercises following the clashes, and tensions persist until the beginning of the Second Nagorno-Karabakh war 2 months later.
Second Nagorno-Karabakh war  Azerbaijan  Armenia
 Republic of Artsakh
27 September 2020 10 November 2020 Azerbaijan retakes most of the territories previously controlled by the Republic of Artsakh. Russian peacekeepers introduced into the remaining disputed area.
2021–2022 Armenia–Azerbaijan border crisis  Azerbaijan  Armenia 12 May 2021 present series of skirmishes along the Azerbaijan-Armenia border.

Eastern Europe

Conflict Parties Start End Detail
Transnistria War  Russia
 Moldova 1 March 1992 21 July 1992 The Transnistria War started due to fear from its Russian and Ukrainian-majority population to a unification with Romania. A ceasefire between Russian and Transnistrian forces and Moldovan forces has been in place since 1992, enforced by the presence of Russian forces in Transnistria.[9]
1993 Russian constitutional crisis Russia Pro-Yeltsin forces Russia Pro-Supreme Soviet forces 21 September 1993 4 October 1993 Political stand-off between the Russian president and the Russian parliament that was resolved by using military force.
Orange Revolution Ukraine Government Ukraine Opposition 22 November 2004 23 January 2005 Amid allegations of voter fraud in the 2004 Ukrainian presidential election, supporters of candidate Viktor Yushchenko staged a peaceful civil uprising demanding a revote. The Supreme Court of Ukraine ultimately acceded to their demands and revoked the results, and Yushchenko won the resulting election.
Euromaidan and the Revolution of Dignity Ukraine Government Ukraine Opposition 21 November 2013 22 February  2014 Euromaidan is the name given to civil unrest that started when the Ukrainian government cancelled an association agreement with the EU in favour of closer ties with Russia, but was fueled by the perception of widespread government corruption, abuse of power and violation of human rights in Ukraine. The protests escalated and led to the Revolution of Dignity, which toppled the Ukrainian government.
Annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation  Russia
 Republic of Crimea
 Ukraine 20 February 2014 26 March 2014 In February and March 2014, Russia invaded and subsequently annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine. This took place in the aftermath of the Revolution of Dignity.[10]
War in Donbas  Russia
 Donetsk People's Republic
 Luhansk People's Republic
 Ukraine 20 February 2014  — In March 2014, following the takeover of Crimea by pro-Russian separatists and Russian Armed Forces,[11] a referendum (not recognised by the new Ukrainian authorities)[12] was held on the issue of reunification with Russia.[13] Russia then annexed Crimea. Then violent protests of the Russian population began in Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts, which turned into a full-fledged war.
2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine  Russia
 Donetsk People's Republic
 Luhansk People's Republic
 Ukraine 24 February 2022  — On 24 February 2022, the Russo-Ukrainian War escalated when Russian forces began bombing Ukrainian cities. After the bombings, Russian troops launched an operation on Ukrainian soil and began sending in troops on Ukrainian territory, launching a 'full-scale' invasion. This invasion was supported militarily by the Donetsk People's Republic and Luhansk People's Republic and non-militarily by Belarus.

See also


  1. ^ Hahn, Gordon M. (2017). Ukraine Over the Edge: Russia, the West and the "New Cold War". McFarland. ISBN 9781476628752.
  2. ^ Rusif Huseynov. Ukraine: Towards a frozen future?: The Politicon, 11 November 2015
  3. ^ Tajikistan Civil War Global Security
  4. ^ Shakarian, Pietro A. (30 April 2018). "The Significance of Armenia's 'April Revolution' - The Nation" – via {{cite magazine}}: Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  5. ^ ВААЛЬ, ТАМАРА (2020-03-27). "25 человек задержали по подозрению в массовых беспорядках в Кордайском районе - Аналитический интернет-журнал Vласть". (in Russian). Archived from the original on 5 May 2020. Retrieved 2021-05-17.
  6. ^ "Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan forces exchange gunfire in worst border flareup in years | Eurasianet". Retrieved 2021-04-29.
  7. ^ Reuters Staff (29 April 2021). "Kyrgyz, Tajik security forces clash at border in water dispute". Reuters. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
  8. ^ "Statement by President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev". Russia's President web site. 2008-08-26. Archived from the original on 2 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-26.
  9. ^ "Trans-Dniester profile - BBC News". Retrieved 2017-06-18.
  10. ^ Simon Shuster (10 March 2014). "Putin's Man in Crimea Is Ukraine's Worst Nightmare". Time. Retrieved 8 March 2015. Before dawn on Feb. 27, at least two dozen heavily armed men stormed the Crimean parliament building and the nearby headquarters of the regional government, bringing with them a cache of assault rifles and rocket propelled grenades. A few hours later, Aksyonov walked into the parliament and, after a brief round of talks with the gunmen, began to gather a quorum of the chamber's lawmakers.
  11. ^ "Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club". 2014-10-24. Archived from the original on 2015-04-15. I will be frank; we used our Armed Forces to block Ukrainian units stationed in Crimea
  12. ^ "Treasury Designates Seven Individuals And One Entity Contributing To The Situation In Ukraine". US Treasury. 11 April 2014.
  13. ^ "Crimea applies to be part of Russian Federation after vote to leave Ukraine". The Guardian. 17 March 2014.