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AND INTERNAL SOVEREIGNTY
30 YEARS OF DE-FACTO
Institute of Geography of Russian Academy of Science, Moscow, 119017, Russia
For more than 30 years, Transnistria and Abkhazia separated from their parent states and proclaimed
independence. Generations born and raised in unrecognized states have already entered an active age. In
this regard, the question of how citizens of the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic and the Republic of
Abkhazia understand independence, how important it is for them, how do they see the prospects of their
states and what life strategies do they choose, becomes especially relevant. In the article, the authors
compare the results of 13 focus groups conducted in Transnistria and Abkhazia in the fall of 2020 with the
main socio-economic indicators of de facto states and their neighbors. This approach made it possible to
connect the perception of the problems of everyday life with changes in the identity of citizens and the
internal sovereignty of unrecognized states, to highlight the factors uniting and dividing various social
groups, to assess their attitude to the current results and prospects of state building. The different
composition of the groups made it possible to compare the opinions, firstly, of citizens who were socialized
after the collapse of the Soviet Union and in Soviet times, secondly, different ethnic groups, men and
women, and, thirdly, residents of different districts of de-facto states. It was revealed that the main
economic indicators of Abkhazia and Transnistria lag behind the average values of neighboring countries.
The lack of significant economic progress can potentially affect the loyalty of citizens to the political
regime and negatively change the viability of the republics. In this context, signs of fatigue from the inconveniences of life in the unrecognized republic and low-income levels compared to neighboring
countries and the mother state were revealed in the Abkhaz and Transnistrian societies