Novorossiya (confederation)

Last updated

New Russia

Новороссия (Russian)
Новоросія (Ukrainian)
Coat of Arms of Novorussia.svg
Coat of arms
Anthem: "Живи Новороссия"
(in Russian)(in Ukrainian)
"Live, New Russia!"
Map of the war in Donbass.svg
Territories controlled by DPR and LPR
Status Unrecognized state - Suspended (since 2015)
Largest city Donetsk
Official languagesRussian
Russian Orthodox (official) [1]
MembershipFlag of Donetsk People's Republic.svg  Donetsk People's Republic
Flag of Lugansk People's Republic.svg  Luhansk People's Republic
Government Provisional Confederation
 Speaker of the Parliament
Oleg Tsaryov [2]
 Head of the DPR
Denis Pushilin
 Head of the LPR
Leonid Pasechnik
Confederation between Donetsk and Luhansk
22 May 2014
No country has recognized
17,000 km2 (6,600 sq mi)
3,766,483 [3] [4]
222/km2 (575.0/sq mi)
GDP  (nominal)2015 estimate
~US$10 billion
 Per capita
Currency Russian ruble
Time zone UTC+3 ( Moscow Time [5] )
Driving side right

Novorossiya, Novorussia or New Russia (Russian :Новороссия, tr. Novorossiya,IPA:  [nəvɐˈrosʲɪjə] ; Ukrainian : Новоросія, translit.  Novorosiya), also referred to as the Union of People's Republics (Russian :Сою́з наро́дных респу́блик, tr. Soyuz Narodnykh Respublik,IPA:  [sɐˈjus nɐˈrodnɨx rʲɪˈspublʲɪk] ; Ukrainian : Союз народних республік, Soyuz Narodnykh Respublik), was a Russian proposed confederation of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) and Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) in eastern Ukraine, both of which control Ukrainian border with Russia. Ukraine has designated the confederation as lying within an Anti-Terrorist Operation Zone.

Russian language East Slavic language

Russian is an East Slavic language, which is official in the Russian Federation, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, as well as being widely used throughout Eastern Europe, the Baltic states, the Caucasus and Central Asia. It was the de facto language of the Soviet Union until its dissolution on 25 December 1991. Although, nowadays, over two decades after the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russian is used in official capacity or in public life in all the post-Soviet nation-states, as well as in Israel and Mongolia, the rise of state-specific varieties of this language tends to be strongly denied in Russia, in line with the Russian World ideology.

Romanization of Russian Romanization of the Russian alphabet

Romanization of Russian is the process of transliterating the Russian language from the Cyrillic script into the Latin script.

Ukrainian language language member of the East Slavic subgroup of the Slavic languages

Ukrainian is an East Slavic language. It is the official state language of Ukraine and first of two principal languages of Ukrainians; it is one of the three official languages in the unrecognized state of Transnistria, the other two being Romanian and Russian. Written Ukrainian uses a variant of the Cyrillic script.


At present, the two constituent republics of the confederation have no diplomatic recognition, and Ukraine has classified them as terrorist organizations. [6] [7] The creation of Novorossiya was declared on 22 May 2014, [1] [8] and one month later spokesmen of both republics declared their merger into a confederal "Union of People's Republics". [9] Within a year, the project was suspended: on 1 January 2015, founding leadership announced the project has been put on hold, and on 20 May the constituent members announced the freezing of the political project. [10] [11]


Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics DPR LPR en.jpg
Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics

Novorossiya was the name of a territory of the Russian Empire formed from the Crimean Khanate and Zaporizhian Sich which was under a mutual condominium of the Russian Empire and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The territory had been annexed several years after the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca concluded the Russo-Turkish War in 1774. Novorossiya initially included today's Southern Ukraine as well as some parts of today's Russia such as Kuban. The modern Russian Black Sea coast that was occupied by indigenous Circassians under military protection of the Ottoman Empire was not conquered until 1829 and was ceded to Russia under the 1829 Treaty of Adrianople.

Novorossiya a region north of the Black Sea

Novorossiya, literally New Russia but sometimes called South Russia, is a historical term of the Russian Empire denoting a region north of the Black Sea. It was formed as a new imperial province of Russia in 1764 from military frontier regions along with parts of the southern Hetmanate in preparation for war with the Ottomans. It was further expanded by the annexation of the Zaporizhian Sich in 1775. At various times it encompassed the Moldavian region of Bessarabia, the modern Ukraine′s regions of the Black Sea littoral (Prychornomoria), Zaporizhia, Tavria, the Azov Sea littoral (Pryazovia), the Tatar region of Crimea, the Nogai steppe at the Kuban River, and the Circassian lands.

Russian Empire Former country, 1721–1917

The Russian Empire, also known as Imperial Russia or simply Russia, was an empire that existed across Eurasia and North America from 1721, following the end of the Great Northern War, until the Republic was proclaimed by the Provisional Government that took power after the February Revolution of 1917.

Crimean Khanate former stat at the Crimean Peninsula until April 1783

The Crimean Khanate was a Turkic vassal state of the Ottoman Empire from 1478 to 1774, the longest-lived of the Turkic khanates that succeeded the empire of the Golden Horde of Mongol origin. Established by Hacı I Giray in 1449, the Crimean khans were the patrilineal descendants of Toqa Temür, thirteenth son of Jochi and grandson of Genghis Khan through marriage; Temür married one of Genghis Khan's granddaughters. The khanate was located in present-day Russia and Ukraine.

The region was soon colonized by Ukrainian, Romanian, Russian, German, Greek, Bulgarian, Jewish and other settlers. The major cities were Odessa, Kherson, Mykolaiv, and Novorossiysk.[ citation needed ] In 1802 the province of Novorossiya was split into three Governorates.

Odessa Place in Odessa Oblast, Ukraine

Odessa is the third most populous city of Ukraine and a major tourism center, seaport and transportation hub located on the northwestern shore of the Black Sea. It is also the administrative center of the Odessa Oblast and a multiethnic cultural center. Odessa is sometimes called the "pearl of the Black Sea", the "South Capital", and "Southern Palmyra". Before the Tsarist establishment of Odessa, an ancient Greek settlement existed at its location as elsewhere along the northwestern Black Sea coast. A more recent Tatar settlement was also founded at the location by Hacı I Giray, the Khan of Crimea in 1440 that was named after him as "Hacıbey". After a period of Lithuanian Grand Duchy control, Hacibey and surroundings became part of the domain of the Ottomans in 1529 and remained there until the empire's defeat in the Russo-Turkish War of 1792.

Kherson City of regional significance in Kherson Oblast, Ukraine

Kherson is a city in southern Ukraine. It is the administrative center of Kherson Oblast (province), and is designated as a city of oblast significance. Kherson is an important port on the Black Sea and Dnieper River, and the home of a major ship-building industry. Its population was 294,941 (2015 est.).

Mykolaiv City of regional significance in Ukraine

Mykolaiv, also known as Nikolaev or Nikolayev, is a city in southern Ukraine, the administrative center of the Mykolaiv Oblast. Mykolaiv is arguably the main shipbuilding center of the Black Sea. Aside from three shipyards within the city, there are a number of research centers specializing in shipbuilding such as the State Research and Design Shipbuilding Center, Zoria-Mashproekt and others. The city has a population of 494,763 (2015 est.).

Most of 18th century Novorossiya was incorporated in 1917 into the newly proclaimed Ukrainian People's Republic because ethnic Ukrainians constituted the majority of the population.[ citation needed ] After the defeat of pro-independence Ukrainians in the Ukrainian–Soviet War, the Soviet government confirmed that Southern Ukraine was part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

Ukrainian Peoples Republic country in Eastern Europe from 1917 to 1921

The Ukrainian People's Republic, or Ukrainian National Republic, a predecessor of modern Ukraine, was declared on 10 June 1917 following the February Revolution in Russia. It initially formed part of the Russian Republic, but proclaimed its independence on 25 January 1918. During its short existence the republic went through several political transformations - from the socialist-leaning republic headed by the Central Council with its general secretariat to the national republic led by the Directorate and by Symon Petliura. Between April and December 1918 the Ukrainian People's Republic did not function, having been overthrown by the Ukrainian State of Pavlo Skoropadsky. From late 1919 the UNR operated as an ally of the Second Polish Republic, but by then the state de facto no longer existed in Ukraine. The 18 March 1921 Treaty of Riga between the Second Polish Republic, Soviet Russia and of Soviet Ukraine sealed the fate of the Ukrainian People's Republic.

Ukrainian–Soviet War war (1917–1921) between the Ukrainian Peoples Republic and the Bolsheviks, won by the latter, resulting in the establishment of the Ukrainian SSR

The Ukrainian–Soviet War is the term commonly used in post-Soviet Ukraine for the events taking place between 1917–21, nowadays regarded essentially as a war between the Ukrainian People's Republic and the Bolsheviks. The war ensued soon after the October Revolution when Lenin dispatched the Antonov's expeditionary group to Ukraine and Southern Russia. Soviet historical tradition viewed it as an occupation of Ukraine by military forces of Western and Central Europe, including the Polish Republic's military – the Bolshevik victory constituting Ukraine's liberation from these forces. Conversely, modern Ukrainian historians consider it a failed War of Independence by the Ukrainian People's Republic against the Russian Soviet Republic, ending with Ukraine falling under a Russian-Soviet occupation.

The Novorossiya movement made its appearance in Odessa in August 1990. The movement, known as the Democratic Union of Novorossiya, argued that given the separate ethnos of the region it should have an autonomous status within a federated Ukrainian state. It campaigned for 'special state status' within 'the historical boundaries of Novorossiya (at the time Odessa, Mykolaiv, Kherson, Dnipropetrovsk, and Crimean Oblasts, and also part of the Dniester region of the Moldavian SSR). [12] It failed, however, to gain popular support. [13]

In September 1990 Alexander Solzhenitsyn published an article in opposition to the cultural partition of Ukraine and Russia in which he references 'Novorossiya', i.e., "including those regions which have never been part of the traditional Ukraine: the 'wild steppe' of the nomads—the latter "New Russia" [Новороссия]--as well as the Crimea, the Donbass area, and the lands stretching east almost to the Caspian Sea". He argues that "self-determination of peoples" requires that a nation must resolve issues of identity for itself. [14]

By November 1991 representatives from the Odessa, Kherson, Mykolaiv and Crimean oblasts had met in Odessa to discuss the question of forming a new state, 'Novorossiya'. This was necessitated, they explained, by the growth of 'nationalist tendencies' in Ukraine, its increasing isolationism, and diminishing ties with Russia. [15]

Three days after the 1 December 1991 referendum on Ukrainian independence, the mayor of St Petersburg, Anatoly Sobchak, argued that Russia had handed over to Ukraine "a whole series of Russian provinces, the so-called Novorossiya, whose population is for the most part Russian" and that the Russian minority in Ukraine was threatened with forcible 'Ukrainianisation'. [16] Following the collapse of the Soviet Union [17] the term Novorossiya began to be used again in calls for the independence or secession of regions of Ukraine corresponding to different areas. [18]

As late as September 1992, in Odessa, several organizations such as the Civic Movement of Odessa, Rus', the Socialist Party, and Novorossia are campaigning for the establishment of a separate Novorossian region, the exact borders of which were still being debated. [19]

In June 1994 the chairman of the Dniester Republic's supreme council made reference to Crimea, Odessa, and other oblasts as "Novorossiya". [20]

Dmitry Trenin of the Carnegie Moscow Center wrote that in 2005 and again in 2008 some quarters in Moscow, that were not entirely academic, discussed the idea of a Russia-friendly buffer state, "Novorossiya", being formed out of southern Ukraine from the Crimea to Odessa in response to perceived Western penetration into the former Soviet Union. [21]

The term Novorossiya came into usage in 2014 among Antimaidan protesters following the Euromaidan Ukrainian Revolution. [18]

On 17 April 2014, during talks in Geneva on resolving the rising unrest in southern and eastern Ukraine, President Putin stated at a question and answer session that even "in the tsarist days – Kharkov, Lugansk, Donetsk, Kherson, Nikolayev and Odessa – were not part of Ukraine" [22] but part of Novorossiya, and that they had been irresponsibly ceded to Ukraine. [22] [23] [nb 1]

On 29 August 2014 President Putin issued a statement addressed to the "Militia of Novorossiya" calling upon it to show humanitarian compassion and allow surrounded Ukrainian soldiers to withdraw and reunite with their families. This was the last official statement by President Putin addressing "Novorossiya". [26]



Pavel Gubarev (left) 2014-12-24. Мероприятия, посвященные 90-летию со дня образования Донецкого краеведческого музея 30.JPG
Pavel Gubarev (left)
Alexander Zakharchenko, leader of the Donetsk People's Republic, 27 December 2014 2014-12-27. День спасателя в Донецке 048.JPG
Alexander Zakharchenko, leader of the Donetsk People's Republic, 27 December 2014

The New Russia Party, founded on 13 May 2014 in Donetsk, Ukraine, [27] declared on its first congress of 22 May 2014 the formation of a new self-declared state named 'Novorossiya', inspired by the historical region of the Russian Empire that carried that name. The congress was attended by separatist officials of the Donetsk People's Republic, Donbass People's Militia as well as by the Donetsk Republic leader Pavel Gubarev, ultranationalist/Stalinist writer Alexander Prokhanov, [28] nationalist bolshevist political scientist and Eurasia Party leader Aleksandr Dugin, and Valery Korovin. [29] [30] According to Gubarev the state would include Kharkiv [nb 2] , Kherson, Dnipropetrovsk, Mykolaiv, Odessa and Zaporizhia. [33] [34] Two days later, the self-appointed 'Prime Minister' of Donetsk Alexander Borodai and Luhansk "head of the Republic" Aleksey Karyakin signed a document behind closed doors formalizing their merger into the new confederation. [35]

In an interview on 31 May, Denis Pushilin, then acting as head of state of the Donetsk People's Republic, stated that Novorossiya currently existed as a union of people's republics, but cooperation could be deepened if more territories were to join. [36] On 24 June, the two People's Republics proclaimed their accession to the union of people's republics, and at the second plenum of the new Parliament of Novorossiya on 15 July, the confederation adopted the official name of Novorossiya. [37] Since 2 November 2014 Donbass parliamentary elections the Parliament did not gather anymore. [10]

Parallel December 2014 declaration

On 12 December 2014, a "Congress of Deputies of All Levels" led by former DPR deputy foreign minister Boris Borisov, alongside figures such as Pavel Gubarev, issued a renewed declaration of the state sovereignty of the "Union of Sovereign Republics" of Novorossiya, claiming it to be an amendment of the 1922 Treaty on the Creation of the USSR. [38] [39] In contrast to the May agreement, the new declaration aimed to build a new executive "from scratch". [39] An official of the DPR responded that although Borisov was well-intentioned, his initiative did not have the material backing necessary for success. [39]

Suspension of the project

On 20 May 2015 supporters of the LNR and the DNR officially announced the freezing of the "New Russia" project and the closure of the related structures of political technology. Oleg Tsarev, chairman of the movement "New Russia" said that the activities of the Joint Parliament of Novorossiya are frozen because the confederation did not comply with the Minsk II accords. [10] [40] On 11 May 2014, a referendum on self-determination in eight regions (Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhia, Odessa, Luhansk, Mykolaiv, Kharkiv, Kherson, and Donetsk) was not held as expected, but only in the Lugansk and Donetsk republics. On 24 May 2014, delegates from these eight regions created the Joint Parliament of New Russia; however, this proved to be only virtual in nature as the political structure was unclaimed: the expected delegation of representatives did not occur, leading to curtailment of the Parliament initiative.

The status of Novorossiya came into dispute on 26 May 2014, when according to Bolotov, "none of the agreements have been concluded" but the intention is to form a "Union of People's Republics". [41] On 1 January 2015, former Donetsk Republic Prime Minister Alexander Borodai, who resigned on 7 August 2014, [42] [43] stated that "there is no Novorossiya" and that the proposed state was a "dream that was not brought to life" and called it a false start. [44] On 8 June 2015, the leaders of DPR and LPR submitted their proposed changes to the Constitution of Ukraine that, while calling for wide autonomy of the Donbass region, conceded them as territories of Ukraine. No change was proposed regarding the status of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea as part of Ukraine, considering the status of Crimea outside their purview. This was imputed by news agencies as a recognition by the leaders of DPR and LPR of Ukrainian sovereignty over Crimea. [45] Given this interpretation, these changes were withdrawn within hours, [46] and on 15 June 2015, DPR "Prime Minister" Alexander Zakharchenko claimed that the DPR "will never be part of Ukraine". [47] [48]

In mid-June 2015, Igor Girkin said that the situation in Novorossiya was a "colossal failure" no one knew how to patch up, and that the plan was to negotiate the return of the autonomous regions of Donetsk and Lugansk to Ukraine in return for Ukraine's de facto acceptance of the annexation of Crimea to the Russian Federation, the gradual withdrawal of sanctions, and the return of all other territories to their previous condition. According to Girkin, should such a "wonderful" plan be realised, Ukraine would become a federal state. "Consequently, in such a manner, a safety catch would be put in place for its entry into NATO. Russia would get leverage over Kiev in the form of the autonomous regions, and everything would settle down." [49] On 9 June 2016, an anonymous Russian businessman averred that the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 forfeited any chance to create the confederation. [50]

Similar proposal

A project was declared on 18 July 2017 by the Donetsk People's Republic to include all of Ukraine, but the name was changed to " Malorossiya " (Little Russia). [51] [52] The Luhansk People's Republic however stated that it would not be taking part in the project. The announcement was widely condemned by nations including Russia which pointed to the Minsk agreement. [53]


The armed forces of Novorossiya were composed of the Donbass People's Militia [54] [55] and the LPR People's Militia (formerly known as Army of the South-East).

The militias of the Donetsk People's Republic and Luhansk People's Republic, merged into one force on 16 September 2014, forming the "United Armed Forces of Novorossiya". [56]

It is regarded as a terrorist group by the Ukrainian government, and was accused in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on 17 July 2014.

International recognition

No country has recognized Novorossiya as a sovereign state or political entity. The two constituent republics, the Lugansk People's Republic and the Donetsk People's Republic, were recognized on 18 and 27 June 2014 respectively by South Ossetia. [57] [58]


Russian dissidents Alexandr Skobov and Andrey Piontkovsky commented that in its political features (nationalism, imperialism) the entity has similarities to 20th-century fascist movements. [59] [60]

See also


  1. The city of Kharkiv was not part of the historical region of Novorossiya; but of the historical region Sloboda Ukraine. [24] [25]
  2. The city of Kharkiv was not part of the historical region of Novorossiya; but of the historical region Sloboda Ukraine. [31] [32]

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Minsk Protocol September 2014 ceasefire agreement during the war in Donbass.

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Elections were held on 2 November 2014 by the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics. As a result of a war that started in April of the same year, these internationally unrecognised entities control parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts in eastern Ukraine, which are together called the Donbass region. The elections, the first of their kind since the establishment of either republic, were held to choose their chief executives and parliaments. In the Donetsk People's Republic, incumbent leader Alexander Zakharchenko won the post of chief executive, and his Donetsk Republic party gained a majority in parliament. In the Luhansk People's Republic, incumbent leader Igor Plotnitsky won the post of chief executive, and his Peace for Luhansk Region party gained a majority in parliament.

Minsk II 12 February 2015 ceasefire agreement for the war in the Donbass region of Ukraine

At a summit in Minsk on 11 February 2015, the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France, and Germany agreed to a package of measures to alleviate the ongoing war in eastern Ukraine. The talks that led to the deal, overseen by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), were organised in response to the collapse of the Minsk Protocol ceasefire in January–February 2015. The new package of measures is intended to revive the Protocol, which had been agreed to on 5 September 2014.

Post of Donbass is a state-owned enterprise being the operator of the postal system of self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic.

Elections were held on 11 November 2018 by the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics. As a result of a war that started in April 2014, these internationally unrecognised entities control parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts in eastern Ukraine, which are together called the Donbass region. They previously held elections in 2014. Voters were asked to elect the Head of the People's Republic of Donetsk and Head of the People's Republic of Luhansk as well as the deputies for two parliaments: The People's Soviet of the Donetsk People's Republic with 100 seats, and the People's Soviet of the Luhansk People's Republic with 50 seats.


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Coordinates: 48°00′10″N37°48′19″E / 48.0028°N 37.8053°E / 48.0028; 37.8053