The year after the downfall of the Soviet Union, President Boris Eltsine declared: “the Imperial Russia is over”, a long era that started with Ivan the Terrible. Ten years later, his successor, Vladimir Poutine answered him by stating: “The downfall of the Soviet Union was the biggest catastrophe of the 20th century.”
Behind official positions, what are the real relationships between Moscow and its former satellites? Are they the fruit of a shared past or the sign of a new form of imperialism? Do Russians want to rebuild a new glacis, as revenge for the 1991 humiliation, or recreate a new empire?