Fifteen new states emerged from the rubble of the Soviet collapse. Or so we think. There are four other unrecognised ‘states’. These are not found on any map of the new Eurasian space. They are completely isolated in international relations and they all face deep internal problems, their nearest neighbours challenging their very existence.
Often, they are dismissed as criminal strips of no- man’s land and the puppets of other powers. The conﬂicts receded from the headlines long ago: the 1992 struggle in Moldova with the break-away region of Transdniestria, the wars in Georgia between Tbilisi and South Ossetia and Abkhazia in 1992-1994, and the bitter dispute over the Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh in Azerbaijan. Cease-ﬁre agreements have been reached in all of them.