Why did the Soviet Union break up, whereas the Russian Federation has so far held together in the face of ostensibly similar secession crises? To what extent is regional separatism a product of economic incentives or local ethnic identity? Few areas of the world display a greater complexity of ethnic relations than the post-Soviet empire, and there are few with greater long-term strategic significance. Drawing on insights from political science, sociology, and anthropology, A Federation Imperiled asks why political elites in some regions in post-Soviet Russia have shown more of a proclivity for separatism from Moscow than others. Focusing on Chechnya, Dagestan, Sakha, Buryatia, Tyva, Pskov, and Primorye, this volume explores political programs articulated by top officials in the regions, local separtist or anti-separtist movements, and disputes between Moscow and the regions over natural resources and external trade. This is the first major comparative study on the Soviet Union and the Russian Federation.