In 1991, the centrifugal forces of ethnic nationalism destroyed the Soviet Union. Religious and ethnic issues will be the defining principles of political life in East Europe, Transcaucasia, and Central Asia for the next decade. Yet when most Americans and Europeans read, for instance, of the Ossetians and Ingush, they have no idea who these peoples are or why they are fighting. This volume will provide a ready reference for students, researchers, and librarians who are trying to sort out the political and social struggles in that part of the world. Focusing on ethnolinguistic groups rather than peoples with purely religious orientations, Olson provides entries on over 450 ethnic groups, with appropriate cross-references. Each entry concludes with references, and the volume includes a selected bibliography of English-language titles. The volume also includes a chronology, several appendixes providing statistical information, and an appendix essay on Islam in Russia and the Soviet Union.