It so happens that the autonomy-related organizational and legal institutions that exist today in the Russian Federation originated in the days of the USSR. They were mirrored on the Soviet model of the State, in which autonomy was based on geographical areas. That same geographically-based Soviet State structure was initially expected to furnish solutions to the country's nationality-related issues. Overall it must be said that the national-cum-federal (in actual fact unitary nation-State) structure of the USSR has made it significantly harder to tackle the nationality question in the Russian Federation. © Koninklijke Brill NV.