Until 1991, the geopolitical map of the Caucasus looked fairly straightforward. One long border divided the Soviet Union from its southern neighbours and, internally, administrative boundaries parcelled the territory into Soviet Socialist Republics (SSR), Autonomous SSR and Autonomous Oblasts. The whole territory belonged to a large integrated economic space – the Soviet Union – that had no borders or customs fracturing it. The Russian language, officially operating as a lingua franca, attenuated linguistic divides and relegated other languages to the homeland (with the exception of Georgian, which was preserved as Georgia’s official language). This does not mean that significant cleavages were absent in the region; it is enough to mention the institutionalisation of nationality through ethno-politics and korenizatsiya (Tishkov, 1997; Dean Martin, 2001). It was reflected on people’s IDs, through folklore and in internal politics.