The collapse of the unitary Soviet state has plunged its former citizens into a profound identity crisis. Particularly hard hit are the 25 million Russians living in the non-Russian successor states. Formerly members of the dominant nationality of a multinational state they have been turned into a new Russian diaspora. Whether they in time should come to look upon themselves as Latvians (Ukrainians, Georgians, etc) of Russian extraction or as Russians who happen to be living in Latvia, Ukraine, Georgia, etc. will clearly influence political relation both within and among the Soviet successor states. Identity formation is a prolonged process and influenced by a number of factors. The authors attempts to outline a typology of possible identity trajectories of the Russian diaspora and discusses a number of influence factors which are deemed important to the identity formation. These factors work very differently in the various non-Russian successor states, and it is therefore no reason to believe that all Russians living outside the Russian Federation will develop the same identity. There is, however, good reason to expect that in the final outcome a very large number of them will develop an identity which sets them apart from the Russian core group.