With the sole exception of Russia, all successor states of the Soviet Union have been proclaimed as 'national states' or 'nation-states'. A period of intense nation-building has commenced. In order to keep a state together in the modern world, it is essential that its population have a common identity and a shared feeling of common destiny. The citizens must be bound together by loyalty towards the same institutions, symbols and values. This does not necessarily imply that all inhabitants of the state must partake in the same ethnic identity. National identity may, and in many cases must, be political rather than cultural. The articles traces patterns of varieties and similarities in the on-going nation-building projects among the non-Russian Soviet successor states.