A puppet state, puppet régime, puppet government or dummy government is a state that is de jure independent but de facto completely dependent upon an outside power and subject to its orders. Puppet states have nominal sovereignty, but a foreign power effectively exercises control through economic or military support. By leaving a local government in existence the outside power evades all responsibility, while at the same time successfully paralyzing the local government they tolerate.[how?]
Puppet states differ from allies, who choose their actions of their own initiative or in accordance with treaties they have voluntarily entered. Puppet states are forced into legally endorsing actions already taken by a foreign power.
A puppet state preserves the external paraphernalia of independence such as a name, flag, anthem, constitution, law codes, motto and government, but in reality is an organ of another state which creates,
sponsors or otherwise controls the puppet government. International law does not recognize occupied puppet states as legitimate.
Puppet states can cease to be puppets through:
military defeat of the "master" state (as in Europe and Asia in 1945),
absorption into the master state (as in the early Soviet Union),
revolution, notably occurring after withdrawal of foreign occupying forces (like Afghanistan in 1992), or
In the Middle Agesvassal states existed based on delegation of the rule of a country by a king to noble men of lower rank. Since the Peace of Westphalia of 1648, the concept of a nation came into existence where sovereignty was connected more to the people who inhabited the land than to the nobility who owned the land.
South Chahar Autonomous Government (1937-1939), was formed in South Chahar with its capital at Kalgan (modern day Zhangjiakou) on September 4, 1937. The state was merged with the North Shanxi Autonomous Government as well as the Mongol United Autonomous Government to create Mengjiang.
Mongol Military Government (1936-1937) as well as Mongol United Autonomous Government (1937-1939) were established in Inner Mongolia as puppet states with local collaborators. This state formed the large basis of what was to become Mengjiang.
Mengjiang, set up in Inner Mongolia on May 12, 1936, as the Mongol Military Government (蒙古軍政府) was renamed in October 1937 as the Mongol United Autonomous Government (蒙古聯盟自治政府). On September 1, 1939, the predominantly Han Chinese governments of South Chahar Autonomous Government and North Shanxi Autonomous Government were merged with the Mongol Autonomous Government, creating the new Mengjiang United Autonomous Government (蒙疆聯合自治政府). All of these were headed by De Wang.
Great Way (Dadao) government (Shanghai 1937–1940) – A short-lived regime based in Shanghai. This provisional government was established as a preliminary collaboration state as the Japanese took control of all of Shanghai and advanced towards Nanking. This was then merged with the Reformed Government of China as well as the Provisional Government of China into the Reorganised Nationalist Government of the Republic of China under the leadership of Chairman Wang Jingwei.
Several European governments under the domination of Germany and Italy during World War II have been described as "puppet régimes". The formal means of control in occupied Europe varied greatly. These states fall into several categories.
Existing states in alliance with Germany and Italy
Hungarian Government of National Unity (1944–1945) – The pro-Nazi régime of Prime Minister Ferenc Szálasi supported by the Arrow Cross Party was a German puppet régime. Arrow Cross was a pro-German, anti-Semitic Fascist party. Szálasi was installed by the Germans after Hitler launched Operation Panzerfaust and had the Hungarian Regent, Admiral Miklós Horthy, removed and placed under house arrest. Horthy was forced to abdicate in favor of Szálasi. Szálasi fought on even after Budapest fell and Hungary was completely overrun.
Vichy France (1940–1942/4) – The Vichy French régime of Philippe Pétain had limited autonomy from 1940 to 1942, and depended heavily on Germany. The Vichy government controlled many of France's colonies and the unoccupied part of France and enjoyed international recognition. In 1942, the Germans occupied the portion of France administered by the Vichy government in Case Anton and installed a new leadership under Pierre Laval, ending much of Vichy's international legitimacy.
Monaco (1942–1944) – In 1943, the Italian army invaded and occupied Monaco, setting up a fascist administration. Shortly thereafter, following Mussolini's collapse in Italy, the German army occupied Monaco and began deporting the Jewish population. Among them was René Blum, founder of Monaco's Ballet de l'Opera, who died in a Nazi extermination camp.
Independent State of Croatia (1941–1945) – The Independent State of Croatia (Nezavisna Država Hrvatska or NDH) was a German and Italian puppet régime. On paper, the NDH was a kingdom under King Tomislav II (Aimone, Duke of Spoleto) of the House of Savoy, but Tomislav II was only a figurehead in Croatia who never exercised any real power, with Ante Pavelić a somewhat independent leader ("Poglavnik"), though staying obedient to Rome and Berlin.
States and governments under control of Germany and Italy
Lokot Republic, Russia (1941–1943) – The Lokot Republic under Konstantin Voskoboinik [fr; ru] and Bronislaw Kaminski was a semi-autonomous region in Nazi-occupied Russia under a collaborationist administration. The republic covered the area of several raions of Oryol and Kursk Oblasts. It was directly associated with the "Russian Liberation People's Army" (Russkaya Osvoboditelnaya Narodnaya Armiya or RONA), known as the Kaminski Brigade.
Zuyev Republic (1941–1944) was an autonomous region in Nazi-occupied Belarus.
Italian Social Republic
Italian Social Republic (1943–1945, known also as the Republic of Salò) – General Pietro Badoglio and King Victor Emmanuel III withdrew Italy from the Axis Powers and moved the government to Southern Italy, already conquered by the Allies. In response, the Germans occupied Northern Italy and founded the Italian Social Republic (Repubblica Sociale Italiana or RSI) with Italian dictator Benito Mussolini as its "Head of State" and "Minister of Foreign Affairs". While the RSI government had some trappings of an independent state, it was completely dependent both economically and politically on Germany.
The Axis demand for oil and the concern of the Allies that Germany would look to the oil-rich Middle East for a solution, caused the invasion of Iraq by the United Kingdom and the invasion of Iran by the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union. Pro-Axis governments in both Iraq and Iran were removed and replaced with Allied-dominated governments.
Kingdom of Iraq (1941–1947) – Iraq was important to the United Kingdom because of its position on the route to India. Iraq also could provide strategic oil reserves. But due to the UK's weakness early in the war Iraq backed away from the pre-war Anglo-Iraqi Alliance. On 1 April 1941, the Hashemite monarchy in Iraq was overthrown by a pro-German coup d'état under Rashid Ali. The Rashid Ali regime began negotiations with the Axis powers and military aid was quickly sent to Mosul via Vichy French-controlled Syria. The Germans provided a squadron of twin-engine fighters and a squadron of medium bombers. The Italians provided a squadron of biplane fighters. In mid-April 1941, a brigade of the 10th Indian Infantry Division landed at Basra (Operation Sabine). On 30 April, British forces at RAF Habbaniya were besieged by a numerically inferior Iraqi force. On 2 May, the British launched pre-emptive airstrikes against the Iraqis and the Anglo-Iraqi War began. By the end of May, the siege of RAF Habbaniya was lifted, Fallujah was taken, Baghdad was surrounded by British forces, and the pro-German government of Rashid Ali collapsed. Rashid Ali and his supporters fled the country. The Hashemite monarchy (King Faisal II and Prime Minister Nuri al-Said) was restored, and declared war on the Axis powers in January 1942. British and Commonwealth forces remained in Iraq until 26 October 1947.
Imperial State of Iran (1941–1943) – German workers in Iran caused the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union to question Iran's neutrality. In addition, Iran's geographical position was important to the Allies. So, in August 1941, the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran (Operation Countenance) was launched. In September 1941, Reza Shah Pahlavi was forced to abdicate his throne and went into exile. He was replaced by his son Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was willing to declare war on the Axis powers. By January 1942, the UK and the Soviet Union agreed to end their occupation of Iran six months after the end of the war.
Map of the Finnish Democratic Republic (1939–40), a short-lived puppet state of the Soviet Union. Green indicates the area that the Soviet Union planned to cede to the Finnish Democratic Republic, and red the areas ceded by Democratic Finland to the Soviet Union.
Tuvan People's Republic,[disputed – discuss] also Tannu Tuva (1921–1944) achieved independence from China by means of local nationalist revolutions only to come under the domination of the Soviet Union in the 1920s. In 1944, Tannu Tuva was absorbed into the Soviet Union.
Finnish Democratic Republic (1939–1940) – The Finnish Democratic Republic (Suomen Kansanvaltainen Tasavalta) was a short-lived republic in the parts of Finland that were occupied by the Soviet Union during the Winter War. The Finnish Democratic Republic was also known as the "Terijoki Government" (Terijoen hallitus) because Terijoki was the first town captured by the Soviets. The Finnish Democratic Republic was intended to govern Finland after Soviet conquest.
Republic of Mahabad (22 January 1946 – 15 January 1947), officially known as the Republic of Kurdistan and established in several provinces of northwestern Iran, or what is known as Iranian Kurdistan, was a short-lived republic that sought Kurdish autonomy within the limits of the Iranian state. Iran re-took control in December and the leaders of the state were executed in March 1947 in Mahabad.
The greatest extent of the territory which the Soviet Union politically, economically and militarily dominated as of 1959–1960, after the Cuban Revolution but before the official 1961 Sino-Soviet split [total area: about 34,375,000 square kilometres (13,272,000 sq mi)]
Other states under Soviet influence
Yugoslavia was a communist state closely linked to the Soviet Union, but Yugoslavia retained autonomy within its own borders. After the Tito–Stalin split in 1948, the relationship between the two countries deteriorated significantly. Yugoslavia was expelled from the international organizations of the Eastern Bloc. After Stalin's death and a period of de-Stalinization by Khrushchev, peace was restored, but the relationship between the two countries was never completely mended. Yugoslavia continued to pursue independent policies and became the founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement.
In some cases, the process of decolonization has been managed by the decolonizing power to create a neo-colony, that is a nominally independent state whose economy and politics permits continued foreign domination. Neo-colonies are not normally considered puppet states.
The principal purpose of these states was to remove South African citizenship from the Xhosa, Tswana and Venda peoples, and so provide grounds for denying them their democratic rights. All four bantustans were reincorporated into a democratic South Africa on 27 April 1994, under a new constitution.
Artsakh - A self-declared independent state heavily populated by Armenians, it is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan. Russian peacekeepers control the Lachin corridor that allows traffic to reach Armenia, on which it is heavily dependent.
Abkhazian President Alexander Ankvab with Transnistrian President Yevgeny Shevchuk in 2013. Both Abkhazia and Transnistria have been described as puppet states of Russia.
Abkhazia is considered a puppet state that depends on Russia. The economy of Abkhazia is heavily integrated with Russia and uses the Russian ruble as its currency. About half of Abkhazia's state budget is financed with aid money from Russia. Most Abkhazians have Russian passports. Russia maintains a 3,500-strong force in Abkhazia with its headquarters in Gudauta, a former Soviet military base on the Black Sea coast and the borders of the Republic of Abkhazia are protected by Russian paratroopers.
South Ossetia has declared independence but its ability to maintain independence is solely based on Russian troops deployed on its territory. As South Ossetia is landlocked between Russia and Georgia, from which it seceded, it has to rely on Russia for economic and logistical support, as its entire exports and imports and air and road traffic is only between Russia. Former President of South Ossetia Eduard Kokoity claimed he would like South Ossetia eventually to become a part of the Russian Federation through reunification with North Ossetia.
^Raič, David (2002). Statehood and the Law of Self-Determination. Kluwer Law International. p. 81. ISBN90-411-1890-X. Retrieved 13 September 2017. In most cases, puppet States are created by the occupant during occupation of a State, for the purpose of circumventing the former's international responsibility regarding the violation of the rights of the occupied State.
^Shapiro, Stephen (2003). Ultra Hush-hush. Annick Press. p. 38. ISBN1-55037-778-7. Puppet state: a country whose government is being controlled by the government of another country, much as a puppeteer controls the strings on a marionette
^ abcThe Baltic States: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania (Postcommunist States and Nations) David J. Smith from Front Matter ISBN0-415-28580-1
^ abcMälksoo, Lauri (2003). Illegal Annexation and State Continuity: The Case of the Incorporation of the Baltic States by the USSR. Leiden – Boston: Brill. ISBN90-411-2177-3.
^Estonia: Identity and Independence: Translated into English (On the Boundary of Two Worlds: Identity, Freedom, and Moral Imagination in the Baltics) Jean-Jacques Subrenat, David Cousins, Alexander Harding, Richard C. Waterhouse on Page 246. ISBN90-420-0890-3
^Dodd, Clement Henry (1993). The political, social and economic development of Northern Cyprus. Eothen Press. p. 377. ISBN9780906719183. In short, the electorate of Northern Cyprus votes freely for its political leaders and gives them substantial support. Nor is Northern Cyprus a Turkish puppet state. Mr Denktas and the Turkish-Cypriot case have a powerful following in Turkey...