Central Asia

Nazarbayev’s Departure Triggering New Russian Exodus From Kazakhstan

Nazarbayev’s Departure Triggering New Russian Exodus From Kazakhstan
Mig-21 Balhash, Kazakhstan

Although there are still no official statistics as to its size, the exodus of ethnic Russians and Russian-speakers from Kazakhstan has clearly accelerated since Nursultan Nazarbayev resigned as president last month. Nazarbayev was the last central Soviet-era leader of the republic and a man viewed by many Russians as a guarantor of ethnic harmony. According to Igor Pereverzev, a Russian commentator based in Kazakhstan, even though Nazarbayev remains in power behind the scenes, the emerging post-Nazarbayev leadership appears less interested than him in balancing the interests of ethnic Russians and ethnic Kazakhs; instead, the incoming political elite looks more committed to a “Kazakh first” approach, which concerns ethnic Russians. As a result, outmigration of this important minority is certain to grow in the coming months, making Kazakhstan more Kazakh than it has ever been and prompting the government to devote less and less attention to the shrinking ethnic-Russian community—a vicious cycle as far as the latter are concerned (Lenta.ru, April 5)…

To read more visit Real Clear World.

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