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Kazakhstan

Leaders of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation member states pose for a family photo during a summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, on Sept. 16.
Leaders of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation member states pose for a family photo during a summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, on Sept. 16.

Kazakhstan Is Breaking Out of Russia’s Grip

The Ukraine war has given Astana a unique chance to frustrate Moscow.

China's President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and other participants attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) leaders' summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan on Sept. 16.
China's President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and other participants attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) leaders' summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan on Sept. 16.

Why Xi Jinping Chose Central Asia for His First Post-COVID-19 Trip

The region has long served as a testing ground for Beijing’s economic and foreign-policy ambitions and is becoming increasingly close to China.

Demonstrators hold placards during a rally in support of Ukraine in Almaty, Kazakhstan on March 6.
Demonstrators hold placards during a rally in support of Ukraine in Almaty, Kazakhstan on March 6.

Former Soviet States Are Distancing Themselves From Their Old Imperial Master

The war in Ukraine is prompting countries from Kazakhstan to Moldova to reexamine their colonial past and seek diplomatic allies beyond the Kremlin.

Protesters rally over energy prices in Kazakhstan.
Protesters rally over energy prices in Kazakhstan.

How Western Media Framed Kazakhstan’s Protests

A complicated conflict was reduced to an easy narrative of riots and chaos.

Protesters wave flags during a rally in Almaty.
Protesters wave flags during a rally in Almaty.

Kazakhstan’s Reforms Should Be More Than Just Show

Promised changes after January’s chaos are unpromising so far.

People protest for political reform and the release of political prisoners in Kazakhstan.
People protest for political reform and the release of political prisoners in Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan Can’t Torture Its Way to Stability

Until the Tokayev regime shows remorse for its brutal crackdown, the country’s reforms won’t bring progress.

People protest energy price hikes in Kazakhstan.
People protest energy price hikes in Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan’s Unrest Leaves Behind a Traumatized Society

Overloaded hospitals are struggling amid a coronavirus spike.

In a Russian Defense Ministry photo, Russian peacekeepers are welcomed at the Chkalovsky airfield as they arrive from Almaty, Kazakhstan.
In a Russian Defense Ministry photo, Russian peacekeepers are welcomed at the Chkalovsky airfield as they arrive from Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Russian Propagandists Zero In on Kazakh Crisis

Intense interest by diplomats and state media underscores the significance of Russia’s intervention.

Russian soldiers from the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) attend a ceremony marking the end of the CSTO mission in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on Jan. 13.
Russian soldiers from the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) attend a ceremony marking the end of the CSTO mission in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on Jan. 13.

Kazakhstan Exposes the Central Flaw of Biden’s Foreign-Policy Doctrine

Lofty democratic rhetoric can’t compete with autocratic boots on the ground. That should make Washington uncomfortable.

A resident surveys the damage in the aftermath of protests
in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on Jan. 11.
A resident surveys the damage in the aftermath of protests in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on Jan. 11.

Kazakhstan’s Protests Aren’t a Color Revolution

The country’s widespread popular demonstrations transcended class, region, and politics—making them distinct from those in Belarus and Ukraine.

A destroyed bank in Kazakhstan
A destroyed bank in Kazakhstan
A gas mask lies near the fence of an administrative building in central Almaty, Kazakhstan.
A gas mask lies near the fence of an administrative building in central Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Why Russia Sent Troops Into Kazakhstan

Moscow’s swift aid to a neighboring regime tracks with its wider strategic goals.

Russian troops walk toward a military plane at a snowy airfield.
Russian troops walk toward a military plane at a snowy airfield.

Kazakhstan’s Border With Russia Is Suddenly an Open Question Again

Moscow has long claimed parts of northern Kazakhstan. The country’s current turmoil makes those claims a lot more relevant—and troubling.

Police fired tear gas and stun grenades.
Police fired tear gas and stun grenades.

Will Unrest in Kazakhstan Inflame Tensions Between Russia and the West?

A sudden wave of protests has spooked the Kremlin and precipitated an unprecedented intervention by Moscow and its allies.

An art installation feature the phrase #ImmigrantsAreEssential in large white letters sits on the grass of the National Mall with the U.S. Capitol in the background.
An art installation feature the phrase #ImmigrantsAreEssential in large white letters sits on the grass of the National Mall with the U.S. Capitol in the background.

Who Will Win the Global War for Talent?

After the Great Lockdown will come the next Great Migration.

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev
Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev

Kazakhstan’s Alternative Media Is Thriving—and in Danger

A vibrant society is under threat from the authoritarian government.

A train leaves Xian International Port in Shaanxi province, China, for Kazakhstan on April 13.
A train leaves Xian International Port in Shaanxi province, China, for Kazakhstan on April 13.

What Kazakhstan Can Teach About Medium-State Diplomacy

How the self-styled “Asian Geneva” successfully navigated among Russia, China, and the West—at least for now.

Russian President Vladimir Putin talks to his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev in Baku, Azerbaijan in December 2003.
Russian President Vladimir Putin talks to his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev in Baku, Azerbaijan in December 2003.

Putin Is Ruling Russia Like a Central Asian Dictator

The Kremlin didn’t invent term limit resets and constitutional referendums. The autocratic leaders of Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan blazed the trail.

Georgian soldiers wearing protective masks stop a car at a checkpoint in Tbilisi on April 1, 2020 amid concerns over the spread of the coronavirus.
Georgian soldiers wearing protective masks stop a car at a checkpoint in Tbilisi on April 1, 2020 amid concerns over the spread of the coronavirus.

Ex-Soviet Bioweapons Labs Are Fighting COVID-19. Moscow Doesn’t Like It.

One of the greatest achievements of U.S. foreign policy has been targeted by a vicious disinformation campaign.

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