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Kazakh President Nazarbayev Resigns
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Well this was unexpected. But Kazakhstan’s President Nazarbayev, who has effectively led the country since 1989, is stepping down and handing over power to the head of the ruling party until a replacement could be found.

I wrote about him here:

In short, [the secret of his success] is pragmatism over ideology. The narrow-minded nationalist would have demanded Russians learn Kazakh or go home. Nazabayev made Kazakh the official language, but at the same time denoted Russian as “the language of interethnic communication,” a status not unlike that of English in Lee Kuan Yew’s Singapore. Incidentally, and unsurprisingly, Nazarbayev is a big fan of LKY, naming him as one two “eminent founding statesmen” (the other is Charles de Gaulle), and his policies reflect these beliefs: Low level economic liberalism, high level state industrial policy and financial management (the oil windfall has not been squandered, but stored up in an investment fund), and a commitment to intelligent authoritarian leadership that does not however overspill into the tyrannical brutality that you see in neighboring Uzbekistan or Turkmenistan.

Unlike LKY’s Singapore, corruption is pretty high; then again, pretty much no strongman apart from LKY ever managed to solve this. Even so, corruption in Kazakhstan is managed and contained – i.e., it is a “known quantity” – so it does not really scare away businessmen and foreign investors. Revolutions bring with them redivisions of the spoils, so elites are very hesitant to commit to long-term development projects in unstable countries like Ukraine or Kyrgyzstan; instead, their incentives are to maximize extraction in the here and now, before new people take their places at the trough. In stable authoritarian polities like Kazakhstan or Belarus, the people in power have more of an incentive to promote development because they have a reasonable degree of confidence that they will still have access to a what would be a much bigger pie a decade hence. It’s basically Mancur Olson’s theory about “roving bandits” vs. “stationary bandits” – the latter tend to be much better, because they are invested in the longterm success of their demesnes.

This pragmatism extends to foreign relations. Kazakhstan is on good terms with pretty much everyone who matters. It is in good standing with Russia; Nazarbayev was, in fact, the first post-Soviet leader to propose something along the lines of the Eurasian Union. But he is no Russian stooge either. Separatism and even talk of separatism are harshly suppressed, and all the more remarkably, this was done with Russia’s willing acquiesence: Eduard Limonov, a National Bolshevik and once Putin opponent, served two years in prison for allegedly trying to raise an army to “liberate” north Kazakhstan in the early 2000s. The capital was moved from Almaty to ethnic majority Russian Astana in the north, which gave Russians more of a reason to feel invested in Kazakh statehood while at the same time filling up a strategic city with ethnic Kazakhs to the extent that it now has a big Kazakh majority. This is a microcosm of changes taking place across the country as a whole, as highly fertile Kazakhs push up their share of the population back to where it was before Stolypin’s time. Over the longterm – i.e., another generation or so – this will likely solve Kazakhstan’s demographic/ethnic Russian northern majority problem in its entirety.

As the incarnadine cherry on the cream and custard pie, this careful equidistancing between Russia and the West, and his economic liberalism, has made Western elites very much appreciative of Nazarbayev. No American NGOs bother pushing for patently ridiculous concepts like free elections, or human rights, while holding them near sacrosanct in less wholesome countries, like Russia or Ukraine.

Central Asia only fell into the Russian Empire in the mid-19th century.

While relations have been far less acrimonious than with the Muslim Caucasus, which was acquired at around the same time, they were still – Eurasianist myths regardless – characterized by cultural distance and a lack of any deep integration.

But as the Soviet legacy fades away, so will the historical links between Russia and the countries of Central Asia.

This is, of course, hardly a singular affair. Kazakhstan is moving to the Latin alphabet by 2025. Tajikistan banned this year’s Immortal Regiments march on the grounds that it is non-Islamic (though it was not enforced). Uzbekistan has been particularly hostile, removing Europeans from important state positions, dismantling World War II monuments, and leaving both the CSTO and Eurasian Economic Community around 2010. Russia’s response? Mayor Sergey Sobyanin is going to use city funds to install a monument to the late Uzbek President for Life Islam Karimov in the center of Moscow.

And there are no signs that this is going to come to a stop anytime soon. As a rule, the Central Asians are ruled by Soviet relicts with strong cultural ties to (if not exactly sympathy for) Eurasia’s other post-Soviet elites. These are people whom the likes of Putin understand and are comfortable with. But as they age and die off, these countries are going to drift farther and farther away from Russia as the ethnic draw of Turkey, the religious draw of the Islamic ummah, the economic preponderance of China, and the cultural preponderance of America make themselves fully felt on the youngest generations and on the intelligentsia. This is already happening and there is no absolutely no reason to expect that Russia’s alternative, the Great Patriotic War victory cult – in which Central Asians played a marginal role anyway – is going to be a competitive one.

The future of Central Asia is nationalist and Islamic – probably, more of the former in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, and more of the latter in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

Russians as share of Kazakhstan population (2010).

There are now just 3.6 million Russians in Kazakhstan (20% of the population), down from 6.0 million in 1989 (40%). Other European minorities, such as Ukrainians and Germans – and Koreans, who in practice identify with Europeans in the Central Asian context – add up to less than another 5%.

Furthermore, 2/3 of them want to emigrate due to Kazakhstan’s language policies and worsening inter-ethnic relations.

I am not surprised this is the case. I have read and heard – including from a couple of first hand sources – that Kazakh hiring practices in state institutions (e.g. academia) are highly nepotistic, favoring well-connected ethnic Kazakhs. There are no real opportunities for the Russians remaining there, apart from serving Kazakhs as a kind of cognitive caste (e.g. engineers at oil wells).

Kazakhstan age structure as of 2013.
Kazakhs [blue]; Russians [red]; Uzbeks [ green].

This, together with vastly lower fertility – there is a ~1 child gap between Russian and Kazakh fertility within Kazakhstan – means that its share of the population will continue to plummet as Kazakhstan becomes more and more of a mononational state.

Anyhow, should this leadership transition go smoothly and result in the appointment of another reasonable dictator who will continue Nazarbayev’s careful policies of maintaining good relations with all and sundry while steadily promoting Kazakhization – as opposed to a fire-breathing nationalist who attempts to turbocharge the process – then Kazakhstan should have made it as an entity that could be assured of its current borders. In another decade or two, even the old Russian territories of “South Siberia” will have lost their Russian majority, making the idea of reacquiring them in the case of an anti-Russian Kazakh government coming to power less and less of an attractive prospect.

That, in turn, means that there are fewer and fewer reasons not to vigorously encourage the mass repatriation of the remaining Russians in Kazakhstan.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Demograhics, Kazakhstan, Politics 
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  1. He wants to keep his family alive after he goes. Thus the handover to his most trusted Lieutenants.

    He has been a bigger driver for the Eurasian Economic Community than Putin. It’s not doing very well even so. Maybe he could be made the General Secretary of EuAEU?

    If there is a hint of a coloured Revolution, local or US, there will be a large Russian army, formal or informal supervising a referendum in the Russian majority oblasts? What’s to stop them? Sanctions? China?

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    If it happens today, perhaps.

    It in 1-2 more decades, perhaps not (even keeping all else equal). By the time Kazakhs outnumber Russians in the northern regions (and its approaching that point) what's the point of acquiring another large - and now highly aggrieved - Muslim minority?
    , @Gerard2

    He has been a bigger driver for the Eurasian Economic Community than Putin. It’s not doing very well even so. Maybe he could be made the General Secretary of EuAEU?
     
    Good Ol' Phil...ridiculous cretin. The Eurasian Economic Community has been doing excellently. Growth is fine, integration , trade and investment is excellent. Armenia, Kyrgyzstan,Belarus and Kazakhstan all doing considerably better in last 5 year performance then Ukraine (obviously),Moldova and Gruziya , you dummy.

    Every international business ranking /measure...Belarus/Kazakhstan and Russia have improved massively and concurrently.

    How on earth could it be "failing"? All it was is cementing exisiting agreements, both formal and informal, with a little bit of long-term interplanning - nothing dramatic. The so-called "shakedown" by Russia of Armenian,Kazakh,Belarus businesses and oligarchs has simply not occured, to the dismay of state department lackeys. Kazakhstan wasn't even recognising South Ossetia before, so the lack of unity of them with Russia on Crimea and Ukraine is irrelevant to the EEU, in that Russia does not blackmail other countries like the US does
  2. Given the vastly lower cognitive capital of his nation Nazarbayev’s achievements in nation building are probably as impressive as LKY’s (if an orderly transition of power is made and Kazakhstan doesn’t go down in flames in the next few years).

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
    Yeah, Kazakhstan underperforms Singapore by around a standard deviation--if not even a little more than that. Still, Kazakhstan doesn't perform all that bad. It is almost at Greece's level on the PISA exam and it's far from clear that Kazakhstan has actually reached its genetic ceiling yet in regards to its average IQ. Thus, its PISA scores could possibly continue rising in the future.
  3. @whahae
    Given the vastly lower cognitive capital of his nation Nazarbayev's achievements in nation building are probably as impressive as LKY's (if an orderly transition of power is made and Kazakhstan doesn't go down in flames in the next few years).

    Yeah, Kazakhstan underperforms Singapore by around a standard deviation–if not even a little more than that. Still, Kazakhstan doesn’t perform all that bad. It is almost at Greece’s level on the PISA exam and it’s far from clear that Kazakhstan has actually reached its genetic ceiling yet in regards to its average IQ. Thus, its PISA scores could possibly continue rising in the future.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Kazakhstan's last PISA results aren't valid:

    Furthermore: “Because the results of Kazakhstan in 2015 are based only on multiple-choice items, they cannot be reliably compared to the results of other countries, nor to Kazakhstan’s results in previous assessments” (pp. 81 of the report).
     
  4. Here’s another positive thing that Nazarbayev did–specifically bringing almost a million ethnic Kazakhs from the Kazakh diaspora into Kazakhstan:

    https://www.rferl.org/a/kazakhstan-ethnic-kazakhs-oralman-return-uzbekistan-turkmenistan-china/26796879.html

    This certainly helps with changing Kazakhstan’s demographics. Indeed, there are still a lot of Kazakhs in China right now. Might many of them be interested in moving to Kazakhstan?

    Also, Yes, it would absolutely be in Russia’s best interests to encourage the mass immigration of Russians, Russophones, and Russophiles from Kazakhstan and the rest of the former Soviet Union to Russia. It would give Russia a demographic boost and also make the rest of the former Soviet Union more ethnically homogeneous.

  5. @Mr. XYZ
    Yeah, Kazakhstan underperforms Singapore by around a standard deviation--if not even a little more than that. Still, Kazakhstan doesn't perform all that bad. It is almost at Greece's level on the PISA exam and it's far from clear that Kazakhstan has actually reached its genetic ceiling yet in regards to its average IQ. Thus, its PISA scores could possibly continue rising in the future.

    Kazakhstan’s last PISA results aren’t valid:

    Furthermore: “Because the results of Kazakhstan in 2015 are based only on multiple-choice items, they cannot be reliably compared to the results of other countries, nor to Kazakhstan’s results in previous assessments” (pp. 81 of the report).

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
    OK. Thus, let's see how well Kazakhstan will perform on the PISA test this year and then discuss this issue further.

    BTW, was the Kazakhstani government trying to inflate Kazakhstan's PISA results in 2015? Or was this merely due to poor planning?
  6. @Philip Owen
    He wants to keep his family alive after he goes. Thus the handover to his most trusted Lieutenants.

    He has been a bigger driver for the Eurasian Economic Community than Putin. It's not doing very well even so. Maybe he could be made the General Secretary of EuAEU?

    If there is a hint of a coloured Revolution, local or US, there will be a large Russian army, formal or informal supervising a referendum in the Russian majority oblasts? What's to stop them? Sanctions? China?

    If it happens today, perhaps.

    It in 1-2 more decades, perhaps not (even keeping all else equal). By the time Kazakhs outnumber Russians in the northern regions (and its approaching that point) what’s the point of acquiring another large – and now highly aggrieved – Muslim minority?

    • Agree: Philip Owen, Mr. XYZ
    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
    So, you're not expecting a 1.0+ standard deviation increase in support for a union with Russia in northern Kazakhstan (like there was in Crimea) if/after Russia were to annex northern Kazakhstan ten or twenty years down the line?
  7. A really, really fine piece that showcases your superior writing skills. Chock full of information, just the right length and a balanced political approach all lend themselves to this informative piece. I even learned a new word ‘incarnadine’ one that I had never encountered before. Keep ’em coming.

    • Replies: @ariadna
    "I even learned a new word ‘incarnadine’ one that I had never encountered before."

    That pompous ass Shakespeare... who's Macbeth anyway?
  8. And just how Russian are these Russians in Kazakhstan? Do they look Russian like Shoigu does?

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    Shoigu is not Russian in his nationality. He is Russian in the sense his country is Russian Federation, but his race/blood is Tuvan (which is a kind of primitive Chinese gypsies who have their own Republic next to the border with Mongolia).

    Russians in Kazakhstan are citizens of Kazakhstan, but their nationality is Russian (or predominantly Russian - some of them say they have "German ancestors", because it allows them to attain a German passport and live in the EU, but they are also Russians in any normal sense).

    Most leave in the 1990s, because of the economic crisis in independent Kazakhstan of the 1990s. However, in the 2000s, the economy in Kazakhstan recovered, and so Russians start to slow their departure from Kazakhstan and they are still 20% of the population today.

    The controversy, is that nationalists, are "supposedly" slightly bullying remaining Russians, to try to encourage them also to leave, and some say the government is sympathetic to this nationalism. However, you can read a lot of different opinions in internet forum. There are many people, who live in Kazakhstan, talking about this in forums, and some are obviously very happy there. They're not formally persecuted like Russians in Latvia or Estonia.

  9. @neutral
    And just how Russian are these Russians in Kazakhstan? Do they look Russian like Shoigu does?

    Shoigu is not Russian in his nationality. He is Russian in the sense his country is Russian Federation, but his race/blood is Tuvan (which is a kind of primitive Chinese gypsies who have their own Republic next to the border with Mongolia).

    Russians in Kazakhstan are citizens of Kazakhstan, but their nationality is Russian (or predominantly Russian – some of them say they have “German ancestors”, because it allows them to attain a German passport and live in the EU, but they are also Russians in any normal sense).

    Most leave in the 1990s, because of the economic crisis in independent Kazakhstan of the 1990s. However, in the 2000s, the economy in Kazakhstan recovered, and so Russians start to slow their departure from Kazakhstan and they are still 20% of the population today.

    The controversy, is that nationalists, are “supposedly” slightly bullying remaining Russians, to try to encourage them also to leave, and some say the government is sympathetic to this nationalism. However, you can read a lot of different opinions in internet forum. There are many people, who live in Kazakhstan, talking about this in forums, and some are obviously very happy there. They’re not formally persecuted like Russians in Latvia or Estonia.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    So far Kazakhstan avoided the trap of trying to create a tribal state. It is possible that they took into account the misery of those who tried, including their Central Asia neighbors. We’ll see whether they can keep this balancing act going, and for how long. In any case, both China and Russia have experience in dealing successfully with Islamic crazies. Might come in handy.
  10. @Anatoly Karlin
    Kazakhstan's last PISA results aren't valid:

    Furthermore: “Because the results of Kazakhstan in 2015 are based only on multiple-choice items, they cannot be reliably compared to the results of other countries, nor to Kazakhstan’s results in previous assessments” (pp. 81 of the report).
     

    OK. Thus, let’s see how well Kazakhstan will perform on the PISA test this year and then discuss this issue further.

    BTW, was the Kazakhstani government trying to inflate Kazakhstan’s PISA results in 2015? Or was this merely due to poor planning?

  11. @Anatoly Karlin
    If it happens today, perhaps.

    It in 1-2 more decades, perhaps not (even keeping all else equal). By the time Kazakhs outnumber Russians in the northern regions (and its approaching that point) what's the point of acquiring another large - and now highly aggrieved - Muslim minority?

    So, you’re not expecting a 1.0+ standard deviation increase in support for a union with Russia in northern Kazakhstan (like there was in Crimea) if/after Russia were to annex northern Kazakhstan ten or twenty years down the line?

  12. BTW, why is Russian settlement in southern Kazakhstan much less pervasive than in northern Kazakhstan? Did Russia simply run out of time to settle southern Kazakhstan before its demographics significantly weakened (as a result of Bolshevism and WWII)? Was settling southern Kazakhstan harder because there were more Kazakhs there? Was it due to some other reason(s)/factor(s)?

    • Replies: @anonymous coward

    BTW, why is Russian settlement in southern Kazakhstan much less pervasive than in northern Kazakhstan?
     
    Northern Kazakhstan are historically Russian lands, settled by Russians way back in the Middle Ages when no turks where in sight of them.

    The lands were gifted by the Soviets to Kazakhstan in hope of weakening Russian nationalism and making a Kazakh ethnicity more real.

    Unlike the other turkic ethnicities, "Kazakhs" are a fake, Soviet-created ethnicity and people.
  13. Kazakhstan has two options. It can remain stable, especially if it reverts to policies of ~5 years ago. It can fall into the same trap as Ukraine, whereupon about half of the population with their territories secedes, and the other half becomes a real “stan” for a short period, until China restores order. In contrast to Ukraine, which nobody gives a hoot about now, neither Russia nor China would tolerate a prolonged bloody war on that territory, as it would undermine Chinese “silk road” project. We’ll see soon enough.

  14. @Mr. Hack
    A really, really fine piece that showcases your superior writing skills. Chock full of information, just the right length and a balanced political approach all lend themselves to this informative piece. I even learned a new word 'incarnadine' one that I had never encountered before. Keep 'em coming.

    “I even learned a new word ‘incarnadine’ one that I had never encountered before.”

    That pompous ass Shakespeare… who’s Macbeth anyway?

  15. @Dmitry
    Shoigu is not Russian in his nationality. He is Russian in the sense his country is Russian Federation, but his race/blood is Tuvan (which is a kind of primitive Chinese gypsies who have their own Republic next to the border with Mongolia).

    Russians in Kazakhstan are citizens of Kazakhstan, but their nationality is Russian (or predominantly Russian - some of them say they have "German ancestors", because it allows them to attain a German passport and live in the EU, but they are also Russians in any normal sense).

    Most leave in the 1990s, because of the economic crisis in independent Kazakhstan of the 1990s. However, in the 2000s, the economy in Kazakhstan recovered, and so Russians start to slow their departure from Kazakhstan and they are still 20% of the population today.

    The controversy, is that nationalists, are "supposedly" slightly bullying remaining Russians, to try to encourage them also to leave, and some say the government is sympathetic to this nationalism. However, you can read a lot of different opinions in internet forum. There are many people, who live in Kazakhstan, talking about this in forums, and some are obviously very happy there. They're not formally persecuted like Russians in Latvia or Estonia.

    So far Kazakhstan avoided the trap of trying to create a tribal state. It is possible that they took into account the misery of those who tried, including their Central Asia neighbors. We’ll see whether they can keep this balancing act going, and for how long. In any case, both China and Russia have experience in dealing successfully with Islamic crazies. Might come in handy.

  16. Now time has passed to do something in Kazakhstan. Yes there are Russians in parts of northern Kazakhstan but still. It’s mind blowing that in 1990s when HALF! of all Kazakhstan population was Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian and German that they actually seceded, and Russia did nothing. I mean, its enormous territory and you have 50% of population and you let it go just like that. Russia could have absorbed ALL of Kazakhstan and be fine. Even now if you add Kazakhstan to Russia it pushes Russian share of population 75%. But in alternative scenario in which they remained in the same country Russians and other Europeans would not have emigrated and territory of Kazakhstan would not be so little-Russian and I think they would be just fine part of Russia.
    Now I don’t know does it make sense to contemplate some Russian expansion there. Maybe it would be better to keep good relations, trying to encourage remaining Russians to move to Russia, secure rights for people who decide to stay there. After all it’s not that Russia needs territory (but still, just look at map, Kazakhstan is very big and they just let it go).

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
    Had Russia encouraged violent secessionism in Kazakhstan in the 1990s, its attempts to reintegrate countries such as Ukraine would have had even less of a chance of success than they had in real life--unless Russia would have been prepared to use military force elsewhere as well and be prepared for the crippling Western sanctions that could have followed such Russian moves.
  17. In 1959 Soviet Union was basically like Russia today – 81% European (76% Slavic).
    In 1989 it was 74% European (70% Slavic).
    If it was capable of reforming it could have been functional today. Today that percentage would have dwindled a little bit but you would not have demographic catastrophe of 1990s and 2000s (unfortunately continuing even now, especially in Ukraine). Slavic and European share would have been better then non-Hispanic white in USA. It would be comparable to non-Hispanic + Hispanic white, around 70%. Even now, if Soviet Union reunited today it would be 65% European and 62% Slavic, non-Hispanic white in USA were at 62% in 2011 Census.
    I calculated all this years ago using last Census which was around 2011 in most countries.
    Russia + Kazakhstan in 1989 would have been 82% Slavic, today it would be 77% Slavic.
    Also EU and rest of Europe were pretty good in 2011 also. EU 92% European (15% Slavic) 4% Muslim 4% Other.
    All of Europe without Russia also 92% European (23% Slavic) 5% Muslim 3% Other.
    Adding Russia actually increases a little bit Muslim share – 90% European (35% Slavic) 6% Muslim 4% Other. I used Census figure where available, where not I used or Pew Research Center estimates or other sources.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
    What about if the Soviet Union would have won its war in Afghanistan (as a result of no US involvement there) and eventually outright annexed Afghanistan?
  18. Since we are on the topic of Kazakhstan, I feel I should share one of the lesser known photos (but one of my favorites) from the Prokudin-Gorsky collection, surely one of the great treasures of the 20th century.


    Russian settlers house in Nadezhenskii village with a group of peasants. Central Asia, Near Petropavlovsk, Kazakhstan. 1911.

    The colors are wonderful, of course, but as with many of Prokudin-Gorsky’s photographs, what truly grabs you is a certain haunting quality, a sense of impending doom. I’m especially drawn to the symbolism of the shadow in the foreground, soon to engulf the whole house. God knows what happened to these poor people in the following decades.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Yes, that's a good one.

    I used it to illustrate my post about the 1916 Kyrgyz revolt against Russian rule: http://www.unz.com/akarlin/kyrgyzstan-national-myth/

    There's some chance that that family would be pogromed in five years' time, or by the Basmachi rebels following the breakdown of Imperial control after 1917.
    , @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan
    Although, in all fairness, that light could just as easily be morning light, and the shadow could be going the other way. Although I doubt it.

    But, yeah, those folks probably died :(

    I have some pictures like this from 1950s and '60s Pennsylvania, my home, before the American cultural revolution destroyed our reasonably civilized life and before the Catholic Church dumbed its beautiful liturgy down to blandness. The women in '51 wore dresses, man!

    This is one of my favorites. A schoolteacher and his wife in 1950s coal country Pennsylvania. Just a quiet, modest, forthright looking fellow. I miss when our working classes used to dress well.

    https://cdn.onlyinyourstate.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/9236481096_4607447603_z.jpg

    But obviously our revolution was nowhere near as savage as the one in Russia.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fu_8M2L6kHY

  19. @Aly
    Now time has passed to do something in Kazakhstan. Yes there are Russians in parts of northern Kazakhstan but still. It's mind blowing that in 1990s when HALF! of all Kazakhstan population was Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian and German that they actually seceded, and Russia did nothing. I mean, its enormous territory and you have 50% of population and you let it go just like that. Russia could have absorbed ALL of Kazakhstan and be fine. Even now if you add Kazakhstan to Russia it pushes Russian share of population 75%. But in alternative scenario in which they remained in the same country Russians and other Europeans would not have emigrated and territory of Kazakhstan would not be so little-Russian and I think they would be just fine part of Russia.
    Now I don't know does it make sense to contemplate some Russian expansion there. Maybe it would be better to keep good relations, trying to encourage remaining Russians to move to Russia, secure rights for people who decide to stay there. After all it's not that Russia needs territory (but still, just look at map, Kazakhstan is very big and they just let it go).

    Had Russia encouraged violent secessionism in Kazakhstan in the 1990s, its attempts to reintegrate countries such as Ukraine would have had even less of a chance of success than they had in real life–unless Russia would have been prepared to use military force elsewhere as well and be prepared for the crippling Western sanctions that could have followed such Russian moves.

    • Replies: @Aly
    Im not thinking about Ukraine in that scenario. Ukraine stays independent.
    Also all other former soviet republics became independent as they have done. Only keep Kazakhstan or at list half of it.
  20. @Aly
    In 1959 Soviet Union was basically like Russia today - 81% European (76% Slavic).
    In 1989 it was 74% European (70% Slavic).
    If it was capable of reforming it could have been functional today. Today that percentage would have dwindled a little bit but you would not have demographic catastrophe of 1990s and 2000s (unfortunately continuing even now, especially in Ukraine). Slavic and European share would have been better then non-Hispanic white in USA. It would be comparable to non-Hispanic + Hispanic white, around 70%. Even now, if Soviet Union reunited today it would be 65% European and 62% Slavic, non-Hispanic white in USA were at 62% in 2011 Census.
    I calculated all this years ago using last Census which was around 2011 in most countries.
    Russia + Kazakhstan in 1989 would have been 82% Slavic, today it would be 77% Slavic.
    Also EU and rest of Europe were pretty good in 2011 also. EU 92% European (15% Slavic) 4% Muslim 4% Other.
    All of Europe without Russia also 92% European (23% Slavic) 5% Muslim 3% Other.
    Adding Russia actually increases a little bit Muslim share - 90% European (35% Slavic) 6% Muslim 4% Other. I used Census figure where available, where not I used or Pew Research Center estimates or other sources.

    What about if the Soviet Union would have won its war in Afghanistan (as a result of no US involvement there) and eventually outright annexed Afghanistan?

    • Replies: @Hyperborean

    What about if the Soviet Union would have won its war in Afghanistan (as a result of no US involvement there) and eventually outright annexed Afghanistan?
     
    Peculiar idea. The intention of the intervention was always to back-up Afgan communists who were unable to handle reactionary insurgents on their own.

    The USSR also stopped directly annexing territory after WWII anyway.
  21. @Mr. XYZ
    What about if the Soviet Union would have won its war in Afghanistan (as a result of no US involvement there) and eventually outright annexed Afghanistan?

    What about if the Soviet Union would have won its war in Afghanistan (as a result of no US involvement there) and eventually outright annexed Afghanistan?

    Peculiar idea. The intention of the intervention was always to back-up Afgan communists who were unable to handle reactionary insurgents on their own.

    The USSR also stopped directly annexing territory after WWII anyway.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
    Afghanistan did have a lot of Tajiks and Uzbeks who might feel more welcome instead of the Tajik and Uzbek SSRs, though--at least after the KGB was done dealing with them.

    If Russia actually had the demographics for it, Afghanistan--specifically central Afghanistan, where the Hindu Kush mountains are--could have become Russia's version of Colorado. Ski resorts, a high elevation, a cafe culture, et cetera.

    As for the Soviet Union stopping its annexation of territory after the end of WWII, well, a trend can be reversed. For instance, there was no forcible annexation of territory in Europe for almost seventy years before the Crimean annexation occurred and broke this rule.
  22. @Mr. XYZ
    Had Russia encouraged violent secessionism in Kazakhstan in the 1990s, its attempts to reintegrate countries such as Ukraine would have had even less of a chance of success than they had in real life--unless Russia would have been prepared to use military force elsewhere as well and be prepared for the crippling Western sanctions that could have followed such Russian moves.

    Im not thinking about Ukraine in that scenario. Ukraine stays independent.
    Also all other former soviet republics became independent as they have done. Only keep Kazakhstan or at list half of it.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
    Why not simply have a lot of the Russians in Kazakhstan move to Russia (or elsewhere) instead? I mean, Kazakhs suffered a lot under Bolshevik rule and thus deserve their own state. Indeed, they were certainly able to make something of their independence--unlike some other ex-USSR countries.

    Interestingly enough, back when I was a kid and I lived in Texas (2001-2002), I and my parents knew this one married couple (with two children) who were ethnic Russians from Kazakhstan and who left Kazakhstan after it gained its independence and moved to Texas. They made excellent plov--something that we ate whether we went to their apartment (they lived in the same apartment complex as we did back then) or their house (after they bought a house and moved there). I would absolutely love it if I could eat their plov again right now.

  23. @Swedish Family
    Since we are on the topic of Kazakhstan, I feel I should share one of the lesser known photos (but one of my favorites) from the Prokudin-Gorsky collection, surely one of the great treasures of the 20th century.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3f/Prokudin-Gorskii_Russians_in_Central_Asia.jpg
    Russian settlers house in Nadezhenskii village with a group of peasants. Central Asia, Near Petropavlovsk, Kazakhstan. 1911.

    The colors are wonderful, of course, but as with many of Prokudin-Gorsky's photographs, what truly grabs you is a certain haunting quality, a sense of impending doom. I'm especially drawn to the symbolism of the shadow in the foreground, soon to engulf the whole house. God knows what happened to these poor people in the following decades.

    Yes, that’s a good one.

    I used it to illustrate my post about the 1916 Kyrgyz revolt against Russian rule: http://www.unz.com/akarlin/kyrgyzstan-national-myth/

    There’s some chance that that family would be pogromed in five years’ time, or by the Basmachi rebels following the breakdown of Imperial control after 1917.

  24. @Hyperborean

    What about if the Soviet Union would have won its war in Afghanistan (as a result of no US involvement there) and eventually outright annexed Afghanistan?
     
    Peculiar idea. The intention of the intervention was always to back-up Afgan communists who were unable to handle reactionary insurgents on their own.

    The USSR also stopped directly annexing territory after WWII anyway.

    Afghanistan did have a lot of Tajiks and Uzbeks who might feel more welcome instead of the Tajik and Uzbek SSRs, though–at least after the KGB was done dealing with them.

    If Russia actually had the demographics for it, Afghanistan–specifically central Afghanistan, where the Hindu Kush mountains are–could have become Russia’s version of Colorado. Ski resorts, a high elevation, a cafe culture, et cetera.

    As for the Soviet Union stopping its annexation of territory after the end of WWII, well, a trend can be reversed. For instance, there was no forcible annexation of territory in Europe for almost seventy years before the Crimean annexation occurred and broke this rule.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean

    Afghanistan did have a lot of Tajiks and Uzbeks who might feel more welcome instead of the Tajik and Uzbek SSRs, though–at least after the KGB was done dealing with them.

    [...]

    As for the Soviet Union stopping its annexation of territory after the end of WWII, well, a trend can be reversed. For instance, there was no forcible annexation of territory in Europe for almost seventy years before the Crimean annexation occurred and broke this rule.
     

    If the Soviet Union was attempting to reach the Indian Ocean then they would need a working relationship with the Pashtun.

    If the USSR was attempting to govern Afghanistan long term it would not be helpful for relations with the natives to chop off the northern parts of their country. Although a useful backup would be to create Autonomous regions that could easily declare independence if things went sour might have been a good idea.

    Partitioning Afghanistan along ethnic lines might have been the best to simply get out of the situation, but it would have required the Soviet Union to care less about the "betrayal" of Afghan communists (as the USSR was officially in the country to support a Red government which had taken power during a coup) and less about the approval of ungrateful insignificant "Third World" money sinks (Although to be fair the USA suffered from this a lot too).

    But unfortunately, the late-Soviet authorities did not possess such a mindset.


    If Russia actually had the demographics for it, Afghanistan–specifically central Afghanistan, where the Hindu Kush mountains are–could have become Russia’s version of Colorado. Ski resorts, a high elevation, a cafe culture, et cetera.
     
    But Russia already has the Caucasus. My Great-Grand-Mother, during her more youthful days, went skiing in the Caucasus during her visits to the Soviet Union and quite enjoyed it.
    , @Other Side
    There was one case before it -

    Effective annexation of Kosovo from Serbia by NATO .
  25. @Aly
    Im not thinking about Ukraine in that scenario. Ukraine stays independent.
    Also all other former soviet republics became independent as they have done. Only keep Kazakhstan or at list half of it.

    Why not simply have a lot of the Russians in Kazakhstan move to Russia (or elsewhere) instead? I mean, Kazakhs suffered a lot under Bolshevik rule and thus deserve their own state. Indeed, they were certainly able to make something of their independence–unlike some other ex-USSR countries.

    Interestingly enough, back when I was a kid and I lived in Texas (2001-2002), I and my parents knew this one married couple (with two children) who were ethnic Russians from Kazakhstan and who left Kazakhstan after it gained its independence and moved to Texas. They made excellent plov–something that we ate whether we went to their apartment (they lived in the same apartment complex as we did back then) or their house (after they bought a house and moved there). I would absolutely love it if I could eat their plov again right now.

    • Replies: @Aly
    Hm I actually agree with that. I have nothing against Kazakh. And you are correct that they made something out of their independence. We can't say the same about a lot of other examples, not only on ex-Soviet space. To be honest I didn't think a lot about them, about their point of view, I was talking from a Russian perspective. But yeah, Kazakh have a right for their own state, that's not controversial at all, they just got a lot, at least that was in 1990s. Now it seems they are going to keep what they got. But like you said, they proved capable to manage their independence well, so congratulations to them.
  26. @Philip Owen
    He wants to keep his family alive after he goes. Thus the handover to his most trusted Lieutenants.

    He has been a bigger driver for the Eurasian Economic Community than Putin. It's not doing very well even so. Maybe he could be made the General Secretary of EuAEU?

    If there is a hint of a coloured Revolution, local or US, there will be a large Russian army, formal or informal supervising a referendum in the Russian majority oblasts? What's to stop them? Sanctions? China?

    He has been a bigger driver for the Eurasian Economic Community than Putin. It’s not doing very well even so. Maybe he could be made the General Secretary of EuAEU?

    Good Ol’ Phil…ridiculous cretin. The Eurasian Economic Community has been doing excellently. Growth is fine, integration , trade and investment is excellent. Armenia, Kyrgyzstan,Belarus and Kazakhstan all doing considerably better in last 5 year performance then Ukraine (obviously),Moldova and Gruziya , you dummy.

    Every international business ranking /measure…Belarus/Kazakhstan and Russia have improved massively and concurrently.

    How on earth could it be “failing”? All it was is cementing exisiting agreements, both formal and informal, with a little bit of long-term interplanning – nothing dramatic. The so-called “shakedown” by Russia of Armenian,Kazakh,Belarus businesses and oligarchs has simply not occured, to the dismay of state department lackeys. Kazakhstan wasn’t even recognising South Ossetia before, so the lack of unity of them with Russia on Crimea and Ukraine is irrelevant to the EEU, in that Russia does not blackmail other countries like the US does

  27. @Mr. XYZ
    Why not simply have a lot of the Russians in Kazakhstan move to Russia (or elsewhere) instead? I mean, Kazakhs suffered a lot under Bolshevik rule and thus deserve their own state. Indeed, they were certainly able to make something of their independence--unlike some other ex-USSR countries.

    Interestingly enough, back when I was a kid and I lived in Texas (2001-2002), I and my parents knew this one married couple (with two children) who were ethnic Russians from Kazakhstan and who left Kazakhstan after it gained its independence and moved to Texas. They made excellent plov--something that we ate whether we went to their apartment (they lived in the same apartment complex as we did back then) or their house (after they bought a house and moved there). I would absolutely love it if I could eat their plov again right now.

    Hm I actually agree with that. I have nothing against Kazakh. And you are correct that they made something out of their independence. We can’t say the same about a lot of other examples, not only on ex-Soviet space. To be honest I didn’t think a lot about them, about their point of view, I was talking from a Russian perspective. But yeah, Kazakh have a right for their own state, that’s not controversial at all, they just got a lot, at least that was in 1990s. Now it seems they are going to keep what they got. But like you said, they proved capable to manage their independence well, so congratulations to them.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
    In regards to how much the Kazakhs got, it only looks like a lot because of large-scale Russian settlement there during the 20th century. The current Kazakh borders closely match the Kazakh-majority areas (minus Kyrgyzstan--since Kazakhs and Kyrgyz were grouped together back then) of the Russian Empire back in 1897:

    https://www.reddit.com/r/MapPorn/comments/6ofnff/1897_map_of_the_largest_ethnolinguistic_group_of/

    From a Russian perspective, it would have obviously been great to keep Kazakhstan--or at least northern Kazakhstan. Of course, the same would have also been true for Crimea, the Donbass, the rest of Novorossiya, and Belarus. Heck, even the Baltic countries would have been nice to keep if they would have had more Russians and less hostile (towards Russians) native populations.

  28. With rising nationalism and self-determination of the kazhaks/central asians, do you think that this could translate into less visa progams for central asians? Like moscow feeling that they are not receiving enought from these countries to justify the temporary workers

  29. @Mr. XYZ
    Afghanistan did have a lot of Tajiks and Uzbeks who might feel more welcome instead of the Tajik and Uzbek SSRs, though--at least after the KGB was done dealing with them.

    If Russia actually had the demographics for it, Afghanistan--specifically central Afghanistan, where the Hindu Kush mountains are--could have become Russia's version of Colorado. Ski resorts, a high elevation, a cafe culture, et cetera.

    As for the Soviet Union stopping its annexation of territory after the end of WWII, well, a trend can be reversed. For instance, there was no forcible annexation of territory in Europe for almost seventy years before the Crimean annexation occurred and broke this rule.

    Afghanistan did have a lot of Tajiks and Uzbeks who might feel more welcome instead of the Tajik and Uzbek SSRs, though–at least after the KGB was done dealing with them.

    […]

    As for the Soviet Union stopping its annexation of territory after the end of WWII, well, a trend can be reversed. For instance, there was no forcible annexation of territory in Europe for almost seventy years before the Crimean annexation occurred and broke this rule.

    If the Soviet Union was attempting to reach the Indian Ocean then they would need a working relationship with the Pashtun.

    If the USSR was attempting to govern Afghanistan long term it would not be helpful for relations with the natives to chop off the northern parts of their country. Although a useful backup would be to create Autonomous regions that could easily declare independence if things went sour might have been a good idea.

    Partitioning Afghanistan along ethnic lines might have been the best to simply get out of the situation, but it would have required the Soviet Union to care less about the “betrayal” of Afghan communists (as the USSR was officially in the country to support a Red government which had taken power during a coup) and less about the approval of ungrateful insignificant “Third World” money sinks (Although to be fair the USA suffered from this a lot too).

    But unfortunately, the late-Soviet authorities did not possess such a mindset.

    If Russia actually had the demographics for it, Afghanistan–specifically central Afghanistan, where the Hindu Kush mountains are–could have become Russia’s version of Colorado. Ski resorts, a high elevation, a cafe culture, et cetera.

    But Russia already has the Caucasus. My Great-Grand-Mother, during her more youthful days, went skiing in the Caucasus during her visits to the Soviet Union and quite enjoyed it.

  30. @Aly
    Hm I actually agree with that. I have nothing against Kazakh. And you are correct that they made something out of their independence. We can't say the same about a lot of other examples, not only on ex-Soviet space. To be honest I didn't think a lot about them, about their point of view, I was talking from a Russian perspective. But yeah, Kazakh have a right for their own state, that's not controversial at all, they just got a lot, at least that was in 1990s. Now it seems they are going to keep what they got. But like you said, they proved capable to manage their independence well, so congratulations to them.

    In regards to how much the Kazakhs got, it only looks like a lot because of large-scale Russian settlement there during the 20th century. The current Kazakh borders closely match the Kazakh-majority areas (minus Kyrgyzstan–since Kazakhs and Kyrgyz were grouped together back then) of the Russian Empire back in 1897:

    1897 map of the largest ethnolinguistic group of the Russian Empire by subdivision [4648 × 2744] from MapPorn

    From a Russian perspective, it would have obviously been great to keep Kazakhstan–or at least northern Kazakhstan. Of course, the same would have also been true for Crimea, the Donbass, the rest of Novorossiya, and Belarus. Heck, even the Baltic countries would have been nice to keep if they would have had more Russians and less hostile (towards Russians) native populations.

  31. If the Soviet Union was attempting to reach the Indian Ocean then they would need a working relationship with the Pashtun.

    Yep–and with the Baloch as well.

    If the USSR was attempting to govern Afghanistan long term it would not be helpful for relations with the natives to chop off the northern parts of their country. Although a useful backup would be to create Autonomous regions that could easily declare independence if things went sour might have been a good idea.

    Yeah, your second suggestion here appears to make a lot of sense. It would essentially be telling anti-Soviet/anti-Russian Pashtuns that if they don’t want a unified Communist Afghanistan, then they are going to get a partitioned Afghanistan. In such a scenario, though, I suspect that the Pashtuns would have chosen partition just like the Ukrainians did in 2014. After all, it’s better to become free and lose a leg in the process than to have one’s bodily integrity intact but remain a slave.

    Partitioning Afghanistan along ethnic lines might have been the best to simply get out of the situation, but it would have required the Soviet Union to care less about the “betrayal” of Afghan communists (as the USSR was officially in the country to support a Red government which had taken power during a coup) and less about the approval of ungrateful insignificant “Third World” money sinks (Although to be fair the USA suffered from this a lot too).

    Yeah, the Soviet Union should have actually tried getting something out of its involvement in Afghanistan even after it became clear that subduing and subjugating the entire country was not going to happen.

    But unfortunately, the late-Soviet authorities did not possess such a mindset.

    Yep–but that would have also meant that the Soviet Union would have very possibly never collapsed and broken up (unless of course the leadership of the Soviet Union would have actually been serious about national self-determination for both Afghans and Soviets, of course).

    But Russia already has the Caucasus. My Great-Grand-Mother, during her more youthful days, went skiing in the Caucasus during her visits to the Soviet Union and quite enjoyed it.

    That’s actually a great point! While the Caucasus does have some Muslims–including some very radical ones such as Chechens–their numbers probably pale in comparison to Afghanistan’s total population.

    • Replies: @JL
    There aren't very many Muslims in Sochi, let alone radical ones, and it's now a world class winter resort that can hold its own against Colorado. Granted, without the cafe culture and legal cannabis (if that's your thing). My limited experience at some of the other Caucasus ski resorts suggests that it's not the Muslims you have to worry about, but extremely corrupt and aggressive local law enforcement officials. In short, Russia has plenty of potential terrain to develop without Central Asia.
  32. JL says:
    @Mr. XYZ

    If the Soviet Union was attempting to reach the Indian Ocean then they would need a working relationship with the Pashtun.
     
    Yep--and with the Baloch as well.

    If the USSR was attempting to govern Afghanistan long term it would not be helpful for relations with the natives to chop off the northern parts of their country. Although a useful backup would be to create Autonomous regions that could easily declare independence if things went sour might have been a good idea.
     
    Yeah, your second suggestion here appears to make a lot of sense. It would essentially be telling anti-Soviet/anti-Russian Pashtuns that if they don't want a unified Communist Afghanistan, then they are going to get a partitioned Afghanistan. In such a scenario, though, I suspect that the Pashtuns would have chosen partition just like the Ukrainians did in 2014. After all, it's better to become free and lose a leg in the process than to have one's bodily integrity intact but remain a slave.

    Partitioning Afghanistan along ethnic lines might have been the best to simply get out of the situation, but it would have required the Soviet Union to care less about the “betrayal” of Afghan communists (as the USSR was officially in the country to support a Red government which had taken power during a coup) and less about the approval of ungrateful insignificant “Third World” money sinks (Although to be fair the USA suffered from this a lot too).
     
    Yeah, the Soviet Union should have actually tried getting something out of its involvement in Afghanistan even after it became clear that subduing and subjugating the entire country was not going to happen.

    But unfortunately, the late-Soviet authorities did not possess such a mindset.
     
    Yep--but that would have also meant that the Soviet Union would have very possibly never collapsed and broken up (unless of course the leadership of the Soviet Union would have actually been serious about national self-determination for both Afghans and Soviets, of course).

    But Russia already has the Caucasus. My Great-Grand-Mother, during her more youthful days, went skiing in the Caucasus during her visits to the Soviet Union and quite enjoyed it.
     
    That's actually a great point! While the Caucasus does have some Muslims--including some very radical ones such as Chechens--their numbers probably pale in comparison to Afghanistan's total population.

    There aren’t very many Muslims in Sochi, let alone radical ones, and it’s now a world class winter resort that can hold its own against Colorado. Granted, without the cafe culture and legal cannabis (if that’s your thing). My limited experience at some of the other Caucasus ski resorts suggests that it’s not the Muslims you have to worry about, but extremely corrupt and aggressive local law enforcement officials. In short, Russia has plenty of potential terrain to develop without Central Asia.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
    Yeah, I agree with this. The western Caucasus are pretty chill while the eastern Caucasus appear to have more problems.
  33. If Kazakhstan leaves Cyrillic for Latin alphabet, it would be cool if Mongolians switched as well, but instead to Korean Hangul, imagine that, given Korea is currently the most influential East Asian country in pop culture, at least in Asia itself, it would make quite sense, Mongolia is even further from core Russia than Kazakhstan to let her that influenced by such a different culture, communist times are old times, now Mongolia isn’t a Soviet puppet state anymore.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean

    If Kazakhstan leaves Cyrillic for Latin alphabet, it would be cool if Mongolians switched as well, but instead to Korean Hangul, imagine that, given Korea is currently the most influential East Asian country in pop culture, at least in Asia itself, it would make quite sense, Mongolia is even further from core Russia than Kazakhstan to let her that influenced by such a different culture, communist times are old times, now Mongolia isn’t a Soviet puppet state anymore.
     
    A more traditional solution would be to re-adopt the old Mongolian script, which is still used in Inner Mongolia.
  34. @JL
    There aren't very many Muslims in Sochi, let alone radical ones, and it's now a world class winter resort that can hold its own against Colorado. Granted, without the cafe culture and legal cannabis (if that's your thing). My limited experience at some of the other Caucasus ski resorts suggests that it's not the Muslims you have to worry about, but extremely corrupt and aggressive local law enforcement officials. In short, Russia has plenty of potential terrain to develop without Central Asia.

    Yeah, I agree with this. The western Caucasus are pretty chill while the eastern Caucasus appear to have more problems.

  35. @Jose Alan Guerrero Zuñiga
    If Kazakhstan leaves Cyrillic for Latin alphabet, it would be cool if Mongolians switched as well, but instead to Korean Hangul, imagine that, given Korea is currently the most influential East Asian country in pop culture, at least in Asia itself, it would make quite sense, Mongolia is even further from core Russia than Kazakhstan to let her that influenced by such a different culture, communist times are old times, now Mongolia isn't a Soviet puppet state anymore.

    If Kazakhstan leaves Cyrillic for Latin alphabet, it would be cool if Mongolians switched as well, but instead to Korean Hangul, imagine that, given Korea is currently the most influential East Asian country in pop culture, at least in Asia itself, it would make quite sense, Mongolia is even further from core Russia than Kazakhstan to let her that influenced by such a different culture, communist times are old times, now Mongolia isn’t a Soviet puppet state anymore.

    A more traditional solution would be to re-adopt the old Mongolian script, which is still used in Inner Mongolia.

    • Replies: @aedib
    That's would habe been cool for Kazakhstan too but with the ancient turkic script (quite related to Mongol).
  36. I think there’s a chance that Kazakhstan will stay in Russia’s orbit. Basically it’s geographically far away and isolated from the West, so I don’t think it’ll ever be a part of that. China is both close and strong, but it’s so much stronger and more populous than Russia that these countries might find Russia less threatening.

    I vaguely remember having read that Russia wanted to get China involved in the military alliance with the Central Asians, and they preferred to keep a separate (and closer) organization, to keep the Chinese out. Basically they are somewhat similar to Mongolia, more afraid of China than Russia. The Chinese oppression of the Uyghurs is probably not going to be helpful for China, as the Central Asians will get more nationalistic and/or Islamist.

  37. @Mr. XYZ
    Afghanistan did have a lot of Tajiks and Uzbeks who might feel more welcome instead of the Tajik and Uzbek SSRs, though--at least after the KGB was done dealing with them.

    If Russia actually had the demographics for it, Afghanistan--specifically central Afghanistan, where the Hindu Kush mountains are--could have become Russia's version of Colorado. Ski resorts, a high elevation, a cafe culture, et cetera.

    As for the Soviet Union stopping its annexation of territory after the end of WWII, well, a trend can be reversed. For instance, there was no forcible annexation of territory in Europe for almost seventy years before the Crimean annexation occurred and broke this rule.

    There was one case before it –

    Effective annexation of Kosovo from Serbia by NATO .

    • Agree: AnonFromTN
    • Replies: @Hyperborean

    There was one case before it –

    Effective annexation of Kosovo from Serbia by NATO .
     
    But it wasn't a proper administrative annexation by Albania. NATO rule of Kosovo or Bosnia-Herzegovina (IIRC, the former UN High Representative and now EU High Representative has the power to veto laws, and perhaps (?) dismiss officials in Bosnia) is more like a military General-Governorate.

    A closer example would perhaps be North Cyprus or Artsakh, where the breakaway state is practically in almost every way connected to the main state (Turkey and Armenia respectively), but then these cases are a lot older than the Kosovo incident.
    , @Mr. XYZ
    NATO isn't a country, though.

    However, you are correct that the NATO intervention in Kosovo--in violation of international law--gave Russia an excuse to intervene in Crimea 15 years later.
  38. @Other Side
    There was one case before it -

    Effective annexation of Kosovo from Serbia by NATO .

    There was one case before it –

    Effective annexation of Kosovo from Serbia by NATO .

    But it wasn’t a proper administrative annexation by Albania. NATO rule of Kosovo or Bosnia-Herzegovina (IIRC, the former UN High Representative and now EU High Representative has the power to veto laws, and perhaps (?) dismiss officials in Bosnia) is more like a military General-Governorate.

    A closer example would perhaps be North Cyprus or Artsakh, where the breakaway state is practically in almost every way connected to the main state (Turkey and Armenia respectively), but then these cases are a lot older than the Kosovo incident.

  39. @Mr. XYZ
    BTW, why is Russian settlement in southern Kazakhstan much less pervasive than in northern Kazakhstan? Did Russia simply run out of time to settle southern Kazakhstan before its demographics significantly weakened (as a result of Bolshevism and WWII)? Was settling southern Kazakhstan harder because there were more Kazakhs there? Was it due to some other reason(s)/factor(s)?

    BTW, why is Russian settlement in southern Kazakhstan much less pervasive than in northern Kazakhstan?

    Northern Kazakhstan are historically Russian lands, settled by Russians way back in the Middle Ages when no turks where in sight of them.

    The lands were gifted by the Soviets to Kazakhstan in hope of weakening Russian nationalism and making a Kazakh ethnicity more real.

    Unlike the other turkic ethnicities, “Kazakhs” are a fake, Soviet-created ethnicity and people.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
    Are you sure about that? I thought that large numbers of Russians only began settling in Kazakhstan in the late 19th century.
  40. Prosperous Kazakhstan can also attract immigrants from neighboring countries so they would not go to Russia.

  41. The Kazakh Parliament has just voted to rename Astana to “Nursultan.”

    I was under the impression that the Kazakhs were a bit above the personality cults typical of Central Asia, but I guess not.

    • Replies: @aedib
    Next president in sigth? I would love to see a Turkic Papal conclave to select the chosen one.
    , @AnonFromTN
    Wow! The same day Nazarbayev’s nominee was sworn in as President of Kazakhstan, its newly built capital was given Nazarbayev’s name upon approval by the new president and parliament. Am I the only one reminded of “Borat”?
    , @Mr. XYZ
    Nazarbayev University, Nursultan, Kazakhstan. Quite a nice-sounding location.
    , @reiner Tor
    The airport was already named after him, wasn’t it?
  42. There are no real opportunities for the Russians remaining there, apart from serving Kazakhs as a kind of cognitive caste (e.g. engineers at oil wells).

    Those are pretty darn good opportunities. Cognitive caste is the best Whites can hope for, worldwide, as governments work hard to make Whites minorities everywhere.

  43. While Nazarbayev’s resignation “comes as a surprise, it does not signal any immediate major policy shifts,” said Kate Mallinson of Chatham House. His control of the security council, which sets guidelines for foreign and security policies, would enable him to “continue to rule Kazakhstan as the power behind the throne”.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/19/kazakhstan-president-nursultan-nazarbayev-steps-down-after-30-years-in-power

    Does Nazarbayev plan to reign as the Éminence grise?

  44. @Hyperborean

    If Kazakhstan leaves Cyrillic for Latin alphabet, it would be cool if Mongolians switched as well, but instead to Korean Hangul, imagine that, given Korea is currently the most influential East Asian country in pop culture, at least in Asia itself, it would make quite sense, Mongolia is even further from core Russia than Kazakhstan to let her that influenced by such a different culture, communist times are old times, now Mongolia isn’t a Soviet puppet state anymore.
     
    A more traditional solution would be to re-adopt the old Mongolian script, which is still used in Inner Mongolia.

    That’s would habe been cool for Kazakhstan too but with the ancient turkic script (quite related to Mongol).

  45. @Anatoly Karlin
    The Kazakh Parliament has just voted to rename Astana to "Nursultan."

    I was under the impression that the Kazakhs were a bit above the personality cults typical of Central Asia, but I guess not.

    Next president in sigth? I would love to see a Turkic Papal conclave to select the chosen one.

  46. @Anatoly Karlin
    The Kazakh Parliament has just voted to rename Astana to "Nursultan."

    I was under the impression that the Kazakhs were a bit above the personality cults typical of Central Asia, but I guess not.

    Wow! The same day Nazarbayev’s nominee was sworn in as President of Kazakhstan, its newly built capital was given Nazarbayev’s name upon approval by the new president and parliament. Am I the only one reminded of “Borat”?

  47. @Other Side
    There was one case before it -

    Effective annexation of Kosovo from Serbia by NATO .

    NATO isn’t a country, though.

    However, you are correct that the NATO intervention in Kosovo–in violation of international law–gave Russia an excuse to intervene in Crimea 15 years later.

  48. @anonymous coward

    BTW, why is Russian settlement in southern Kazakhstan much less pervasive than in northern Kazakhstan?
     
    Northern Kazakhstan are historically Russian lands, settled by Russians way back in the Middle Ages when no turks where in sight of them.

    The lands were gifted by the Soviets to Kazakhstan in hope of weakening Russian nationalism and making a Kazakh ethnicity more real.

    Unlike the other turkic ethnicities, "Kazakhs" are a fake, Soviet-created ethnicity and people.

    Are you sure about that? I thought that large numbers of Russians only began settling in Kazakhstan in the late 19th century.

  49. @Anatoly Karlin
    The Kazakh Parliament has just voted to rename Astana to "Nursultan."

    I was under the impression that the Kazakhs were a bit above the personality cults typical of Central Asia, but I guess not.

    Nazarbayev University, Nursultan, Kazakhstan. Quite a nice-sounding location.

  50. The Kazakhs have got quite lucky to reach this situation. It’s so improbable that Russia, holding most of the cards, failed to reintegrate south Siberia. Time to do it would have been after the Ukraine returned the nukes in 96 or whatever….but Yeltins et al…sad!

  51. Karlin is completely exaggerating the potential for problems here. Discrimination is isolated incidents, intermarriage is very common, trade is very good between the countries ….arguments between Tsarists and pro-communists are probably not that much less of a security issue for Russia – then Russian vs Kazakh issue is in Kazakhstan!

    Russians are quite normally represented in academia, we like shopping in Kazakhstan cities, Russians permeate in every socio-economic strata in Kazakhstan -i.e “elite Russians v poor Kazakh doesn’t exist). Potential of big islamisation there is low.

    Today the new President was swearing his oath on a Book of the Constitution written in Cyrillic and doing much of his address in Russian, maybe even the majority in it.

    From what I have seen the Supreme Court Judges in Kazakhstan are about 1/6 or 1/5 Russian or mixed…in other words, completely in line with their representation in the population. I would like it to be higher at 1 in every 4 or even 1/3 , but then again there seems alot of women there- which in itself is like a Soviet/Russian link to the present.
    What percentage slavs are in the higher judiciary in the Baltic states? 0-1%?
    The proportion of Russian higher judiciary judges in Kazakhstan is important, or at least more important than in Uzbekistan where the Supreme Court is a completely paper institution and there isn’t much of an ethnic Russian situation there anyway.

    The Tenge (Kazakhstan currency) is in Russian ( ZERO need for this to still be the case if there truly was a strong nationalist/anti-Russian uprising there) – it’s the easiest way to insert your nationalism by at least having the Kazakh language on it – more so when there is no real need to have the number also written in Russian, when the digit itself is self-explanatory….yet there Russian still is on Tenge banknotes.

    As for the Latin issue, it is a fact that English is the preeminent language of business now. Turkey, Russia, China, “the west” all significant players there…..it is sad but fact that they may have made the decision to switch text entirely for pragmatic reasons.

    Most famous entertainers, fashion models, most famous sportsmen/sportswomen representing Kazakhstan with distinction in Tennis, Swimming and athletics events are Russian/mixed ( except in fighting sports…but even then Golovkin is Russian-Korean)

    Main television news and entertainment shows are in Russian

  52. @Anatoly Karlin
    The Kazakh Parliament has just voted to rename Astana to "Nursultan."

    I was under the impression that the Kazakhs were a bit above the personality cults typical of Central Asia, but I guess not.

    The airport was already named after him, wasn’t it?

  53. @Swedish Family
    Since we are on the topic of Kazakhstan, I feel I should share one of the lesser known photos (but one of my favorites) from the Prokudin-Gorsky collection, surely one of the great treasures of the 20th century.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3f/Prokudin-Gorskii_Russians_in_Central_Asia.jpg
    Russian settlers house in Nadezhenskii village with a group of peasants. Central Asia, Near Petropavlovsk, Kazakhstan. 1911.

    The colors are wonderful, of course, but as with many of Prokudin-Gorsky's photographs, what truly grabs you is a certain haunting quality, a sense of impending doom. I'm especially drawn to the symbolism of the shadow in the foreground, soon to engulf the whole house. God knows what happened to these poor people in the following decades.

    Although, in all fairness, that light could just as easily be morning light, and the shadow could be going the other way. Although I doubt it.

    But, yeah, those folks probably died 🙁

    I have some pictures like this from 1950s and ’60s Pennsylvania, my home, before the American cultural revolution destroyed our reasonably civilized life and before the Catholic Church dumbed its beautiful liturgy down to blandness. The women in ’51 wore dresses, man!

    This is one of my favorites. A schoolteacher and his wife in 1950s coal country Pennsylvania. Just a quiet, modest, forthright looking fellow. I miss when our working classes used to dress well.

    But obviously our revolution was nowhere near as savage as the one in Russia.

    • Replies: @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan
    Of course I guess our country had its fall coming since in the glorious '50s we were still rewarding war criminals like this guy with highly prominent lifelong positions in what uncle Ike warned us was the military-industrial-congressional complex

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_C._Richardson_III#Laconia_incident

    , @Swedish Family

    Although, in all fairness, that light could just as easily be morning light, and the shadow could be going the other way.
     
    I first thought the same, but then I convinced myself that old Sergey probably wasn't a morning person. :)

    I have some pictures like this from 1950s and ’60s Pennsylvania, my home, before the American cultural revolution destroyed our reasonably civilized life and before the Catholic Church dumbed its beautiful liturgy down to blandness. The women in ’51 wore dresses, man!

    This is one of my favorites. A schoolteacher and his wife in 1950s coal country Pennsylvania. Just a quiet, modest, forthright looking fellow. I miss when our working classes used to dress well.
     
    Yes, there was a quiet dignity to people back then. If you want to watch small-town America of that time in color, I highly recommend Billy Wilder's The Spirit of St. Louis, a 1957 biopic about Charles Lindbergh. The cinematography is just breathtaking.
  54. @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan
    Although, in all fairness, that light could just as easily be morning light, and the shadow could be going the other way. Although I doubt it.

    But, yeah, those folks probably died :(

    I have some pictures like this from 1950s and '60s Pennsylvania, my home, before the American cultural revolution destroyed our reasonably civilized life and before the Catholic Church dumbed its beautiful liturgy down to blandness. The women in '51 wore dresses, man!

    This is one of my favorites. A schoolteacher and his wife in 1950s coal country Pennsylvania. Just a quiet, modest, forthright looking fellow. I miss when our working classes used to dress well.

    https://cdn.onlyinyourstate.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/9236481096_4607447603_z.jpg

    But obviously our revolution was nowhere near as savage as the one in Russia.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fu_8M2L6kHY

    Of course I guess our country had its fall coming since in the glorious ’50s we were still rewarding war criminals like this guy with highly prominent lifelong positions in what uncle Ike warned us was the military-industrial-congressional complex

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_C._Richardson_III#Laconia_incident

  55. @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan
    Although, in all fairness, that light could just as easily be morning light, and the shadow could be going the other way. Although I doubt it.

    But, yeah, those folks probably died :(

    I have some pictures like this from 1950s and '60s Pennsylvania, my home, before the American cultural revolution destroyed our reasonably civilized life and before the Catholic Church dumbed its beautiful liturgy down to blandness. The women in '51 wore dresses, man!

    This is one of my favorites. A schoolteacher and his wife in 1950s coal country Pennsylvania. Just a quiet, modest, forthright looking fellow. I miss when our working classes used to dress well.

    https://cdn.onlyinyourstate.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/9236481096_4607447603_z.jpg

    But obviously our revolution was nowhere near as savage as the one in Russia.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fu_8M2L6kHY

    Although, in all fairness, that light could just as easily be morning light, and the shadow could be going the other way.

    I first thought the same, but then I convinced myself that old Sergey probably wasn’t a morning person. 🙂

    I have some pictures like this from 1950s and ’60s Pennsylvania, my home, before the American cultural revolution destroyed our reasonably civilized life and before the Catholic Church dumbed its beautiful liturgy down to blandness. The women in ’51 wore dresses, man!

    This is one of my favorites. A schoolteacher and his wife in 1950s coal country Pennsylvania. Just a quiet, modest, forthright looking fellow. I miss when our working classes used to dress well.

    Yes, there was a quiet dignity to people back then. If you want to watch small-town America of that time in color, I highly recommend Billy Wilder’s The Spirit of St. Louis, a 1957 biopic about Charles Lindbergh. The cinematography is just breathtaking.

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