Staunton, April 17 – Russian reaction to the decisions of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan to move away from the Cyrillic-based scripts Moscow imposed on them to Latin-based scripts that will help them integrate into the broader Turkic and international worlds has been hysterical to say the least.
Many commentators are denouncing these measures as an attack on the Russian world and a threat to Moscow’s influence over the former Soviet space, and they often profess to see in such ideas the efforts of Turkey and Western intelligence services to weaken Moscow in every possible way.
But as usual in such circumstances, these commentators don’t know their history: It was Moscow that promoted the original shift by Turkic peoples, including those in Turkey itself, to the Latin script (from Persido-Arabic ones) in the 1920s and 1930s. And within the Bolshevik leadership at that time, there were even plans worked out for shifting Russian in the same way.
In recalling that reality, a Moscow portal, Newsland.com, has sparked reactions by many who either don’t want to remember such plans or who are pleased that Stalin killed them, not only ending talk of replacing Cyrillic with Latin script for Russian but also doing away with the Latin scripts the Soviet authorities had imposed on various peoples Turkic and non-Turkic alike (newsland.com/community/4489/content/kak-bolsheviki-gotovili-perevesti-russkii-alfavit-na-latinitsu/5785523