There are more than 100 groups representing ethnic communities in Kazakhstan, grouped in the Association of Russian, Slavic, and Cossack Organizations, he says; and not one of them is pushing for isolation, even when they are critical of Kazakhstan government steps like Latinization or the introduction of a three-language program in the schools.
Those ethnic Russians who are the most angry with Kazakhstan have simply left. As long as that option remains open, there won’t be any significant number of ethnic Russians there who would be likely to support any challenge, territorial or otherwise to Kazakhstan, according to Kramarchenko.
Journalist Yaroslav Razumov says that the ethnic Russians of Kazakhstan have been loyal to the country with few exceptions, all in the early 1990s, and that they are destined to remain so. And political scientist Aygul Omarova concurs, especially since the Russians of her country don’t have the leaders who could organize them into any force.
“The ethnic Russians in Kazakhstan live their own life, independent from Russia and even more from the interests of the Kremlin and Putin,” she adds. There may be a microscopic number who say otherwise but they are marginals in every case. What is more of a problem is that Kazakhs for their own interests talk about a Russian fifth column far too much.
They do so, Omarova says, because some of them believe that this will lead to a Ukrainian scenario and that “Maidanization” is “the path to democracy, equality and so on.” But such Kazakhs are also a minority: they can talk but like the Russians, they aren’t organized in a way that will allow them to achieve their goal.