Saturday, January 8, 2022

Kazakhstan Authorities to Blame for Increasing Frequency of Ethnic Conflicts and Attacks on Russians, Moscow Commentator Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Nov. 18 – Inter-ethnic conflicts in Kazakhstan have been increasing in number and intensity, but the authorities in that country blame criminals and outside agitators, refuse to take any responsibility for these clashes, and thus open the way for their further spread, including attacks on Russians by Kazakhs, Irina Dzhorbenadze says.

            The Rosbalt journalist and commentator says that denying the ethnic roots of clashes the authorities describe as being ordinary conflicts or blaming clashes between two ethnic groups living in Kazakhstan exclusively on outside forces “only makes the problem worse” (

            But the Kazakh authorities, Dzhorbenidze says, are not simply ignoring the problem but actively taking steps that ensure ethnic conflicts will explode. On the one hand, they aren’t punishing those who promote nationalist programs. And on the other, they are constantly talking about the Kazakhs as “the state-forming people” of that country.

            Moreover, their proposed solution to ethnic conflicts, disbanding or preventing the formation of ethnic enclaves lest these generate nationalistic attitudes among the non-Kazakhs and hence more nationalism among the Kazakhs both ignore international experience and will only intensify inter-ethnic tensions.

            Perhaps the most important observation the Rosbalt commentator makes, however, is this. She says that what she is talking about is not a uniquely “Kazakh ‘phenomenon.’” It  exists in many countries, and at least some of her readers are likely to recognize that what she is complaining about in Kazakhstan is taking place in the Russian Federation of Vladimir Putin.

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