Staunton, Jan. 17 – Nearly half of all foreign students in Russian higher educational institutions today are from Central Asian countries, and almost 40 percent of these 160,000 people are the recipients of Russian government aid (doxajournal.ru/uni/academic_migration#10 and tj.sputniknews.ru/20220505/lavrov-russkie-shkoly-tadzhikistan-1048200873.html).
This massive flow, Rhythm of Eurasia journalist Marat Nurgozhayev says, reflects both Moscow’s effort to use the Russian language to promote unity across the CIS and the interests of Central Asian governments to counter what they see as a dangerous expansion in Turkish influence (ritmeurasia.org/news--2023-01-17--160-tysjach-studentov-iz-stran-centralnoj-azii-ezhegodno-obuchajutsja-v-rossii-64137).
Turkey has attracted nothing like as many students to study in that country, but it has had enormous success in opening schools at all levels in Central Asia which promote both Turkish values and Islam. What Moscow is doing helps counter this and ensures that the future elites in the region will be Russian-speaking and Russia-oriented rather than focused on Turkey.
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