Friday, December 29, 2023

Kazakhstan’s Wholesale Rehabilitation of Anti-Soviet Basmachis and Turkestani Legionnaires Outrages Russians

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Dec. 27 – Kazakhstan’s State Commission for the Final Rehabilitation of Victims of Political Repressions during Soviet times in the last month has completely rehabilitated 311,000 Basmachi fighters, members of the Turkestani Legion that fought alongside the Germans against Stalin and others who fought the Soviet system.

            This decision has outraged Russians who say that Kazakhstan by doing so is following Ukraine and the West in adopting ever more anti-Moscow positions, including labelling famines in the 1920s and 1930s as Soviet acts of genocide (

            Moscow commentators say that Kazakhstan has not examined the actions of individuals in either the Basmachi movement or the Turkestani Legion but instead adopted a wholesale approach, one that is based on the idea that any resistance to Russians and Soviet rule was and presumably remains legitimate.

            According to such writers, actions like this rehabilitation reveal the true face of the current Kazakhstan government. And they demand that Moscow not be deceived by the diplomatic smiles and language the current leadership of Kazakhstan uses when its members interact with Moscow.

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