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State

Capital

Kazakhstan

Akhmula from Almaty

formerly Alma Ata

Currency unit

Tenge

Connections

Central Asia

Islam

Nuclear

Radiation

USSR

 Politics

 Economics

 Green

 Rights

History

This republic has a large Russian-speaking population (38%) as well as a native population of Turkic-speaking peoples (also 38%).

It was the site of many of Stalin's concentration camps, especially in the area of the Karaganda coal field where slave labor was used to open up the coal reserves. Many of the released prisoners still live in the area, though the German minority, deported there from the Volga area, has mostly escaped to Germany.

The large Muslim Turkic-speaking population may claim hegemony.

The present government is cooperating closely with Russia but is also talking with the other Central Asian republics and with Turkey. A Central Asian union is not impossible. Kazakhstan had agreed to join the Union of Sovereign States proposed by Mikail Gorbachov.

Since the abolition of the Soviet Union the republic has been one of the larger members of the CIS. Its government has agreed to send all its nuclear weapons to Russia for dismantling. However, it is not certain that this is happening nor whether any of them have gone to such states as Iran. There may be a danger of nuclear material being sold to guerrillas or terrorists.

There is some doubt about whether this artificial creation will hold together. Some areas of the north have a Russian majority. As it spreads over such a wide area there is a possibility of its splitting into various units, or of parts joining other republics such as Uzbekistan.

Languages

Turkic langs.

Russian

 History

 Economics

 Green

 Rights

Politics

The government appears to be following a Singapore policy: economic reform without democracy. No plans for free elections but advanced plans for privatization. The former Communist government appears still to be in control.

The government is a grotesque dictatorship. Will it follow Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan and Georgia in staging a popular revolution against the dictatorship?

Comment on Kazak dictatorship

 History

 Politics

 Green

 Rights

Economics

Important oil producer

Important gold producer (70% of former Soviet Union's production).

It also has the sites of the Soviet Union's space program and nuclear testing.

During the Khrushchov period it was the site of his Virgin Lands campaign to plow up the land for new grain crops. This must have been one of the world's biggest agricultural failures, to rank alongside the British attempt to to grow ground nuts in Tanganyika.

Largely a kleptocracy like most other post-Soviet states.

 History

 Politics

 Economics

 Rights

Green/Ecology

Inappropriate development of agriculture during the Khrushchov period led to soil deterioration and dust bowl conditions. This republic has been affected by the disappearance of the Aral Sea due to over-abstraction of water in Uzbekistan.

The nuclear testing facility at Semipalatinsk has caused thousands of people to suffer from radiation sickness and in October 1990 from Beryllium poisoning from a nuclear weapons factory.

Beryllium and enriched Uranium are said to be being sold to Iran.

The Capital is to move to Astana (Akmola, former Tselingrad) allegedly because Almaty (formerly Alma Ata) is in an earthquake prone area, actually because Almaty is too near the Chinese frontier and the north is inhabited by Russians.

 History

 Politics

 Economics

 Green

Human Rights

Past mass exposure to radiation must be one of the worst abuses of human rights.

Climate effects

Last revised 4/11/11


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