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Stories about Kazakhstan

Chinese higher education programs attract increasing numbers of students from Kazakhstan

Education abroad and study exchanges have become instruments for the Chinese government to attract foreign students, especially from Kazakhstan. Does studying in China trigger support among Kazakhstani students?

One step towards inclusion in Kazakhstan

When he turned 18, Aidar was deprived of his legal capacity by the local court, making him dependent on his state-assigned guardian at all times, and decisions were not his to...

Blogger gets prison sentence for branding Kazakhstan's language policies “russophobic”

According to Taichimbekov, the Kazakh state has been "sourcing Russian individuals who speak out in favor of banning Russian television, banning Russian language, excluding it from the Constitution."

New homophobic attacks in Kazakhstan rally support behind activists

Over the course of three months, LGBTQ+ activists were targeted three times by conservative mobs in various cities across Kazakhstan. An artist was bullied online for drawing same-sex kisses.

Graffiti in Almaty between scandals, competition, and trolling

Graffiti in Almaty have become a contested space between state authorities, commercial companies, and independent artists. As the competition continues, Kazakhstan's largest city is enjoying a renaissance in street art.

Devices of journalists, government officials in Kazakhstan hacked and spied on

Journalist Serikzhan Mauletbai found himself on a list of people targeted by Israeli-made spyware the government of Kazakhstan bought. The current president and prime minister are also on the list.

Street art protest in Kazakhstan becomes routine

Since Nazarbayev’s resignation in 2019, new protest movements in Kazakhstan have chosen street art as their preferred tactic. In this case, the target is a public utility hut in Almaty.

Kazakhstan celebrates its leader with two more statues

Nazarbayev's cult of personality in Kazakhstan continues two years after his resignation. For his birthday, the government built two statues, one in Turkistan and one in the capital Nur-Sultan.

Cheap materials raise questions over Kazakhstan's expensive new urban development

A crumbling wall in Turkistan's new flagship construction project reveals the faults of fast-paced development in Kazakhstan's holiest city.

How Sinophobia is instrumentalized in Kazakhstan as a form of oppositional politics

In Kazakhstan, Sinophobia is often a tool instrumentalized by protest organizers to mobilize people as a form of criticism of governmental policies

More internet security for many, not for Central Asians

"Apple has clearly been forced to comply with legal regulations in Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan."

Demolition of iconic dragon mosaic in Almaty stirs debate on urban art in Kazakhstan

The dragon, which used to adorn the façade of a Thai restaurant, was a landmark of Almaty’s city center.

Some Western observers share Central Asia's misgivings about Alexey Navalny

"Western policy-makers even turn a blind eye to the fact that Navalny’s foreign and security policies run directly counter to Western objectives. Maybe they think it’s worth the gamble."

Alexey Navalny's views on migrants run counter to his pro-democracy discourse

Alexey Navalny has emerged as a rallying figure for liberal Russians and a symbol of Russian opposition, but his image among Central Asians – including Russia's migrant workers – is...

A hip-hop band plays exclusively on traditional instruments to forge a new Kazakhstani identity

An experimental musical project is trying to reverse the widespread disregard for rural traditions by taking contemporary music and performing it on traditional instruments.

Thirty years after his tragic death, iconic Soviet musician Viktor Tsoi continues to inspire demonstrators

Even younger generations of Russian-speakers who have no memory of the Soviet period are enraptured by the story of Viktor the rebel, who sided with the people against the system.

Freedom of expression in Kazakhstan still a distant prospect, says prosecuted activist

Aynur Ilyashev was prosecuted in connection with his criticism of Kazakhstan's ruling party. The country may have a new president, but thirst for real change is growing, says the activist.

The Uyghur Meshrep: A traditional community gathering censored in China

While Uyghurs have for centuries celebrated male bonding and cultural transmission in a ritual of music and conversations, China is now banning the original concept of the tradition.

Viktor Tsoi: The undying icon of Soviet dissident rock

Fans of Soviet rock star Viktor Tsoi mark his birthday, June 21, remembering his freedom-loving songs that still resonate three decades after his death in 1990.

How Kazakhstan's youth are forging their own national identity

A feud between a lesbian activist and a boxer has galvanised a new generation's interest in pushing at the boundaries of Kazakh national identity

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