Speaking in a forked tongue: Russian help for autocracy in Kazakhstan

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


Syria, Hong Kong, Belarus, and now Kazakhstan. During the past decade the autocrats’ international have perfected rigging elections and suppressing democratic dissent. Resurgent Russia has excelled in this field. Few observers, however, notice that the Kremlin’s neoimperial package is underpinned with ethnolinguistic nationalism, or the ideology of the Russkii mir (Russian world). Alongside oil blackmail, the Kremlin imposes Cyrillic and the Russian language on the post-Soviet states with an eye to constructing a Russian sphere of influence. This neoimperial sphere is designed to coincide with the area of the former Soviet Union or even the Russian Empire. Moscow’s offensive use of language and script politics is part and parcel of hybrid warfare strategy that reduces the need for the deployment of troops and outright annexations. Are the Russian intervention forces going to leave Kazakhstan anytime soon?
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationWachtyrz.eu
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jan 2022


  • Kazakhstan
  • Russian imperialism
  • Neoimperialism
  • Post-Soviet history
  • Central Asia
  • Authoritarianism
  • Russian world
  • Democracy
  • Ethnolinguistic nationalism


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