Profile Series: Kazakhstan: Political Conditions in the Post-Soviet Era   [open pdf - 92KB]

"The country has become more polarized as many of the ethnic Russians and Russian speakers living in the Kazakh-majority southern region of the country are either relocating to the north (dominated by ethnic Russians), or are leaving Kazakhstan altogether. At present, however, tensions, discrimination, and political manipulations have not escalated into outright repression or violence against Russian speakers as a group. The government seems to discourage ethnic-based supremacist groups -- both Russian and Kazakh -- from both legitimate and illegitimate or violent activities. However, the situation is too volatile to predict with any certainty whether the government will maintain a mildly repressive but relatively peaceful status quo, or will either increase its level of repression or lose its ability to dampen potential opposition. It should also be noted that one exception to the generalization that ethnic tensions have not resulted in societal violence is the status of Russian-speaking Jews. From the late 1980s to the present, there have been credible reports of sporadic violent attacks by societal groups or individuals on Russian-speaking Jews. This report will focus almost entirely on the status of Russian speakers in Kazakhstan. This focus was not chosen because Russian speakers necessarily are (or are not) at greater risk of discrimination or harassment in Kazakhstan, but because they represent the overwhelming majority of applicants for asylum from Kazakhstan in the United States. The focus on Russian speakers should not be construed as a judgement [sic] of the relative merits of the cases of Russian speakers or other potential applicants for asylum."

Report Number:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services: http://www.uscis.gov/
Media Type:
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