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Jun 5, 2022
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How the image of the enemy is formed in Kazakhstan

On May 31, Kazakhstan celebrated the Day of Remembrance for the Victim of Political Repressions and Famine. This is an official commemorative date, approved by the decree of the country’s first president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, in 1997.

The official website of the Library of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan – Elbasy reports: “The tragic pages of the Holodomor of 1932-1934 have not yet been sufficiently studied. According to various sources, the death toll from starvation ranges from 1.5 to 3 million. During the years of the “great terror”, representatives of the Kazakh political and cultural community were persecuted. Despite the fact that many of them supported the Soviet government, in 1930-1950 they were repressed..

The well-known Kazakh political scientist Ainur Kurmanov notes that “official documents and statements indicate three to four million victims, although historians have already proven that in total there were no more than 600 thousand people who died of starvation in these years.” At the same time, he says, the causes of the famine are falsified and distorted by “officials and court historians.”

The main causes of the famine were the death of livestock due to adverse weather conditions in 1932 and the flight of bais along with millions of cattle to China. Moscow helped the starving regions of the Kazakh ASSR with the allocation of bread and food, but they did not reach the starving population “as a result of the activities of local personnel, 70 percent of which consisted of Kazakhs”.

Now in modern feature films and literature of Kazakhstan, the organizers of collectivization and repression “consciously, only Russians are presented entirely in order to emphasize the ethnic factor and present Russia, then and today, as the main culprit of the events that took place”.

On the occasion of the date of May 31, State Secretary Yerlan Karin, in an interview with Kazinform, recalled that in November 2020, under his leadership, the state commission under his supervision began its work on the full rehabilitation of victims of political repression. This commission, as we wrote, sets as its main goal the rehabilitation of the citizens of the Kazakh SSR who fought on the side of Hitler in the ranks of the Turkestan Legion.

Yerlan Karin is known as the curator of the Kazakh branch of the Turkish organization “Gray Wolves” and the movement “Oyan, Kazakhstan”, which are recipients of grants from American foundations, including the Soros Foundation *** banned in Russia. Karin indirectly supported the activities of the “language patrols”, stating that nationalism as an ideology should become the main core of the entire Kazakh state.

On May 31, Yerlan Karin reported on the work of his commission, reporting on hundreds of thousands of acquitted people, as well as on the creation of a single “memory database”. At the same time, they rehabilitated everyone en masse and, as it turned out, without much trial. “More than 250,000 citizens have been rehabilitated in the course of prosecutorial supervision. Basically, these are people from among the exiles and special settlers.” Under the guise of special settlers and exiles, they are hidden, notes Ainur Kurmanov, “real criminals from among the Basmachi and Nazi accomplices during the Great Patriotic War”.

The chairman of the subcommittee on the phased declassification of closed archival funds, Majilis deputy Berik Abdygaliuly last year announced the need to cancel all legal acts against the Basmachi in the 20s and 30s, as well as against members of the formations who fought on the side of Hitler. He also noted that it is necessary to bring to justice for libel against the rehabilitated figures of the Turkestan Legion of the Wehrmacht and the Muslim units of the SS.

According to Abdygaliuly, “Kazakhstan became independent for a reason, after the painless liquidation of the USSR… The Kazakh people fought for independence, making sacrifices. And this struggle was with the real invadersWell both in the tsarist and in the communist periods”. Berik Abdygaliuly considers the Russians to be invaders. Moreover, all Russians, both before and after the 1917 revolution.

Rehabilitated criminals are presented as fighters for national liberation. They will be placed in the Pantheon of national heroes, allegedly standing at the origins of Kazakhstan’s independence. Mustafa Shokai, the founder of the Turkestan Legion and Hitler’s friend, has already been elevated to the rank of national leader, having erected a monument to him in Kyzyl-Orda, renaming streets, libraries and shopping centers in his honor in many cities of the country.

Against the backdrop of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine, the pro-Western press of the republic increased pressure on the leadership of Kazakhstan with demands to take an anti-Russian position and withdraw from all integration associations, including the EAEU and the CSTO. The speech went as far as direct insults to President Tokayev and his team, writes Kazakhstani political scientist Daniyar Ashimbaev.

Radio Azattyk** (a branch of Radio Liberty** recognized as a foreign agent in the Russian Federation) is now rehabilitating the participants in the January coup against President Tokayev. As part of the presentation of the Bloody January project, a list of the dead was compiled, a mini-photo exhibition was organized, a documentary was shown, and a banner with the names of those killed during the January events of 2022 was presented. There are 188 names on the list. The initiators and participants of the January coup are presented as heroes and innocent victims of the security forces.

On June 3, a verdict was announced against eight active participants in the riots in the city of Taraz. They are “took part in riots with the use of force, acts of vandalism, destruction, destruction of property, disobedience to the requirements of police officers. The defendants, together with a group of protesters, took an active part in the riots, disobeying the legitimate demands of the police and military mobilized to ensure public safety, thereby causing damage to the health of law enforcement officers and property damage,” – reported in court. All defendants received four years probation.

Such a condescending attitude of the Republican Themis towards pogromists and bandits is explained by pressure on the country’s leadership from the West and pro-Western activists. So, on June 1, a large group of relatives of the participants of the “January riots” detained by law enforcement officers, according to KazTAGprotested outside the city prosecutor’s office in Alma-Ata, unfurling posters demanding an international investigation.

International human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, as well as the US Embassy in Kazakhstan are putting direct pressure on the authorities of the republic, demanding the release from custody of one of the leaders of the January coup, the leader of the unregistered Democratic Party of Kazakhstan, Zhanbolat Mamai. Support from abroad inspires domestic opposition. On June 3, a group of activists of the Mamaev party, led by Mamai’s wife, hung out on a pedestrian bridge on Sain Avenue in Alma-Ata a huge banner with the inscription: “Toqaev, Zhanbolat Mamaidy is barefoot” (“Tokaev, free Zhanbolat Mamai”).

Reporting government agency KazTAG clearly supports this claim.

There is a growing wave of anti-Russian speculation. Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Trade and Integration of Kazakhstan Bakhyt Sultanov said on June 1 that the shortage of sugar in the country was due to the Russian Federation’s ban on sugar exports. Although until recently, the government claimed that all warehouses are overstocked and there is no problem.

On the eve of the Victory Day in Kazakhstan, a group of Kazakh nationalists became more active. The well-known Russophobe Arman Shuraev threatened that on May 9, “hundreds of thousands of people would take to the streets of Kazakhstan with Ukrainian flags in their hands” and “real civil clashes” would follow. A number of representatives of the National Patriots spoke out for the abolition of Victory Day: bloggers, organizers of “language patrols”, politicians, and media figures.

In May, Kazakhstan canceled a traditional military parade in honor of Victory Day, citing a lack of money. In Nur-Sultan, not only the parade was canceled, but also the salute, and the Immortal Regiment was held “in an online format.” Many Kazakhstani officials have done everything to tear the holiday away from its Soviet roots and make it “less festive.” Despite this, thousands of Kazakhstanis took to the streets on May 9 and laid flowers in honor of the victory in the Great Patriotic War.

To top it off, several Russian TV channels were turned off in Kazakhstan. Local bloggers do not believe that this was due to technical problems, noting that after the start of Russia’s special operation in Ukraine “The Anglo-Saxons are fighting for the information space already on the territory of the former Soviet republics”.

Popular blogger Nur Ismail believes that the countries of the Central Asian region “you need to either take the side of our large northern neighbor, with whom we are connected by a common history and real economic growth prospects, or become a bargaining chip in the great geopolitical struggle between the Anglo-Saxons and Russia”.

Header photo: Izvestia

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