Three villages in the Akmola region of Kazakhstan will immediately change their Russian names to local ones, media reports citing the Khabar-24 TV channel. Over the past few years, it has been decided to rename more than 100 of the 240 settlements with “incorrect” names.
New names will be given to the villages of Krasnaya Polyana, Petrakovka and Arbuzinka, which will be called Birlik (unity), Tumar (talisman) and Akkent (sacred place). “The population unanimously supported the initiative,” explained the akim of the Birlik rural district Ansar Ibaev.
According to the villagers, it was worth changing the names a long time ago. “This issue was discussed, everyone wanted to rename it so that there are Kazakh names in villages and cities. This issue has been raised and resolved. But now there are shifts, it is felt. We are very pleased,” he said. Magomad Umarov from Krasnaya Polyana.
Change of Russian toponyms in the post-Soviet republics (for example, renaming the street of a scout, a hero of the USSR in Kyiv Ivan Kudri in the street of the American senator John McCain) after the events in Ukraine is perceived in Russia as a harbinger of a thunderstorm. Is it going to blow up here too?
In response to radical statements by some Russian politicians about the harassment of Russians, “vigilant citizens throughout Kazakhstan launched a hunt for people who stick Z and V signs on their cars,” writes the Almaty-based Karavan in the article “Who is trying to embroil Kazakhstan with Russia.”
The scale of the name change campaign was reminded editor-in-chief of the portal “Russians in Kazakhstan”, resident of Kokchetav Ilya Namovir.
– The campaign to rename everything and everything started in Kazakhstan almost immediately after independence was declared in 1991. The names of districts, regions, cities, villages, streets changed. The onomastic ardor reached out even to geographical toponyms – the names of mountains, rivers, lakes.
The cities of Guryev and Shevchenko became Aktau and Atyrau, Alma-Ata became Almaty, Semipalatinsk became Semey, Zyryanovsk became Altai. Tselinograd was first renamed Akmola, then Astana, then Nur-Sultan.
In general, over the past 30 years, about 20 districts, cities, regions, about 1.5 thousand settlements, about 1.4 thousand different objects (educational, cultural, sports institutions, etc.), 85 railway stations, about 25 thousand names of streets, avenues and neighborhoods.
“SP”: – Large-scale. It turns out that the current renaming of three villages is a drop in the ocean …
– Nobody plans to stop there – officials have hundreds of toponyms in their plans, requiring getting rid of “ideologically obsolete” names.
Moreover, in order to achieve their goals, the authorities do not shy away from violating their own laws, resorting to direct deceit, forgery and falsification, as was the case, for example, during the hearings on renaming in the villages of Darya and Peremetnoye of the Zelenovsky district of the West Kazakhstan region.
“The West, the Americans have formed a global trend to follow the path of Russophobia,” points out political scientist Aslan Rubaev. “Now it pays well. So, the Baltic states or Ukraine have chosen the path of Russophobia and their elites are now on quite decent content. This is noticeable even in the example of some of our artists who flee from Russia, despite the fact that they were doing great here. They think it’s cool – when they caress the Western world.
The essence of the trend is to abandon everything Russian. With those who will be more noticeable than others on this path, the West will be friends. They will not be sanctioned, they will shake hands, they will be invited to economic forums in Davos
Parity equal relations offered by Russia are of little interest to them. After all, Moscow has always been attentive to its neighbors and listened to them. In addition, they also make good money on these relationships. The same Kazakhstan is a member of the EAEU, a member of the CSTO and all other projects in the post-Soviet space.
“SP”: – Nazarbayev was the author of the idea of the EAEU …
– Tokayev played with multi-vector approach. To quarrel with the West, apparently, seems to him more dangerous. Although Kazakhstan does not have such close economic ties with the West as with Russia. Probably, many in the elite of Kazakhstan, as well as under Nazarbayev, in the West have assets, finances, families live there. Losing their own is much more terrible for them than the state. They are not interested in the development of their country.
Kazakhstan and other post-Soviet countries do not understand that it is not worth fighting their own history, following the path of decommunization. None of these states has been successful. Kazakhstan is a product made in USSR. Tokaev, who speaks excellent Russian, speaks English, is a remarkably educated intellectual, who understands international relations, received his knowledge in the Soviet Union. And at the same time, he takes his country away from everything Russian.
Question: where does it lead? Towards the national Kazakh state? But what kind of achievements did Kazakhstan demonstrate to the world? While they are few. There is no high GDP there, and last winter this country almost slid into the likeness of ISIS *. A huge number of radical terrorist cells woke up there, which could turn the RK into a training ground for thugs. There could have been a real bloodbath.
“SP”: – The CSTO forces, that is, Russia, helped …
– It seems that, not being able to improve the economy, the authorities are trying to “transfer arrows” to the Russians. Although during the Soviet period, Kazakhstan received huge funds from the center and lived well there. This is a well-known small-town problem of all post-Soviet elites.
They know that Russia cherishes our common past and will not deal with them as harshly as, for example, the Turks or the West. In Moscow they will talk about a confederation, they will nod in response, but they will immediately forget about all the agreements. I remember how, during Tokayev’s visit to the Russian Federation, they rejoiced in social networks that the Republic of Kazakhstan was finally leaving Russia, they say, it’s time to be friends with Turkey. From secular Russia to the 19th century! What are they thinking?! This is a tragedy.
Of course, the Americans, using soft power, did a lot of work in Kazakhstan. The Turks also work there, who have set up a network of religious schools in the Republic of Kazakhstan and recruit young people, reorient them to themselves, and the fund Soroswhich invites young people to study English in Western countries at the expense of the host country. It works. What to expect tomorrow? Taking to the streets under the slogan “Who does not jump, that Muscovite”?
“SP”: – Maybe there is a flaw in Moscow?
– Russia really lacks non-public diplomacy, humanitarian projects. It is necessary to educate, show that there is Russian culture, bring it to Kazakhstan so that it infects people (and Berdyaev, Pushkin cannot infect). To do this, we need to build centers, invite active people of Kazakhstan to Russia. And besides, we need to raise our standard of living – from the point of view of the economy, we live terribly. Kazakhstanis will not want to live like in Russia.
Before you return someone to your sphere of influence, you need to decide for yourself who we are and where we are moving. Otherwise, we know what the American dream is with its McDonalds, but at the same time we don’t know what the Russian dream is. We are afraid of the socialist Soviet ideology like fire. After all, then it is necessary to start the dispossession of the elites. And there is no new ideology… But under the socialist ideology, Kazakhstan would go for rapprochement, like other republics. Some of the elites there are nostalgic for the USSR.
Something is already being done in this direction, but too slowly. This means that we will continue to observe renaming or attempts by nationalists to expel Russians. All these videos are on the web. Unfortunately, Russia has no tools to prevent renaming. We accuse Kazakhstan or Ukraine of decommunization, but we ourselves have taken the path of renaming Soviet toponyms and abandoning our own past. So what do we want from others?
* ISIS, “Islamic State” is a terrorist group whose activities on the territory of Russia are prohibited by the decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation of December 29, 2014.