Kazakhstan: Is New Military Doctrine Response to Russia or the West?

by Almaz Kumenov  In late September, Kazakhstan adopted its fifth military doctrine. The document outlines a shift in strategic thinking that seems, at least in part, designed to respond to potential threats emanating from Kazakhstan’s neighbor and ally, Russia —… Continue Reading  

Kazakhstan: Space for Civil Society Shrinking?

by Joanna Lillis First, there was a media report hinting at shadowy links between foreign-funded charities and terrorism in Kazakhstan. Then, the taxman came knocking. The tax inspections served as a prelude to legal action against two non-governmental organizations (NGOs)… Continue Reading  

Russia Talking with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan Over Military Deployment to Syria

by Joshua Kucera Russia is in talks with Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan about sending troops to Syria, senior Russian and Turkish official have said. “Negotiations are now going on, a process is being worked out so that Russian military police can… Continue Reading  

Debunking a Myth about Central Asia’s Borders

by Alexander Morrison Few parts of the world are the subject of as much sustained journalistic ignorance as Central Asia. News from what are patronizingly known as the “stans” rarely makes it into mainstream news outlets, except in connection to… Continue Reading  

Kazakhstan and China: Fear, Loathing and Money

by Aigerim Toleukhanova There is an old Kazakh proverb that states: “To be the captive of the Chinese is a tight noose — with the Russians, it is a wide, open road.” The saying is believed to date back to the… Continue Reading