RUSSIANS IN CENTRAL ASIA
Russian home in Central Asia The Russians and Ukrainians and other Slavs that live in Central Asia arrived in several waves. The first came in the 19th century after the serfs were freed. Many arrived in the 1950s and 60s, particularly in Kazakhstan, during the Virgin Land campaign. The number of Russians as a percentage of the population rose from 2 percent of Uzbekistan’s population in 1917 to 13.5 percent in 1950 and fell to 8.3 percent in 1989.
Russians in Central Asia tend to live in enclaves and dominate certain cities, towns or neighborhoods. They make up a much smaller percentage of the population in all five Central Asian countries than they do on other Soviet republics. This is explained by the exodus of Russians and higher birthrate among the Central Asians.
Some two million Russians in Central Asia returned to Russia after the the collapse of the Soviet Union. Some of the ethnic Russians who fled Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Kazakstan said they dis so because ultra-nationalism there made life "unbearable for non-natives." Many Russians who left for Russia have since returned. Some did so because they found the going tougher there than in Central Asia.
Of the more than eight million former Soviet citizens taken in by Russia between 1990 and 2003, half came from the five Central Asian republics—Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan—which were home to more than one third of this Russian “diaspora.” Sebastien Peyrouse of the Woodrow Wilson Institute wrote: “ Russians made up nearly 20 percent of the total population of these five states: some 9.5 million individuals in 1989. But their presence was not evenly distributed, and each state faced a unique domestic situation...Though their situations were diverse, the five states nonetheless had to manage a similar problem: how to affirm a “de-Russified” national identity in the wake of local economic collapse, which occurred as bonds among the former Soviet republicsbroke, and how to do so without integrating into the larger post-Soviet space. [Source: Sebastien Peyrouse, “Russian Minority in Central Asia: Migration, Politics, and Language”, Woodrow Wilson Institute, 2007]
See Russians Under Minorities under Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.
Russian Numbers in the Central Asian Nations
Number of Russians (and their percentage of the total population) in Kazakhstan: 3,974,000 in 1959 (42.7 percent); 5,521,000 in 1970 (42.4 percent); 5,991,000 in 1979 (40.8 percent); 6,227,000 in 1989 (37 percent); 4,479,000 in 1999–2000 (30 percent); Approx. 4,000,000 in 2007. [Source: Sebastien Peyrouse, “Russian Minority in Central Asia: Migration, Politics, and Language”, Woodrow Wilson Institute, 2007 ^^]
Number of Russians (and their percentage of the total population) in Kyrgyzstan: 623,500 in 1959 (30.2 percent); 856,000 in 1970 (29.2 percent); 911,700 in 1979 (25.9 percent); 916,500 in 1989 (21.5 percent); 603,000 in 1999–2000 (12.5 percent); Approx. 500,000 in 2007. ^^
Number of Russians (and their percentage of the total population) in Uzbekistan: 1,100,000 in 1959 (13.5 percent); 1,473,000 in 1970 (12.5 percent); 1,665,000 in 1979 (10.8 percent); 1,653,000 in 1989 (8.3 percent); Approx. 900,000 in 1999–2000 (3 percent); Approx. 800,000 in 2007. ^^
Number of Russians (and their percentage of the total population) in Tajikistan: 262,600 in 1959 (13.3 percent); 344,000 in 1970 (11.8 percent); 395,000 in 1979 (10.4 percent); 388,500 in 1989 (7.6 percent); 68,000 in 1999–2000 (1 percent); Approx. 50,000 in 2007. ^^
Number of Russians (and their percentage of the total population) in Turkmenistan: 262,700 in 1959 (17.3 percent); 313,000 in 1970 (14.5 percent); 349,000 in 1979 (12.6 percent); 334,000 in 1989 (9.5 percent); Approx.,Less than 150,000 in 1999–2000. ^^
Language and Education Issues for Russians in Central Asia
Sebastien Peyrouse of the Woodrow Wilson Institute wrote: “Linguistic and educational policies thus constitute a key element of Russian discomfort in Central Asia. “The status of various languages constitutes a major part of the national claims in the post-Soviet space. Russian is still the language of communication for the majority of the population of Central Asia, particularly in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. The issue is more sensitive in Central Asia than, for instance, in Ukraine, as knowledge of the titular language among the Russian minority remains weak and random.^^ [Source: Sebastien Peyrouse, “Russian Minority in Central Asia: Migration, Politics, and Language”, Woodrow Wilson Institute, 2007 ^^]
“In 1989, all of the federal republics of Central Asia established their eponymous language as the official state language. Russian continued to benefit from privileged use at the federal, Soviet level. In the 1990s, three states out of five (Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan) agreed to recognize Russian as the interethnic language of communication. In Turkmenistan, Russian lost all official status upon promulgation of the Constitution of 1992. On January 1, 2000, President Niyazov declared that intrinsic links existed between the Turkmen renewal and the rebirth of the national language. Members of the government no longer possessed the right to speak Russian or to present official reports in Russian.
“The education issue remains one of the principal reasons given by Russians for wishing to leave the region. The fear of an inability to offer younger generations a quality education in their mother tongue contributes to the push to emigrate. In addition, the majority of Russians cannot cope with the cultural and linguistic “nationalization” of education and continue to regard the development of national languages with contempt. Many of them wish that Russian-speaking schools would operate according to the curriculum of Russia, rather than that of the state in which they live. They complain of the lack of textbooks coming from Russia, the willingness of the authorities to remove references to Russian culture from literature textbooks, and the negative vision of Russia developed in the new history books.^^
“Russians also worry about the growing numbers of non-Russian children accommodated in the Russian-speaking schools, which the Russians say contributes to the decline of academic rigor and Russian-language mastery. They denounce what they perceive as social hypocrisy, in that, as during Soviet times, titular elites send their children to Russian-language schools, as they consider them more prestigious and better academically. The titular language schools retain a connotation of lower quality and of thus being intended for rural populations. This situation persists even as rural schools seek to recruit Russian-speaking teachers in order to meet the needs of future Central Asian migrants. Thus, in Central Asia today, Russian-language courses and schools are extremely overloaded in comparison to educational offerings in the eponymous language. The patron-client tradition of the education system, which gives priority to the titular population, means that Russian often have trouble registering their children in the very schools supposedly reserved for them.^^
Language and Media Issues for Russians in Central Asia
Sebastien Peyrouse of the Woodrow Wilson Institute wrote: ““ The status of the Russian language and the question of Russian-language education constitute elements within the more general debate over the place of Russian-language communities in the public space of each Central Asian republic. Lack of access to media from Russia and inadequate maintenance of local Russian-speaking media are further grievances of the Russian minorities in Central Asia. As for community and political life, the issue of the media arises as much as a matter of linguistic discrimination as it does in terms of political freedom. In view of the dearth of local news media and the limited political freedom in some Central Asian republics, the will of Russians to get access to the press from Russia is both a linguistic and informational necessity. The eponymous populations, as well as Russians, seek out a freer press, higher-quality entertainment programs, and Western productions. Once again, Russophonia does not constitute an “ethnic” criterion of differentiation between Russians and the titular population: all citizens of the new Central Asian states can be considered victims of the disappearance of Russian, which indirectly symbolizes the rise of authoritarianism and cultural and material poverty [Source: Sebastien Peyrouse, “Russian Minority in Central Asia: Migration, Politics, and Language”, Woodrow Wilson Institute, 2007 ^^]
Kirill Nourzhanov and Christian Bleuer wrote: “The alleged outright Russification of non-Slavic ethnic groups used to be one of the favourite themes of Western experts on Soviet nationality policy; some of them propounded truly apocalyptic views such as ‘the languages of the non-Russian peoples of the USSR seem doomed to eventual extinction’. In reality, the 1970s saw more extensive use of indigenous languages in public communication in Central Asia, at the expense of Russian. In 1971, the Terminology Committee of the Academy of Sciences of the Tajik SSR published an instruction that provided for greater usage of Tajik words and grammatical constructions in state affairs and science; this was ‘an important step in the direction of strengthening and formalising the national basis of the Tajik semantics’. The percentage of Tajiks who claimed fluency in Russian did not increase after the 1970s and was only 30 per cent at the time of the 1989 census. [Source: “Tajikistan” by Kirill Nourzhanov and Christian Bleuer, Australia National University, Australia National University, 2013]
Russian Language Education in Central Asia
Sebastien Peyrouse of the Woodrow Wilson Institute wrote: “ The laws concerning education in the five Central Asian republics remain among the most liberal in the Commonwealth of Independent States. Although training in the national language is obligatory, students can choose their language of instruction from a range considered representative of the minority nationalities living in their country. Nevertheless, the situation of Russian language education quickly deteriorated in all five republics, for reasons as political as they are practical. Like the issue of professional discrimination, this negative development is not specific to Russian but falls under the general degradation of primary and secondary public education. The low level of teachers’ wages, their irregular payment, the deterioration of school buildings, and the will of the states to ban old Soviet textbooks without having the means to finance new ones constituted the major elements of this collapse. The large-scale departure of Russian and “European” minorities, who often dominated the educational sector, made the lack of teachers still more acute, particularly in rural areas, where many schools closed because of a lack of personnel. [Source: Sebastien Peyrouse, “Russian Minority in Central Asia: Migration, Politics, and Language”, Woodrow Wilson Institute, 2007 ^^]
“In Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, the political authorities did not demonstrate an explicit desire to stymie Russian-language education, but because of a lack of resources they did not maintain the Soviet teaching network. In Tajikistan, about ten Russian-speaking schools exist in the entire country, compared to approximately 1,600 Russian classes within Tajikand Uzbek-language schools (which have about 40,000 students). In 2006, vis-à-vis the worsening of this situation in rural areas and international concern over the issue, the Tajik government and the Russian Embassy at Dushanbe called on the regions of Russia for assistance. Some governors answered and promised, with their own funds, to train Tajik students to be Russian-language teachers. Political authorities, who know that the economic development of the country depends on the remittances sent home by Tajiks working in Russia, regard the issue as vital and know that a minimal knowledge of Russian is indispensable. In Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, the liquidation of Russian-language education involved a much more specific policy on the part of the authorities. ^^
“The situation of Russian in higher education also proves difficult. Except for some establishments co-founded with Russia, it is increasingly difficult to transfer diplomas acquired in Central Asian public institutions to Russian universities. In Turkmenistan, all institutions of higher learning have operated exclusively in the Turkmen language since 2001, and Russianspeaking professors not able to prove their knowledge of Turkmen have been discharged.
“The situation is less dramatic in the other three republics, which maintain close university ties with Russia. In Tajikistan, approximately 20 percent of students study in Russian. The most prestigious university in the country remains the Slavic-Tajik University, created by the two states in 1996, which enrolls about 2,000 students. The university proposes instruction in both lan-guages, courses meeting the criteria of both states’ curricula, and diplomas receiving recognition in both Tajikistan and Russia. Several branches of Russian universities have also opened; however, university relations between the two countries are not entirely free of tension. In summer 2006, the Tajik authorities announced the closure of four private RussianTajik institutes under the pretext that they did not fulfill some higher educational criteria for Tajikistan. But they did so without the material or financial capacity to absorb students coming from these institutions into the already overloaded, obsolete public system.^^
Russians and Political Conditions in Central Asia
Sebastien Peyrouse of the Woodrow Wilson Institute wrote: “Today, the existence of political and community representation for the Russians of Central Asia largely depends on the political situation of the republic, the space left for “civil society” to function there, and the degree of authoritarian hardening of the regime. Thus, in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, no opposition parties can exist and ethnic minorities do not have the right to political organization. In Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, Russian associations stay within the realms of community and cultural life, and do not participate in political activity. An organized Russian political domain existed only in Kazakhstan, but it collapsed in the late 1990s and early 2000s.^^
“With the exception of Turkmenistan, the republics of Central Asia have perpetuated the Soviet discourse on “the friendship of the peoples” and granted cultural rights to their minorities. Russians, as well as other minorities, thus have cultural organizations whose activities are solely folkloric. Accommodating these associations are houses of “the friendship of the peoples” (“dom druzhby narodov”) in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. Kazakhstan tried to distinguish itself with the creation in 1995 of an Assembly of the Peoples, which was supposed to showcase the powers granted by the state to domestic minorities. Kyrgyzstan followed by creating a similar organization; however, these institutions serve as fronts for their actual role, which is the legitimization of the ruling regime. Thus, Russian community life remains subject to political shocks in each of the five Central Asian republics, whether in the form of dictatorial tightening in Uzbekistan or the atomization of public space in Kyrgyzstan since the Tulip Revolution of March 2005.^^
“As in other post-Soviet republics, the associations meant to represent the Russians of Central
Asia actually have weak popular support. Most Russians and Russian-speakers have no interaction with the associations, consider themselves only weakly represented by them, and organize without their assistance. Yet when political conditions allow it, these groups play an important role in the crystallization of political and legal claims. In Central Asia, they also facilitate the establishment of legal support networks for immigration. The legal and professional situations of the Russian minority thus indirectly reflect the issue of ethnicization in the republics. In turn, these situations reveal the modus operandi of contemporary Central Asian societies: systems of patronage and clientelism attempt to ensure social stability through the negotiated, but opaque, division of access to resources. This division, however, excludes national minorities. The formal equality of citizenship does not constitute a means of resistance to professional discrimination.^^
“Most of the associations that represent the Russians of Central Asia eventually reconsidered their legal claims, such as dual citizenship, and policy objectives, such as cultural autonomy for the Russians in North Kazakhstan. Like the Russians themselves, the associations’ representatives eventually accepted the “nationalization” of the republics. But this recognition of minority status and capacity to reorganize economically to avoid sectors now controlled by the eponymous nationality did not “reconcile” the Russians with the new republics. “ ^^
Russians, Politics and Government Work in Central Asia
Sebastien Peyrouse of the Woodrow Wilson Institute wrote: “Despite the legal equality of all citizens, the major problem confronting the Russians of Central Asia relates to employment access. Throughout the 1990s, the five republics experienced a vast ethnicization process, already underway since the Soviet era. Independence thus accentuated a preexisting phenomenon by giving it unprecedented scope. Ethnicization was particularly evident in public offices. Public administration and the political realm in the Central Asian republics depend intrinsically on the division of power according to a clientelist model, founded on solidarity or regional networks that exclude from politics. Statistical data on this important phenomenon are rare. Some studies done in Kazakhstan, where Russians still represent nearly one third of the population, are enlightening. [Source: Sebastien Peyrouse, “Russian Minority in Central Asia: Migration, Politics, and Language”, Woodrow Wilson Institute, 2007 ^^]
“The exclusion of Russians from the political sphere first occurred at the highest echelons of the state...Mastery of the national language constitutes a key element in the exclusion of opposition figures from political life. During the 2005 elections in Kyrgyzstan, Russians won only 4 of the 75 available seats in parliament. In Tajikistan, the parliament no longer has any Russians, while in Uzbekistan 5 deputies out of 250 are Russians; however, these elected officials do not represent the Russian minority and are members of the presidential party. Finally, Turkmenistan has conducted a true ethnic purge within all state institutions. In 2002, the Halk Maslahaty (Parliament of the People) required all civil servants to verify their Turkmen “ethnic origin” and trace it back at least three generations. This exclusion from political life is only the tip of the iceberg; the social reality of the new republics leads to the marginalization of all ethnic minorities, whose members no longer have access to public office.^^
“During Soviet times, Russians or other “European” minorities shared the republican ministries with the local populations. Russians, Ukrainians, Tatars, and Jews dominated certain service sector professions such as teaching and medicine. Today, the entire public sector is “nationalized.” Officially, the mastery of the national language constitutes the principal criterion of the marginalization of the minorities, even if the actual selection is done according to an ethnically based system of preference. Thus, a non-Kazakhophone Kazakh would be able to enter the administration, whereas a nonKazakhophone Russian could not because of the Kazakh language examinations. Though no precise figures exist on this topic, it appears that titular appointees occupy more than 90 percent of public offices in the five republics, including even Kazakhstan. These logistics of entry into public service correspond to the reality of institutionalization of clientelist networks. Very often, the discrimination felt by Russians is not directly intended to oppose them, according to purely nationalist motives, but rather seeks to give priority to a member of a family or regional network. Some Russians succeed in their careers through their fidelity to these patronage networks. The real issue is that of access to power, not of nationality itself. However, with some isolated exceptions, members of minority nationalities cannot find their place in this patronage system, founded on internal solidarity within eponymous groups.”^^
Russian “Ethnicized Businesses” in Central Asia
Sebastien Peyrouse of the Woodrow Wilson Institute wrote: “The employment policies for public offices have accentuated the ethnicization of the professional ranks to the point that titular appointees work in the state sector and ethnic minorities in the private sector. Yet Russians find themselves excluded not only from public offices but also from the large companies, whether privatized or state controlled, that control energy and other critical industries. During the Soviet era, local elites and embedded mafia networks already commanded two principle resources, hydrocarbons and cotton. This phenomenon only magnified in scope after independence. Alexander Machkevich who controls a large stake in Kazakhstan’s metallurgical industry, constitutes a rare exception of a Russian who succeeded in finding his place in the world of Central Asian oligarchs. [Source: Sebastien Peyrouse, “Russian Minority in Central Asia: Migration, Politics, and Language”, Woodrow Wilson Institute, 2007 ^^]
“Russians thus prefer to invest in the domain of small private commerce, which benefits from the economic liberalization of the 1990s. The “ethnicized business,” a type of enterprise perceived as ethnic that specializes in a certain type of trade, existed for titular nationalities during Soviet times. One example of this was the commerce in gardening products in the markets of large Russian cities. Now Russians emphasize the realm of ethnicized business. Although no sociological studies yet exist to provide precise information on the topic, it seems that many Russians work in the goods trade between Central Asia and Russia, and sometimes more remote destinations such as Turkey. Minority nationalities, specifically Russians, also dominate the private-service sector, operating small enterprises that provide data processing, maintenance, plumbing, electrical work, and private security, and running cafés and boutiques.^^
“The massive departure of Russians intensified the degradation of some industrial sectors, such as construction and maintenance, which to this day lack engineers and other specialists. To combat this, Uzbekistan enacted attractive wage policies in strategic sectors such as the army. Throughout the 1990s, many high-ranking military personnel of Russian descent stayed in the country in order to train Uzbeks; however, many industrial sectors did not follow suit. They now struggle to recruit specialists and ensure the transmission of Soviet expertise to younger generations. Professional discrimination plays a major role in migration. Sociological studies confirm that, even more than language laws, difficulty finding a stable socioeconomic niche for oneself and one’s family initially contributed to Russian departures. Thus, whereas discrimination was more marked in the Baltic states, the Russian out-migrations from Central Asia were of greater scale because many Russians could not secure long-term economic positions there.^^
“The political authorities’ goal to build homogenous nation-states does not uniquely explain this ethnicization process in the newly independent Central Asian republics. Also playing a role are pragmatic issues related to the economic collapse that occurred in all five states in the 1990s—issues that are still faced by all the countries today, with the exception of Kazakhstan. In a time of massive impoverishment, the departure of Russian minorities and the ousting of Russians from public office allowed those in power to breathe a sigh of relief and guarantee social promotions to the titular nationality. Public posts, even poorly paid ones, benefit from symbolic social prestige. Thanks to corruption, they allow for the diversion of resources and jobs to the members of one’s own network. In a major crisis, minorities are often the first to be sacrificed, with the authorities hoping to retain their political and social legitimacy by offering to the eponymous the advantages once held by former “colonizers.”
“Thus, one cannot view discrimination against the Russians of Central Asia as part of an official policy, as was the case in the Baltic states. Rather, the Russians found themselves the unintended victims of republican “nationalization.” Countries such as Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan even announced, on several occasions, that they hoped to retain their Russian residents and even to see the return of those who had already left. Certain local politicians recognized that the voluntary repatriation program established by Russia in 2006 was likely to strike a blow to already weak local economies by making the last Russian technicians leave Central Asia. For their part, local authorities did not put favorable policies in place to retain ethnic Russians, though Kyrgyzstan sought to make compromises with its Russian minority, particularly in regard to language.^^
Suffering of Russians in Central Asia
Sebastien Peyrouse of the Woodrow Wilson Institute wrote:“Since independence, the situation of Russian minorities has worsened in all of the Central Asian states, although it is necessary to differentiate among republics according to the role played by authorities in driving or not driving this development. Kyrgyzstan, and to a lesser extent Tajikistan, did not deliberately attempt to expel Russians, and even made some modest attempts to slow their out-migration. Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, on the contrary, did not hesitate to assert radical “de-Russification” agendas and marginalize their minority nationalities. Kazakhstan occupies an intermediate position in this schema. Russian language and culture play a dominant role in the public space, even though the state set up aggressive strategies to promote the titular nationality and its language. [Source: Sebastien Peyrouse, “Russian Minority in Central Asia: Migration, Politics, and Language”, Woodrow Wilson Institute, 2007 ^^]
“The politicization of the “Russian question” and the upheaval of separatism that shook the country in the first half of the 1990s have both now passed. The extensive political demobilization of the Russian minority in Kazakhstan confirms that it eventually accepted its minority status within the new nation-state. The disinterest manifested by the Russian Federation toward the Russians of Central Asia accentuated this depoliticization. Moscow did not wish to sacrifice its good relations with the Central Asian regimes in the name of defending its “diaspora.” ^^
“In the five republics, the economic collapse of the 1990s, the obliteration of Russian and Soviet cultural symbols, and the ethnicization of public offices contributed to the feeling among Russians that they were the castoffs of independence. If all citizens suffered from material difficulties and authoritative consolidation, then the minorities were victims twice, as they also remained without access to the social and symbolic systems of compensation that local clientelistic networks offer. The sheer scale of outmigration helped fray the social fabric of minority society and left those who remained feeling isolated. ^^
“The so-called “cultural differences” between the eponymous populations and Russian-speaking minorities, the drop in the rate of mixed marriages, and the maintenance of a traditional contempt for local customs prevent the Russians from integrating into the new identities of the republics. In addition, the inability of the states, with the exception of Kazakhstan, to slow the impoverishment of their citizens, combined with a vague but generalized feeling of geopolitical risk linked to the rise of Islamism, local mafias, and China, contributes to the sentiment among Russians that they do not have a future in Central Asia. Immigration strategies, whether the educational plans of young generations or older people’s preparations for retirement in Russia, reflect all of these feelings.^^
Changes in the Relations Between Russians, Russia and Central Asia
Sebastien Peyrouse of the Woodrow Wilson Institute wrote: “Since the beginning of the 21st century, the bond linking the republics of Central Asia to Russia has undergone a profound evolution, caused by the economic and geopolitical return of Moscow to the Central Asian stage and the largescale migration of labor in the direction of Russia. Now issues surrounding the “Russian minority” are no longer limited to dual citizenship, the status of the Russian language, Russian-language education, and access to Russian-language media. [Source: Sebastien Peyrouse, “Russian Minority in Central Asia: Migration, Politics, and Language”, Woodrow Wilson Institute, 2007 ^^]
These topics apply not only to Russians but also to the autochthonous Central Asian populations, due to their geopolitical repositioning vis-à-vis Russia. These legal, linguistic, and cultural elements indeed facilitate the integration of the Central Asian economies into the Russian market, the most dynamic in the area, without which the Central Asian states would not be able to function at this point. The local populations therefore advance pragmatic policies in lieu of nationalist and ideological agendas. In a 2004 survey, more than half of those titular residents surveyed expressed the desire to reinforce Central Asia’s economic integration with Russia.Today, in order to learn the Russian language and gain access to Russian-language media, Central Asia does not depend on its Russian minority, but on eponymous members of the younger generations who remain convinced of the importance of maintaining ties to Russia. Russia’s “colonial” domination of Central Asia became involuntarily transformed into a practical fact. The “imperial minority” once made up by Russians is now just one of the many actors in the matrix of Central Asian–Russian relations, which have adjusted according to less ideological realities. The development of Russophonia is thus not a concession to the minority nationalities there, but a relevant domestic issue in the five states of Central Asia. ^^
“Surveys show that even when the majority of Russians still present in the area express the wish to remain there and do not plan to migrate to Russia, the sentiment that the younger generations lack a future reduces any prospect for long-term integration. Immigration therefore stretches out over time and finds its realization by proxy. Parents remain in Central Asia, finance the studies of their children in Russia, and join them in Russia once they reach retirement age. Russians also face a new phenomenon, that of the development of a Central Asian Russophonia that serves the titular nationalities but not the Russian minority.” ^^
Text Sources: New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, Lonely Planet Guides, Library of Congress, U.S. government, Compton’s Encyclopedia, The Guardian, National Geographic, Smithsonian magazine, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, AFP, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic Monthly, The Economist, Foreign Policy, Wikipedia, BBC, CNN, and various books, websites and other publications.
Last updated April 2016