ENGRUS
Kazakhstan made the front pages of international newspapers last month when it hosted the first round of Syria peace talks. The diplomatic initiative is kicking off a year that will see a major PR push to portray Kazakhstan as a global player.  
Things are getting serious again in western Kazakhstan. This oil-rich region on the Caspian Sea was the scene over several months in 2011 of prolonged labor unrest, culminating in clashes that December that killed at least a dozen people.  
“He opened our eyes.” Toizhan’s face lit up as she recalled how the leader of her trade union, Amin Yeleusinov, first began spreading the word about worker rights.  
Officials in Kazakhstan, by issuing an unexpected and urgent press release about an imminent televised address by President Nursultan Nazarbayev, unleashed a squall of chatter. But not all the talk about the contents of the January 24 address may be...
The oil workers were shocked to see that the city would try to hold a party just yards from the spot they had occupied for months in the hope of negotiating higher salaries. The day was December 16, 2011, and authorities in the city of Zhanaozen in...
Russia has forged an informal network of authoritarian-minded states in Eurasia dedicated to silencing dissenters living in exile. A leading expert on Eurasian affairs has dubbed this coalition as the “Repressintern.”  
Brexit, a Trump presidency and populist and pro-Russian leaders coming to power in Europe—the world has taken an increasingly populist tilt and experts are struggling to make sense of the new political trends.  
A military court in Kazakhstan has sentenced a brewery tycoon to 21 years on coup-plotting charges, bringing a close to an opaque two-month-long trial that shed little light on exactly what happened.   The fear now is that Tohtar Tuleshov’s...
When Kazakh speakers went to the movies last year to catch up with the latest Avengers blockbuster, they saw Jeremy Renner playing the superhero Hawkeye on-screen, but the character's voice belonged to Bakhytzhan Zharmuhambetov.   Dubbing is...
The field of Central Asian Studies lost perhaps the last of its great masters when Dr. Edward A. Allworth died on October 20 at the age of 95.   He was already a legend in the field when I first met him in 1986. I had read some of his books (I'...