Kazakhstan: Pre-Soviet History Packed with Political Mines

A monument to Nurmagambet Kokembayev (right), known more commonly as Keiki Batyr, stands next to a statue of Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin in Kazakhstan’s mining town of Arkalyk. Kokembayev lived and died in a turbulent historical period that is still a sensitive spot for the Central Asian nation’s leaders. (Photo: Chris Rickleton)

Sitting in a modest, domed brick mausoleum, a bust of the partisan Nurmagambet Kokembayev smiles Buddah-like as he gazes out upon the snow-laden steppe of central Kazakhstan.

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Chris Rickleton is a freelance writer who specializes in Central Asia.

Kazakhstan: Pre-Soviet History Packed with Political Mines

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