Why is Russian spoken in Kazakhstan

Published on in category History
Why is Russian spoken in Kazakhstan

In Kazakhstan, and other post-Soviet republics of Central Asia, Russian is spoken, along with the local language. Russian is the second official language in Kazakhstan, and even more people in Kazakhstan speak Russian (75 %) than Kazakh (64.4 %). In recent years, however, the Kazakh government has been trying to divert and build its own stronger identity in various ways away from the influence of Russian culture. But why does the Russian language dominate Kazakhstan? How far does the beginnings of the Russian language go in there?

At the beginning of the 18th century, Russian expansion continued further east. This created clashes between the Russian Empire and the local khanates, but also with China, which conquered Dzungaria in the 1750s, the northern part of today's Chinese western province of Xinjiang. In response to these threats, the Russians began to build a defensive line around the Irtysh River consisting of 46 fortresses and 96 fortifications. Some of them have developed in cities in the territory of today's Kazakhstan.

At the beginning of the 19th century, Russian expansion began in the heart of Central Asia. This led to a conflict of interest between the Russian and British empires. The series of conflicts between these powers, lasting more than 100 years, are called the Great Game. The Russians, threatened by Britain from Persia and India, began to build more military fortifications, divided the territory into administrative units, and introduced the compulsory Russian language into schools.

The local Kazakhs did not like the forced Russification, as well as the hunger and poverty that narrowed the territory. In order to suppress this resistance, Russian settlers begun to flow into Kazakhstan in the 1890s, and later Germans, other Slavs and Jews. Everything escalated with the fall of the Russian Empire, when both groups held bloody attacks against each other. This situation continued for approximately 3 years until 1919, when the entire territory passed definitively under the administration of the newly formed Soviet Union.

During the era of the Soviet Union, the population was further disturbed and other settlers migrated in, especially involuntarily migrated minorities. At the end of the 1960s, only 30% of the country's ethnic population was in the country. Ten days before the fall of the Soviet Union on December 16, 1991, Kazakhstan declared independence and was taken over by Nursultan Nazarbayev, who gradually began restoring the country's Kazakh identity.

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