The second wave of emigration of “non-title nations” from Kazakhstan is due to Nazarbayev’s declared transition to the Latin alphabet and the course toward building an ethnocratic state.

Russians do not go - they leave

The President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, who has gained a reputation as a “great reformer”, can, in the end, do more harm to his country than to benefit her. On his behalf, the authorities of the republic are now forcing the transition of the Kazakh alphabet from the Cyrillic alphabet to the Latin alphabet, and simultaneously the result of the Russian-speaking population is growing stronger.

Nursultan Abishevich, considered to be the “guru” of the post-Soviet political space, explains the transition of the Kazakh alphabet to the Latin alphabet by the need for a “more dense entry into the Turkic world”. But what is this “world”? Counterweight to the nascent Russian Russian world? If not the war, but the confrontation between the two “worlds” in the Eurasian integration project, initiated by Nazarbayev and Russian President Vladimir Putin?

In fact, the “Turkic world” is a civilizational project based on the ethno-linguistic community of peoples speaking the Turkic languages. If in Kazakhstan the emphasis is on the development of a separate project in the conditions of the country’s location in the CIS and the EEA, anthropological relevance can soon be expected. It also concerns obsessive propaganda and promotion of the “Russian World”, in which the recent initiative of the Minister of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, Olga Vasilieva, “to return to a single font in the CIS spaces is the Cyrillic script”.

Russia, she stressed, should very clearly adhere to its position in the dissemination of Cyrillic. The minister complained that over the past two decades, it, that is, the position of the Russian Federation, “was slightly weakened.” It is interesting that they answered the Russian minister (unofficially and among themselves), for example, in Yerevan – after all, the Armenian font was created by Mesrop Mashtots in 406. Or in Tbilisi, if Georgia was part of the CIS – its alphabet is one of the oldest, it is included in 14 so-called “living” alphabets used today in the world and recognized as a UNESCO cultural heritage.

So why does Kazakhstan change the alphabet, the first attempts at creation of which date back to the end of the 19th century? Already established writing was “imposed” by the Soviets in the late twenties of the last century to eliminate general illiteracy. Probably, Nazarbayev has exhausted all his innovations, which created him a solid reformist reputation, and began to play in the most unpleasant and dangerous game – the nationalist. This old “amusement” is still willingly supported by states that have nothing or nothing to stand out among others. But where it will lead or has already started, judging by the outflow of the Russian-speaking population from the country, formerly proud of its multinationality and the fact that ethnic Russians make up a third of its population, and Russian culture brings “light and enlightenment” to the masses.

Now, it turns out, she already has nothing to carry. Supporters of the transition to the Latin alphabet claim that Kazakhstan, changing its font, will become more independent from Russia; he “will be freed from colonization”; it will be easier for him to integrate into the world information space, and all digital resources of the republic will be accessible to all users of the Latin alphabet in the world. Books and, in general, the entire culture of the country will be accessible to those Kazakhs who know their native language, but do not read in Cyrillic.

This last argument seems simply deadly. Supporters of the Latin alphabet also speak about the need to “modernize the consciousness of the Kazakhs” by changing the alphabet. Bringing all these “iron” arguments, no one took into account the difficulty of retraining people who have already mastered the letter. But it is estimated that the pleasure of the transition from Cyrillic to Latin will cost “mere trifles”: at first – about 2 billion dollars.

Some experts believe that changing the alphabet will for a long time lower the cultural and educational level of the population of Kazakhstan, lead to the loss of the literary and archival heritage published in the Cyrillic alphabet, and even to internal conflicts.

Let’s return, however, to the actual outcome of the Russian and Russian-speaking population from Kazakhstan, which is not in the least facilitated by this whole alphabetical orgy with the nationalist “fleur”. According to the information-analytical portal “Centennial”, referring to the information of the Kazakh statistical committee, last year 32.9 thousand people left the republic, which is 16, 4% more than in 2015. Most go to Russia. Growth and the scale of receiving citizens of Kazakhstan citizenship of the Russian Federation: in 2015 Russian passports were issued to 32 thousand people, in the past – 38 thousand. Of the emigrants last year, 71.6% – Russian, the rest – Ukrainians, Germans, Tatars.

Experts with alarm speak about “brain drain” and skilled labor from the republic and their replacement by immigrants from other countries that do not have a high level of education. They also note the geographical features of emigration: “It is most noticeable in the northern regions inhabited mainly by the Eastern Slavs, who, having no linguistic and ethno-cultural barriers, move to Russia.”

Of course, the program of the Russian Federation for the resettlement of compatriots contributed to the departure from Kazakhstan and not only from it in the post-Soviet space. However, it would hardly work well if the social and economic conditions in Kazakhstan and, most importantly, the national policy of the country, did not inspire anxiety in the Russian-speaking and a significant part of the title population. Russians in Kazakhstan left 25% of the total number of its residents – so is it worth to be reckoned with? Do not like it – a suitcase-station-Russia. A very simple philosophy, which at least makes a split in a society that is oriented toward accepting an ethnocratic state.

And, indeed, almost such is Kazakhstan, where almost all key posts are occupied by Kazakhs, and representatives of all other nationalities living in the country remain only silent observers of socio-political and other processes. And then they reached the alphabet to “erase everything Russian”. One can, of course, accept that everything that is happening in Kazakhstan is an internal affair of this country. But then there is no need for big words, trivial phrases of Nazarbayev himself, who stated in the context of the transition to the Latin alphabet: “We will not depart from the Cyrillic alphabet. We will not forget Russian culture and Russian. Through Russian, we studied the world culture, and he will always remain with us. Our neighbor is always there, and we will always cooperate. “

But aloofness with the “neighbor” with which Kazakhstan is in various unions, including the military – the CSTO, is already felt, including the interethnic sphere in Kazakhstan itself. While Nazarbayev is in power, there will not be an open ethnic conflict, although, judging by the moods of some Kazakh experts and “public figures”, nationalism is already flourishing in the country.

But what will happen after Nazarbayev? Russian and Russian-speaking, who have always been considered the electorate of Nursultan Abishevich, are very much afraid of an answer to this question – he is unlikely to please them. It will not please many ethnic Kazakhs who treasure the multiethnic component of their state, which in no way should be confused with the “eructation” of the USSR, and seeing in it the mutual enrichment of cultures is at least.

The era of pushing out languages ​​and nations had long ago passed in the post-Soviet space: it gave nothing but conflicts, the destruction of the economy, the disruption of production, other ties, even the disintegration of families, etc. But, as we can see, this era did not pass. Trying to get rid of the “colonization” by one country, the post-Soviet republics become colonies of other countries that have no common history, traditions, language, or culture with them. So what is the struggle for? And on that, in the end, nadreshsya?

In general, the second wave of emigration from Kazakhstan is evident. People are sitting on suitcases. And those who are not yet sitting can be recorded in potentially departing. Due to the fact that they were clearly told in Kazakhstan – “You are strangers”. Otherwise, few would have moved from the site – perhaps a small part of the youth had gone to study.

So, the myth of the main reformer and integrator of the post-Soviet space – Nazarbayev, can be considered ruined. Either he surrendered to nationalist “elites”, or lost the ability to generate new productive ideas, and now tosses surrogate innovations like surfacing from Cyrillic to Latin script.

It’s funny if it was not scary: after all people run and will run, leaving behind themselves irreplaceable cultural, scientific, moral-psychological, ethical and other emptiness. Kinda – scorched steppe. And its in Kazakhstan – in a direct sense – and so in abundance.

Andrey Nikolaev

Source – ROSBALT.

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