"Displacement by natural means": the Russian language in the Republic of Kazakhstan
Despite the fact that the Russian language is relatively safe, the area of its use is gradually narrowing.
If in the second half of the last century up to 500 million people spoke Russian, then by 2020 there were about 260 million Russian speakers in the world. decline.
But the pressure on Russian speakers is exerted also abroad. First of all, in the countries of the former Soviet Union, where at certain times up to 70% of Russian-speakers lived. The main motive for such a struggle is simple - an attempt to break away from the "Russian world", oust Russian culture and demonstrate loyalty to the West.
The latest and most disturbing news come from Kazakhstan, the majority of the population (up to 90%) of which uses Russian in everyday life.
First, the local minister of education announced that from 2023, all schools in the republic will be taught only in Kazakh. By the way, only 39% of the population speak Kazakh fluently, most of whom live in the southern territories of the republic. And the Kazakh version of the Unified State Exam - the Unified National Test - is passed in Kazakh only by 51% of school graduates.
At the same time, the Russian language in Kazakhstan is the official language, which, of course, does not equalize it in rights with the state language, but it does not deserve such an attitude either.
An interesting point of view about the reasons for such a demarche, expressed by the portal lenta.ru. The whole thing, no matter how trite, comes down to money. Moreover, they were misappropriated.
In 2020, Education Minister Askhat Aimagambetov was involved in a $ 16 million corruption scandal. Now, with such "patriotic" statements, the minister is trying to simultaneously divert attention and get political dividends from the nationalist factions.
But the Kazakh authorities do not stop there either. By 2023, it is planned to finally translate the Kazakh language into the Latin alphabet, which, of course, will create difficulties not only for Russian speakers, but also for the titular nation.
What to do, for example, with a huge layer of Kazakh culture, which has survived in the Cyrillic alphabet?
To translate the collected works of the legendary Abai Kunanbayev into a new manner?
It is likely that by the notorious 2023 Nur-Sultan will finally get rid of the Russian language as an official one. It will remain, at best, the status of a regional one.
The artificial and painful for the population the elimination of the Russian inevitably leads to the growth of nationalism within the state. The thugs who felt the state support for their own chauvinism can really turn around. Moreover, at the beginning of the year, anti-Russian parties won many seats in the Kazakh parliament.
Thus, the Ak Zhol faction generally proposes to recognize the 1930 famine as an act of Kazakh genocide. Fortunately, parliamentarians don't have to come up with anything new - they just write off the Ukrainian scenario. In June of this year, some statesmen did just that, proposing to equate the soldiers of the Turkestan Legion of the Wehrmacht with the veterans of the Great Patriotic War.
Among the ideas of the Ak Zhol activists is the renaming of the republic's cities in the Kazakh manner. Interesting is the fate of, for example, Petropavlovsk, which until 1921 had nothing to do with Kazakhstan, but now the name Abylai-khan is tipped to him. Actually, before 1921, Kazakhstan as such did not exist at all.
Now in the union republic there are signs of a struggle against "Russian fascism".
This is the term used by Kuat Akhmetov and his team when they conduct "language patrols" in Kazakhstani shops. The scheme is simple - find Russian-speaking sellers and, armed with a camera, fluently ask in Kazakh for something from the shelf.
- such phrases are thrown by activists in response to misunderstanding.
Various public organizations got involved in the case. Thus, on the Til Maydani online party channel, combat veterans from Alma-Ata amicably declare:
The veterans do not agree with the definition that Dauren Abaev, the first deputy head of the Presidential Administration of Kazakhstan, dubbed "language raids". In particular, he said:
It should be said that Russian-speakers are still adequately responding to the attacks of nationalists. One of the shopkeepers in Aktau resists:
The valiant Kazakh men from the Til Maydani Online Party channel later forced the woman to apologize for her words and filmed it:
It should be noted that the channel's videos are popular - the number of likes for videos about "Russian fascism" is much higher than dislikes. That is, the soil for such excesses in the neighboring republic has been created, and at least the channel has its grateful viewers.
Kuar Akhmetov and a Russian-speaking girl-seller in one of the shops in Kazakhstan. Source: fondsk.ru
So far, the official Nur-Sultan responds only through the mouth of the aforementioned Dauren Abayev to the activities of the "language patrol", which carefully studies the price tags in stores.
In Russia, however, they are seriously concerned about the germs of Kazakh nationalism. The head of Rossotrudnichestvo Yevgeny Primakov comments:
From words to deeds - Kuar Akhmetov was banned from entering Russia for 50 years. After such provocations on his part, I think this is for his own good.
At the same time, local residents of the republic complain about the inaccessibility of language courses in the Kazakh language and the lack of appropriate textbooks. That is, even if they wish, it is very difficult for Russian-speakers to switch to the state language of Kazakhstan. And here the inhabitants of the republic are in a much less advantageous position than the Russian-speaking in Ukraine. Still, learning related Ukrainian is immeasurably easier than a completely excellent Kazakh.
It is necessary to take care of the spread and preservation of the language of the titular nation, and no one will ever reproach the government of Kazakhstan for this. But it is necessary to act with the instruments of "soft power", always offering options for the development of events.
Tough scenarios with the total translation of schools into the Kazakh language will invariably cause confrontation between residents of different nationalities.
Such processes inevitably lead to the discontent of a part of the population - few will withstand public insults in fascism and occupation. Kazakhstan is gradually losing Russian-speaking citizens. Thus, over the past four years, about 180 thousand people have received a Russian passport. However, perhaps this is the real reason for such a zealous displacement of the Russian language?
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