Accordingly, it cannot be said that a brief outbreak of discussion activity somehow affected the relations of the broad masses of the population towards each other. They simply did not learn about the essence of the discussion and the heat of passions among intellectuals. Therefore, they did not have to formulate their attitude to complex issues, as is usually the case in Western democratic societies, or in a situation where, in countries with an initially rigid system of power, they begin to attempt liberalization policies. So, as, for example, it was in the former Yugoslavia at the beginning of the 1990-s or in many republics of the former USSR. But the Yugoslav example is still more indicative, especially what happened in Bosnia, where three people - Bosnians, Serbs and Croats, each voted for their own, moreover, the most radical candidates.
In our case, after the authorities of the two states as a whole agreed with each other, the issue completely disappeared from the information space, both in Russia and in Kazakhstan. In this regard, the ordinary population could not help but sigh with relief; nobody here wants to make an obviously unpleasant choice.
Although it must be admitted that the sediment remained. But still, if we now conduct a sociological measurement of public sentiment, then the attitude of representatives of different nationalities in Kazakhstan, and the attitude of Russians towards Kazakhstan, to each other has not changed.
The main result of the discussion, which began in the media on the eve of the meeting in Pavlodar of the heads of state at the forum of interregional cooperation in the autumn of 2012, and formally ended, or rather, stopped, at the end of May during a meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council in Astana . After that, the disputes were curtailed, because their continuation in the public space did not meet the interests of both states. Since an open public discussion of the issues of relations between the two countries automatically led to the intensification of nationalist-oriented circles on both sides.
In principle, states with a centralized vertical of power can sometimes use ideologically oriented radical people for their tactical interests, for example, to give them a platform in national newspapers, sometimes on television. However, their too active participation in political discussions represents a serious risk associated with the fact that the practical policy of the state depends on the always uncompromising radical ideology.
For states, this is usually disadvantageous because it narrows the space for maneuver. For state interests, the problem with ideological movements and their representatives lies in their excessively strong motivation. Therefore, they can be allies of the same power only as long as the activity of the latter corresponds to their ideological attitudes. But at the same time they begin to impose their agenda on the same authority, thereby limiting for the latter the possibilities of political maneuver.
At the same time, the real state policy should nevertheless proceed from practical interests and the current situation, and consequently, provide for the possibility of a flexible response to its changes. Excessive ideology can put both the policy and the country in a difficult position in a situation where it will be necessary to make a compromise. Because any clarification of relations still ends with negotiations and agreements. But the radicals are usually not ready to compromise, so over time they are being pushed to the periphery of the information and political space.
A classic example of such use of radical elements is the appearance in public in Russia after the well-known events on Bolotnaya Square rather tough Russian “imperialists” like Kurginyan. Then they were vital to the authorities, who found themselves in some confusion because of the intensity of the liberal protest movement. Therefore, it took allies from violent opponents of liberal movements. But then, when the situation calmed down, the need for radical right-wing politicians, of course, decreased, and today no one provides Kurginyan with the platform for his statements.
In fact, the ideological discussion on relations between Russia and Kazakhstan, which lasted approximately from the autumn of 2012 to the spring of 2013, should have been curtailed simply because the authorities of both states did not want their relations to be “angry”, radically and nationalist intellectuals on both sides.
Is truth born in a dispute?
Without any doubt, it is possible to argue for a very long time about what specific results Kazakhstan and Russia got from the Customs Union as a whole and integration processes in particular, and maybe they did not. The final opinion always depends on the ideological position of the debaters. But one result is already quite obvious. It is hard to deny that, on the whole, relations between Kazakhstan and Russia nevertheless became noticeably worse than they were before the start of integration processes. At least, before there was no mutual demarches and picks with each other, for example, on the issue of Baikonur.
Naturally, the discussions between Russia and Kazakhstan could not help but provoke fierce disputes also within Kazakhstan, primarily among Kazakh and Russian intellectuals with the active participation of experts from Russia. Over the past year, in this environment, in a rather tough form, there were as many complaints and offenses to each other as there have not been since the collapse of the USSR in the 1991 year. And this is probably the most undesirable consequence of the integration process.
In all this stories It is important to pay attention to two things. First, the extent to which, it turns out, is deeply internal contradictions, if the very first possibility of an open showdown caused such a violent outburst of emotions. Secondly, it’s scary to imagine what would happen if Kazakhstan and Russia were not presidential republics with a strong vertical of power, therefore, with a certain degree of media control, but, on the contrary, Western-style parliamentary democracies, where all the complex issues would be a subject of wide public discussion.
Of course, a liberal critic may argue that in the case of a parliamentary democracy all difficult moments would have been spoken long ago and there would not have been such a shock situation. But such a criticism can be answered that the indicated contradictions, which are so clearly manifested today, would also have manifested themselves in the earlier period. Accordingly, there is no reason to believe that the state and society could somehow get around the sensitive issues at the beginning of 1990's. But then the situation would be fundamentally different.
First, at the very beginning of the independence of Kazakhstan, there were no effective institutions of state power. Let me remind you that it was their absence that was the main reason for the severity of civil and interethnic conflicts in many republics of the former USSR at the time of the collapse of this state. For example, this was the case in Tajikistan and Moldova. Each community, each ethnic group should in open opposition find out whose truth is stronger.
Secondly, then in Kazakhstan there was a different population structure. You can treat this differently, but the fact remains. According to the census 1989 of the year, there were 17 million people in the republic, of which 6,5 million Kazakhs. In the 2013 year, according to local statisticians, we again have 17 million, but Kazakhs already have 11 million. Of course, many people evaluate our statistics critically. But the trend as a whole is exactly that. Recall that according to the 1979 census, the number of Kazakhs in the Kazakh SSR was 5 million 250 thousand, while in 1989 already 6 million 550 thousand. The growth was 25 percent over 10 years, that is, the growth rate - 2,5 percent in year. Even if the growth was then reduced to less than two percent per year, the natural increase by 1999 should have given 1,5 million more. At least as much over the next decade - by 2009. Four more years have passed since the last date, and the birth rate in the country has grown. And finally, approximately 0,9 million people are oralmans who have arrived in Kazakhstan. Minus emigration for 22, at least 3,5 million, and the natural decline of the European population due to the predominance of older people in its structure.
In principle, any liberalization in Eastern society should take into account the ethnic composition of the population, because, however sad it may seem, to liberal politicians, but people in multinational societies outside Europe usually vote for their own. Therefore, one does not have to be a big analyst to predict the outcome of elections in any such society.
We must not forget also that the collapse of the USSR was perceived by one part of the population as the loss of a large homeland. While another part of the population saw in this process a chance for independent development. Therefore, for some it was a real tragedy, for others - the possibility of building their own statehood. Some believed that the USSR was not an empire, and the Russian Empire was not a typical metropolis in relation to the colonies. Others believed that statehood in Russia both in former tsarist times, and under the USSR, was both imperial and colonial. Accordingly, they considered the process of the collapse of the Soviet Union as a process of decolonization, similar to that which took place throughout Asia in the second half of the 20th century.
It can immediately be concluded that with such diametrically opposed estimates of reality it is initially difficult to come to an agreement. Therefore, curtailing political liberalization from the beginning of the 1990s, tight control over nationalist-minded citizens on both sides, was the only way to preserve the integrity of the state.
History does not know the subjunctive moods, but we can assume that if Kazakhstan’s society at the beginning of 90 faced all negative intellectual rhetoric of recent times regarding Russian-Kazakh relations, which means that it’s not Russian the ways of Eastern Europe, but rather the way of Azerbaijan, Moldova, Georgia, Tajikistan, Bosnia and others. Everywhere in these countries, nationally oriented liberals, it is possible that, out of good intentions, they put their states and peoples on the brink of disaster, including national ones.
So it is unlikely that, if liberalized, we would have an effective parliamentary system by now. Rather, the state could have already lost part of the territory, and a rather impressive one, as it happened, for example, in Moldova. In this country, the red directors of the former Soviet factories opposed the nationalistic Moldovan liberals. Together they provoked the war. The paradox of liberalization lies in the fact that radical sentiments on both sides of a potential conflict nourish each other, contribute to the creation of an opponent. Radicalism of some generates radicalism of others.
The main merit of a strong centralized state in Kazakhstan since the beginning of the 1990-s is not only that it retains stability. It is possible that a more important means of maintaining stability was the absence of the need to clarify relations, including interethnic, in a public space. And it must be admitted that the ordinary society in Kazakhstan, both the Kazakh and the Russian parts of it, then accepted this role of the state and still perceives it with great relief.
Subconsciously, most of the population would not want to openly clarify interethnic relations. This is the biggest phobia that Kazakhstani citizens generally have, regardless of their nationality. In turn, phobias are a reflection of uncertainty in the ability to negotiate, which is typical for the post-Soviet space. Therefore, citizens prefer to avoid pressing issues, not to notice them, they agree to transfer the responsibility for making decisions to a centralized state, hoping in response to certain decencies on its part, implying some justice as well.
It is characteristic that lately, when Kazakh and Russian intellectuals broke ideological spears, the population in both Kazakhstan and Russia mostly remained in the dark about the severity of the moment and all aspects of the discussion between radical intellectuals. And this is undoubtedly very important for our countries and international relations in Kazakhstan. Paradoxically, the lack of free discussion between the radicals on both sides played a role. Ordinary society just did not know about it. Accordingly, he did not have to make difficult decisions, to be determined in relation to harsh statements. Good or bad for freedom of opinion is one question, but for the current moment in Kazakhstan this is a definite plus.
Of course, one can agree with those who say that they cannot continue for a long time, that sooner or later they will have to talk, they will have to raise questions and get answers to them, in general, open a public discussion. It is possible that this will happen sometime, but now the majority will agree that it is better to try to delay this moment.
Therefore, we can respond to our liberal criticism that any open discussion of Kazakhstan’s relations with Russia did not meet the interests of either Kazakhstan or the larger conservative-minded part of its inhabitants at the beginning of the 90s, and does not respond today.
But this does not mean that we should not argue. Perhaps the main result of the past six months was the understanding that the intransigence of the position simply forces the radicals to communicate exclusively in their own circle. And this is unproductive, because why should one radical need to prove a principled position to its like-minded person. It will be just a waste of time. In this regard, it is quite indicative of how this spring, very radical political analysts from Russia, many of whom are usually very critical of Kazakhstan, held their conference in Baikonur. Few of its Kazakhstani participants, who were initially very positively disposed towards the theme of the event, were still forced to disagree with some of the most harsh statements of the Russian participants.
Similarly, it does not make sense to try to discredit your opponent. For example, as some local pro-Russian activists did in Kazakhstan when they tried to label the fascists to individual representatives of the Kazakh national movements. Moreover, which is characteristic, far from being the most radical and fully capable of dialogue.
In this regard, it is very revealing how many truly brilliant Russian political scientists all last year, even before the beginning of (autumn 2012 of the year) open conflict of interests between Astana and Moscow, actively spoke to the Kazakh audience in the press and at conferences. They convinced her of the correctness of the Russian position and almost never met with any disagreement. It is possible that this created the illusion of superior position, its absolute dominance. It seemed that in Kazakhstan only those who were called “national patriots”, as well as a few liberals, were against the integration.
But the problem was that all the pathos and real intellectual domination of the Russian and pro-Russian positions in the Kazakh media and at many conferences by and large did not make sense. The bulk of the Kazakh intellectual community, both Kazakh-speaking and Russian-speaking, is not ready to return in one form or another under the umbrella of Moscow. And this is the principled position of the majority. Although, of course, there are those who believe otherwise.
Perhaps the biggest mistake on the part of Russia was the fact that brilliant, resolutely-minded political scientists were speaking on its part, who, in the heat of discussion and intellectual pressure, more and more often questioned the very statehood of Kazakhstan. This is also because directly or indirectly they defended exclusively the Russian version of our common history, which denied the very formulation of the question of colonial relations and decolonization. While in the Kazakh society this issue is very relevant and one of the most discussed. As a result, dissatisfaction has accumulated here, because, despite all the traditionally friendly relations with Russia, this does not mean readiness to return under its control.
In general, the question of management and its quality is perhaps the most important at the present moment. Because the main wave of the existing public discontent within Kazakhstan is directed precisely at the quality of management. And it's not just the various scandalous stories with officials at different levels. The question is whether it is free or not, but practically all critics of the current system of government inside the country compare it with the times of the USSR. Of course, an important part of this reasoning is occupied by ideas about social justice, in this context the Soviet Union is increasingly becoming part of the legend of the “golden age”. But it is also important that critics oppose the current quality of management with management in Soviet times. This is such a public fronda that unites those who are dissatisfied, including the fact that they are now ruled by completely different people than those who were twenty and thirty years ago.
Although for those who are related to the modern market economy, it is obvious that our management system exists in completely different conditions than the socialist one in Soviet times. And it is, at least, not worse than the one that came out after all the reforms of the last twenty years in neighboring Russia. But the most important thing is that today we can compare ourselves not only with Russia and our other neighbors. We compare with Asian countries, as good examples, and not very. We see the disadvantages and advantages of the world economy, of which we are now a part. We are independent both in our achievements and in our blunders, and this is a very important result of almost twenty-two years of independence. And now we no longer need a mediator in relations with the outside world in the person of Russia. Now we are equal with Russia in our achievements, problems and troubles.
But this question is still waiting for its historian, because the recent history of Kazakhstan is full of myths, perhaps even more than those numerous published in recent years history, which tells about the ancient heroes, who almost all were supposedly Kazakhs.
Our common historical dead end
Among all the topics that were actively discussed in the last six months, there were many historical moments. And this is understandable, because any ideology more than half consists of history. And here we are not very good.
The Russian version of our common history in its own way is very slim and consistent. It is represented in hundreds and thousands of works, it was written by great historians and even mythological literature, which in Russia also appeared a lot, does not interfere with the harmony of the overall concept. In Soviet times, the Russian-centrist version of the story was actually cast in bronze. It included the histories of all the peoples who were part of the USSR, who were thus fused into a single form.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, a single model was melted by time and spread in separate forms, from which local history began as part of the ideology of nation-building. Least of all efforts had to be made by the Russian state, much more by the new independent states. At the same time, where the processes of liberalization took place, a very harsh tone was immediately set in relation to Russia and its relations with the local state-forming ethnic group. So it was in the Baltics, in Ukraine, in Transcaucasia. And this is understandable, because the fall of an empire always leaves many fragments. And no matter how much they talk about the good deeds that the empire had had for small nations, there is a completely different picture of the world in their memory. Hence the uncompromising disputes and conflicts on historical themes, while supporters of the fallen empire defend their canonical version, and its opponents refute it.
At the same time, in countries with a rigid central vertical, the authorities tried to avoid critical moments, limiting themselves to individual corrections of their understanding of the historical process, but at the same time making curtsies in favor of a common history. And this was understandable, because such states, on the one hand, did not need problems in relations with Russia, on the other - they wanted to avoid harsh criticism from the Russian media. The latter dominated the information space of the former USSR immediately after its collapse.
Therefore, in fact, in the public opinion of Russia there is such a good attitude towards Kazakhstan. Because Kazakhstan did not give information reasons to think about it badly, unlike many others in the spaces of a broken country. Although in the nineties, of course, there were people who thought otherwise. Nevertheless, even the overwhelming majority of those who, for various reasons, left Kazakhstan for Russia, retained in general a good memory of the country and its people. They were the best propagandists, and in many respects thanks to them the image of Kazakhstan has always been more positive than vice versa.
In addition, Russian society clearly would not want to live completely in an unfriendly environment. In many ways, therefore, friendly Kazakhstan, one of the few former Soviet republics that became an independent state, was Russia and its public opinion is simply necessary.
Of course, in terms of ideology, Russia as a whole was in perhaps the most difficult position among all the peoples of the former USSR. Because the country has experienced the fall of a large empire. If you call a spade a spade, the Soviet Union was a new form of expression of the Russian Empire. And it is not so important that in the leadership of the USSR there were many representatives of different nations - Georgians, Armenians, Ukrainians, Jews and others. The empires are different in that they possess the power of the state and the attractiveness of the cultural tradition. Therefore, Russified immigrants from other nations for the most part usually honestly served the empire, forming the basis of its bureaucracy and army. In the Russian Empire, these were Baltic Germans, baptized Tatars, Italian architects, in the USSR they came from Western Ukrainian towns, Georgian Mengrelia and other territories.
Actually, there was nothing new here. At various times, the Byzantine Empire was ruled by Armenians, Arabs, Macedonians, and Thracians. In the Ottoman Empire, the ruling class consisted of numerous people from the devsheer estate, among whom there were almost no ethnic Turks, dominated by the Greeks, Slavs, and Western Europeans. In Byzantium, the passport to the highest elite of society was the Greek and Orthodox religions, and in the Ottoman Empire, the Turkish language and Islam. In the Russian Empire, Orthodoxy and the Russian language, in the USSR, first of all, the Russian language, and then Marxist-Leninist ideology. I would add a Russian-centrist version of the story, which finally became firmly established after the victory in the Great Patriotic War.
The charm of the empire has tremendous power. Therefore, in the Byzantine Empire there were a mass of people who spoke Greek, but were not Greeks by ethnicity. Similarly, in the Ottoman Empire, a lot of very different people - Slavs, Arabs, Armenians, called themselves Ottomans, then after the Ataturk reforms, they became Turks.
In the era of the Soviet Union, the former Russian Empire lost its class and religious boundaries. Huge masses of people of the most diverse ethnic backgrounds felt themselves primarily as citizens of a great power.
A very revealing story was with those Kazakhs who, during the time of the Russian Empire, accepted Orthodoxy, stopped being part of the Kazakh people and became part of the Russian people. Because a change of religion meant an automatic change of identity. In the USSR, a significant number of Kazakhs, like other representatives of the former nomadic peoples - Kalmyks, Yakuts, Buryats, switched to the use of the Russian language, but did not become part of the Russian identity.
The Soviet empire was at the peak of its power. It was not a Russian empire, but the Russians were still an imperial ethnos, and many immigrants from other nations sought to become part of it. Just as all the inhabitants of the outskirts wanted to be Greeks in the Byzantine Empire and Ottoman Ottomans. It was easy to become Russian without Orthodoxy and the former pre-revolutionary strict communal organization; therefore, in Kazakhstan, Ukrainians became Russians who maintained their identity until 1917, as well as many other representatives of various nations, especially European, and almost all the half-breeds.
However, any fall of the empire raises the question of what to do next. Modern Turks have gone through hard times, abandoned their old Ottoman identity, tried to become part of Europe and are now trying to build a new empire based on the charm of culture, the effectiveness of the state model, and the power of the economy. Modern Austrians are not at all worried about the past of the great Habsburg Empire, from it they left palaces and parks that attract tourists.
But Russia had a harder time. Once in 1917, she had already experienced the fall of the empire, but she was able to rise, although paying a high price for it. The second time, Russia lost a significant part of the territory, but still retained quite a lot of land and resources. She did not have to endure such a blow faced by the Ottomans and the Austrians, when everything collapsed overnight and the construction of nation-states began on the ruins of the empire. Russia still partially remained an empire, although it tried to become a liberal state in the early nineties. And now she has a dual position. On the one hand, she wants to return to her previous positions, once again try to restore the empire. On the other hand, the issue of nation-building for Russia itself is not removed from the agenda. These two variants of development ideologically tear our neighbors in half and make it difficult for her to decide what she is building. Determining the path of development depends on how it builds relations with the outside world and its neighbors.
The paradox is that Kazakhstan is very close in its organization to modern Russia. And not only because our countries have presidential republics with a strong vertical of power. By and large, we are also in a difficult situation, because we are not yet sure whether we are building a national state or something else.
At the same time, it is clear that it is very difficult for us and for Russia to realize the liberal model of the Western type, despite the deep conviction that the liberal circles of both countries are inevitable. We cannot fail to take into account that liberalization will lead to the need to discuss pressing issues, to which in the current situation there is no definite answer. Among them, such as: was the 1916 uprising of the year an anti-colonial uprising against the Russian imperial policy of seizing land from the local population, or was it an illegal revolt of the subjects of a large empire at the time of the war? Another question is whether the process of sedationization, the settling of nomads on the land at the end of 1920, was part of the modernization process, or was it perhaps a criminal policy on the part of the state that sought to eliminate the nomadic way of life, and as a result Kazakh population and decreased its number, especially in the central and northern regions? There are many such difficult questions.
Liberalization will lead to the fact that ethnic groups will start voting for their own against the background of fierce ideological battle for historical justice. Including for the question of assessing at least a dozen complex topics in the history of Kazakh-Russian relations. And not to mention the threat of privatization, as we can see from the example of Kyrgyzstan.
It is possible that the famous Russian liberal Anatoly Chubais was not so wrong when he spoke about the liberal empire. Because in its organization Russia today is more an empire than a national state. And liberality in the imperial concept of Chubais was associated not only with the economy, but also with the overall efficiency of government, but clearly not with politics. In fact, in this context, China today is a liberal empire.
But Kazakhstan is very similar to Russia in its organization. Simply, we are smaller, but we also cannot conduct exclusively nation-building. Although our nationalist intellectuals do not agree with this, therefore they break spears because of the inherently terminological dispute.
How to call the citizens of Kazakhstan non-Kazakh nationality - Kazakhs, for example, of German or Uzbek origin, or Kazakhstani people. The point here is a different understanding of the definition of a nation. In the second case we are talking about the civilian understanding of the nation in the European sense. In the first case, the same is meant, but with an emphasis on Kazakh identity. It seems to the patriots that this will make it possible to emphasize the Kazakh character of the state, which already depends too much on Russia and the Russian language. From their point of view loyalty to the state depends on it. But by and large this is a formal requirement, but it is capable of creating a certain ideological dead end for the state. Especially in connection with the stubbornness with which they are trying to make it a fundamental requirement in relation to the non-Kazakh part of the population.
It would be much more logical not to burden society with complex ideological constructions. After all, an ordinary person will not figure out the difference between the civil and ethnic understanding of a nation. He feels that he is put in a situation of difficult choice, and he will choose his own. At the same time, it is not in the interests of the state and society that the loyalty of citizens be checked once more. There is no practical sense in this, except for a vaguely expressed ideological task. This discussion just confirms that the rigidity of the ideological position cannot suit the state, which should be more flexible in relations with some of its citizens and neighbors and partners.
To be continued
The eternal question of the Russian intelligentsia: what to do? - became especially relevant for both Russia and Kazakhstan after the first outbreak of discussions on the topic of mutual relations. It is clear that Kazakhstan seeks to preserve its independence. He does not want to dissolve in big Russia again. Russia does not have many arguments in order to convince Kazakhstan to again sit in the same boat with it, or rather, to stand in one line with it. The main arguments are related to overcoming the difficult moments, both in the economy and in politics. In economics, to decide the question of its predominantly raw orientation, in politics together to resist threats, for example, from Afghanistan. However, the problem is connected with the fact that the interests of Russia do not always coincide with the interests of Kazakhstan.
In particular, in the economy, objectively, we are competitors in the markets for raw materials. In addition, Kazakhstan objectively became the main market for Russian engineering products. We consume 45 percent of the total volume of Russian civil engineering export. That is, we need the Russian economy very much, we have less of it, because we could buy all the same on foreign markets. Therefore, from our side, this is a kind of gesture addressed to Russia, because the Russian markets have opened for us to a much lesser extent.
In the field of foreign policy, it is unprofitable for Kazakhstan to maintain the isolationist policy of Russia. The confrontation in the main foreign policy directions to which Moscow is going is not in the interests of Astana. Why should the latter support Syria and the Assad regime, why should Kazakhstan recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia, if it did not recognize Kosovo. For Russia, a certain degree of confrontation is fully justified, it is part of its policy of returning to the world of big powers. But for small Kazakhstan it is not necessary at all.
Therefore, Kazakhstan is very technically trying to get away from a clear certainty in relations with Russia, to avoid too sharp discussions in relations with it, not to become dependent on its foreign policy. Although the economy is not working out for us, dependence on Russian politics has already formed.
For Kazakhstan, the overall complexity of the situation is that, for obvious reasons, Russian interests are very close to a certain part of its citizens. The latter are experiencing some euphoria from the hypothetically emerging prospect of entering into a close alliance with Russia. But the majority understands that it is impossible to risk what is for the sake of even the best idea.
The paradox is that quite recently, before the start of the work of the Customs Union, the state in Kazakhstan was satisfied with most of the society. Compared with Uzbekistan, we have more freedom, compared with Kyrgyzstan, we have more order, compared with Russia, there are less taxes and not much crime. That is, basically, in almost everything, we had something like a golden mean. It is clear that everything is not as good as we would like, but any comparison on items with neighbors was in favor of Kazakhstan. The conservative majority of the population was satisfied with the situation, and especially its active part.
But after the start of the vehicle, the situation has changed. It's not just the price increase. On the whole, we were not ready to compete with Russia in various directions. While Russia was undoubtedly friendly, but still a neighboring country, everything was much better, but when we became part of the same space, everything changed. Including there was criticism of the state, which is fed by the discontent of quite a certain part of the pro-Russian intellectuals in Kazakhstan, Astana’s aspiration not to agree to all demands from Moscow to unite the two state systems.
Given the fact that the state today adheres to the policy of somewhat greater openness, all this has led to undesirable consequences. In particular, many officials were not ready to interact with society. The example of Minister Abdenov is very indicative. But society also began to behave more actively, and this is a side effect of more open relations with Russia. The systems are clearly converging, and if before everyone was thinking more about the state of Kazakhstan and relations with it, now many are looking back at Russia. Moreover, Russian trends began to spread to our territory. This also applies to the growing influence of crime, and the growing influence of Russian capital, and even the working methods of political organizations. It is significant that the Karaganda who threw eggs at Abdenov turned out to be close to the Russian national bolsheviks.
Accordingly, the situation for the state has become much more complicated. He needs to think about how to find the right tone in relations with Russia and how to avoid radicalization of relations within Kazakhstan.
Still, the correct tonality is likely to be found. The most logical way out would be to return to the previous order of things. But today it is impossible. However, the positive side of all recent changes is the understanding that it is a strong state with all its possible shortcomings that can be the main ideology for Kazakhstan. In the conditions of quite possible new and new challenges, the value of the state for ordinary citizens, those who are not ideologically motivated, has grown strongly. Whatever it is, but it provides the conditions and rules of the game, in which most of society still feels more or less comfortable.
It is clear that there are extreme positions. On the one hand, the ideology of nation-building. On the other - the ideology of dissolution in the Russian statehood. Both ideologies can not be implemented with all the desire of their adherents. At the same time, Kazakhstan, like Russia, is a fragment of the former empire, and the majority of the population transferred their loyalty from the former USSR to these two states. Just do not mix them and save the two models, let each prove to themselves, to each other and their citizens that she is better at dealing with current problems. Such interstate friendly competition, which took place before the start of the TC operation, objectively looks more attractive. There is no place for illusions in it and it is not necessary to find out who is right and who is guilty and what to do.