In the wake of mounting skepticism regarding Moscow’s ability to exert influence in Kazakhstan in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine, Kazakhstan has announced that it will make efforts to promote the use of the Kazakh language in its media over Russian.
The former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan is located in central Asia. Kazakh is the country’s official language, but Russian is also recognized and is widely spoken among the country’s population of around 20 million people.
“The draft law on the media stipulates an increase in the share of the state language in television and radio from 50% to 70%,” the culture minister, Aida Balayeva, told reporters in the capital city of Astana. “The draft law on the media stipulates an increase in the share of the state language in television and radio from 50% to 70%.”
Legislators are currently debating the legislation, but it is possible that it will be passed by parliament because that body is considered to be loyal to President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.
“This transition will take place at a rate of 5% per year from 2025 onwards,” Balayeva said, alluding to plans by the government to promote the Kazakh language after the fall of the Soviet Union three decades ago. “This transition will take place at a rate of 5% per year from 2025 onwards.”
Kazakhstan also shares a wide border with Russia as well as maintains close political, economic, and military relations with Moscow. There are around 15% of the people in Kazakhstan that identifies as being of Russian ethnicity. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, it has made efforts to forge closer connections with countries in the west as well as China.
A law somewhat identical to this one was approved earlier this year in the neighboring country of Kyrgyzstan, where Russian is an officially recognized language. The law in this former Soviet republic requires civil officials to be fluent in Kyrgyz, and it also mandates that the media publish at least sixty percent of their content in the Kyrgyz language.
Russian is spoken by inhabitants and officials in Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, three more ex-Soviet republics located in central Asia. Russian does not have an official status in any of these countries.