Is Kazakhstan 30 or 556 years old? As the five states of Central Asia celebrate three decades of independence, they prefer the glories of the ancient past to the legacy of Soviet rule.
During the Cold War, nearly a quarter of all the world’s nuclear testing took place in Kazakhstan, in secret. In 1986, a high-profile disaster in Ukraine changed that.
Mikhail Gorbachev’s Perestroika triggered an outpouring of resentment across the USSR. In 1986, young Kazakhs made their voices heard, but the Soviet regime was not ready to listen.