Ambassador of Kazakhstan Kosherbaev: the authorities are protecting the Kazakh language, not fighting Russian Kazakhstan is not going to pursue a course of de-Russification and infringe on the development of the Russian language in the country. We are talking about the development of the Kazakh language, which during the Soviet era moved into the niche of everyday communication, the ambassador explained to RBC
Talks about the infringement of the Russian language in Kazakhstan have no basis, the problems of the Russian language not in the country, and there is no talk of de-Russification. The Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Russia Yermek Kosherbaev spoke about this in an interview with RBC TV channel.
“Russian is spoken by <…> owns almost the entire population of our country. Our problem is more related to our native Kazakh language,»,— he said.
Kosherbaev noted that during the Soviet Union, most of the urban population of Kazakhstan began to “lose the language”, “the language did not develop.” “Without knowledge of the Russian language, you practically could not break into the highest echelons of power or achieve any slightest success. <…> After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the language issue arose with all its urgency. Language— it is the soul of the people».
The efforts of the authorities of Kazakhstan are aimed not only at the preservation, but at the development of the Kazakh language, the ambassador noted. “The expansion of the scope of the Kazakh language is by no means due to a decrease in the use of the Russian language. That is, the Russian language is as it is, and remains, and this is written in the Constitution, the language of interethnic communication, — assured Kosherbaev.
“We are not talking about de-Russification. We are only fighting for the qualitative and correct use of the state Kazakh language,»,— he continued.
According to the ambassador, there are now about 7 thousand schools in Kazakhstan, of which about half, 3700,— with the Kazakh language of instruction, the Russian language is taught in them as a foreign language. “Together with the theme we have about 1100 schools in Russian. This is somewhere around 16–17%. This teaching is only in Russian. <…> And more than two thousand schools where education is conducted in Kazakh and Russian— about 30%. That is, if we proceed from the national composition of the population of our country, then I think that this is a good indicator, — emphasized Kosherbaev.
He assured that the authorities have no plans to completely transfer education into exclusively Kazakh language.
In the summer of 2021, videos of “language patrols” raids were published on the Web, which checked the use of the Kazakh language in shops and government institutions. The raids took place in cities such as Nur-Sultan, Alma-Ata, Pavlodar, Uralsk and others. The head of Rossotrudnichestvo, Yevgeny Primakov, on August 11 reproached the Kazakh authorities for not condemning the actions of nationalists regarding the Russian language, but, on the contrary, calling on Russia to “understand the difficult circumstances” in which the government finds itself.
“Russia and Russian public opinion are repeatedly called upon to “understand the difficult circumstances” in which the government finds itself, which is oh how difficult and oh how difficult it is to live in such conditions and with such provocateurs. Is it easy for this Russian woman? And many others?»— Primakov wrote then.
The next day, the leadership of Kazakhstan reacted through the mouth of the first deputy head of the presidential administration, Dauren Abaev. He called the actions of the language patrols of the Kazakh nationalists unacceptable and outrageous.
“Without a doubt, such precedents are unacceptable and outrageous. Therefore, law enforcement agencies will give a fair legal assessment. Not because the Russian deputies were outraged, but because in our country, in principle, such things are strictly suppressed, regardless of who was discriminated against, for what reason: Kazakhs, Russians or representatives of other ethnic groups, — said Abaev.
“The vast majority of our citizens condemn such manifestations of cave nationalism,”— he added.
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