Kazakhstan: The Myth of Stability

(Liana Fix)

The 16th of December was meant to be a jubilant day in Kazakhstan. Parallel to the unveiling of a Paris-style triumphal arch in Astana, all major cities celebrated the 20th anniversary of Kazakhstan’s independence. But in Zhanaozen, a small town in the oil-rich Western province of Mangystau, the festivities turned into tragedy. An unresolved conflict about higher wages between the state-owned oil company KazMunayGas and striking oil workers escalated.

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The Myth of Stability