LONG READ: Playing Real Risk - Russia vs US

Ben Aris in Berlin April 18, 2019

I play a game of Risk with my son using the real distribution of great power military bases around the world.

Kazakhstan’s June 9 snap election: three scenarios

Nizom Khodjayev in Astana April 10, 2019

Finding Nazarbayev’s successor: What are the prospects of Dariga Nazarbayeva, “Kazakh Putin” Samat Abish and interim president Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev?

COMMENT: The Kazakh transition has finally begun

Alexey Malashenko of Dialogue of the Civilizations in Moscow March 26, 2019

The “Kazakhstan transition” has been expected for years. Although it was widely predicted, no one – inside or outside of Kazakhstan – could guess exactly when it would happen.

End of an era of USSR dictators (or not?)

Nizom Khodjayev in Astana March 22, 2019

Kazakhstan’s ruler of 30 years Nursultan Nazarbayev has gone. Only he’s not gone. And ordinary Kazakhs who’ve lived through three “Soviet-groomed” decades don’t hold out much hope a handpicked successor will change much about their lives.

CENTRAL ASIA BLOG: Hope and darkness in Nazarbayev’s Kazakhstan

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow March 20, 2019

The last three decades have been a remarkable but flawed exercise in nation building.

Kazakh parliament votes to rename Astana as Nursultan to honour departing president

Nizom Khodjayev in Astana March 20, 2019

Day also sees resigned leader’s daughter made Senate speaker but there’s considerable doubt that she will turn out to be the true presidential successor.

Nazarbayev steps down after three decades as president

Nizom Khodjayev in Astana March 19, 2019

Matters have been arranged, however, to ensure the septuagenarian remains the power behind the Kazakh throne.