The Explainer: What led to violent unrest in Kazakhstan?

Click to listen to our interview with former Kazakhstan resident, and expert in post-Soviet countries, professor Donnacha Ó Beacháin.

YOU HAVE NO doubt seen the many articles on The Journal and across the internet about the violent unrest in Kazakhstan - but you might not know that much about why it’s happening.

After all, unfortunately for the country, a lot of Irish people will recall how it was the home of the character Borat, who first appeared on film in 2006. The character, the creation of Sacha Baron Cohen, was not the ideal mascot for the country (the film was banned there), but still is the first thing that pops into many people’s heads when Kazakhstan is named.

But of course, there is a lot more to the country – it has a fascinating history, and its geography is also extremely interesting (it’s about the size of mainland Europe but with a small population). But what led to the recent unrest there, and why was there an internet blackout when the unrest broke out?

To get the full story, we spoke to Donnacha Ó Beacháin, Professor of Politics at DCU. He not only knows a huge amount about the country, he also has lived there. So he is perfectly placed to explain the story of Kazakhstan and the recent unrest in this episode.

Here’s more on Kazakhstan:

The Explainer / SoundCloud

This episode was put together by presenters Gráinne Ní Aodha and Michelle Hennessy, and producers Aoife Barry and Nicky Ryan. 

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