05.10.2021, 14:56

Reasons of Russia's information accusations of nationalism of Kazakhstan

And at the same time of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan

Фотография с открытых источников

Despite the end of pre-election activity in Russia in September 2021 and related political, information, propaganda projects and methods of attracting the attention of voters, the topic of nationalism continues to develop in the Russian Internet and media space. It may be recalled that in order to attract the attention of voters, to promote activities of Russian parties, various topics were used about Ukraine, the protection of Russia from Western aggressors within framework of the ideology of the “Besieged Fortress”. The theme of protection of the Russian language, growth of nationalism in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan has become one of mechanisms for attracting people's attention to political parties and leaders who participated in elections to the Parliament and local authorities of Russia. Time after time during the pre-election campaign, practically all leaders, various deputies of parties of Russia showed themselves to be “defenders”, “guardians” of the Russian language and the rights of Russian-speaking citizens of countries of Central Asia. However, despite the end of the pre-election PR campaign, articles, comments on protection of the Russian language, the growth of nationalism in countries of Central Asia did not subside. It could be expected that after the elections and expected victory of those very "defenders", the topic of nationalism in Central Asia would cease to be serious and relevant for the Russian Internet space and media.

However, even a cursory review of the largest news agencies and the Russian media shows that the topic continues to be relevant and attractive. Perhaps leaders of political parties, deputies of the Russian parliament are no longer actively discussing or have stopped paying any attention to the topic, but the Russian media themselves continue to publish on the “beaten track”. News and reports began to appear again about alleged growth of nationalism, threat to the Russian language, attacks on Russian-speaking citizens, as well as the theme that "the Bolsheviks created a nation out of Kazakhs and gave them a state ... Statehood, culture and writing - all this was created from Moscow…".

One can ask a natural question about reasons and need to continue using the topic of protecting the Russian language, rights of Russian speakers in foreign countries, citing as "serious" evidence and examples of ordinary conflicts of drunk people, fights between children and the hypes of various bloggers. Similar examples of conflicts can be found in any country where people of various origins live, what is inherent to many modern states. The example of the Russian capital itself shows that nationalism and intolerance are often manifested, where Russians themselves do not see each other as fellow citizens, either on the street or in the subway. 

However, some changes and additions can be noted, as if someone deliberately turns on the switch and adds new features and phase to the theme. So if earlier, before elections, there was a general motive about growth of nationalism, about lack of effective measures from law enforcement agencies, while today within a new post-election stage it includes the renewed nature of attacks on specific individuals and mentions of names as the presidential aide E. Karin, the Minister of Education of Kazakhstan, the deputy from governing political party “Nur Otan”. What is surprising here is not that the Russian media allow themselves to criticize and label officials and deputies, but further reaction, namely lack of reaction to protect “face” of Kazakhstan. 

In addition, if earlier before elections, possible violations of rights of the Russian-speaking population, prospects of spread of the Russian language were discussed on the example of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, now Uzbekistan has begun to be connected to the two countries. Many Russian news agencies, online media began to publish messages in unison that "in Uzbekistan they called for abandonment of the Russian language in favor of the Uzbek language" or "in Tashkent, an eight-year-old boy was beaten because he was Russian" claiming that the last days of existence of the "great and mighty" in Uzbekistan have arrived. 

A simple explanation can be the search of "explosive" topics and the pursuit of ratings, hype of the Russian media, which must provid what the population and readers demand. It is easy to see from the ratings of views and comments on the example of “Ria Novosti”, “Lenta.ru”, “KP.ru”, “MK.ru” that the topic of violation of rights of people by language is gaining the highest percentages and attention of readers than other news about Central Asia: Taliban in Afghanistan, the EAEU, Russia's cooperation with Central Asia, explosions of ammunition in Kazakhstan. Even attempts by "MK.ru" to neutrally study the topic of decision of the Parliament of Kazakhstan on signs in Kazakh language receive a high rating, speak of a dangerous tendency that has appeared. All this speaks that public opinion has already formed, there is a social group with a clear stereotype about Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, where the rights of the Russian-speaking population are clearly and consistently violated, and where the Russian language is really experiencing problems of diffusion.

It can be summed up that in the Russian media space, the topic of nationalism has become a well-trodden and winning path, attracting attention of readers. As a result of initiated theme of nationalism for reasons and objectives of the elections, a dangerous tendency has intensified and the social stratum is strengthening, which is ready to perceive informational messages about Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan only from a negative side. All this can lead to an even greater consolidation of the stereotype regarding the countries of Central Asia as unfriendly countries, where nationalism and rejection of everything “Russian” are deep rooted. And this is a very dangerous tendency.


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