Kazakhstan yesterday marked the fifth anniversary of its independence and the tenth anniversary of mass protests in Almaty against Moscow rule. Addressing the country, President Nursultan Nazarbaev stated that the December 16, 1986 demonstrations paved the way for the December 16, 1991 proclamation of independence. Nazarbaev named interethnic tranquillity, market reforms, and integration into the world economy as Kazakhstan’s main achievements since independence and said that they must remain the country’s main objectives — "from which we must not deviate" — in the years ahead. Kazakhstan’s attitude toward Russia and the CIS is determined by "the national interests of the independent state… The age of forcible integration lives only in the inflamed imagination of empire-gatherers." Nazarbaev said, alluding to the Russian emperors’ title as "land-gatherers." A large monument to Kazakhstan’s independence, representing an ancestral Turkic warrior, was unveiled yesterday in central Almaty in the presence of Turkish president Suleyman Demirel. (Interfax, Western agencies, December 16)
Russian Officers Increasingly at Risk in Tajikistan.