The Post-Soviet Union Countries: An Update

 I have a very keen interest in the state of affairs of the post Soviet countries, as described below, but I recently came across a very good article in The Guardian that lists the current state of affairs of the 15 post-Soviet countries, and am providing the link below.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/09/-sp-profiles-post-soviet-states

Map showing the former countries of the Soviet Union

 

My daughter was adopted from Kazakhstan nearly 14 years ago–not that long after the Soviet Union collapsed, relatively speaking. Because I have tried very hard to keep my daughter connected to her motherland (with whom she holds a dual citizenship), I have befriended many hundreds of Kazakhs on Facebook, LinkedIn and through Skype and simply word of mouth. My daughter Milena (Tulegenova) Clarke is from the Middle Horde (Orta Zhuhz) and the Naiman  tribe (ru) and she and I have visited Kazakhs throughout the USA during my business trips over the years and spoken with many over Skype or Goggle’s Hangouts. Accordingly, I know much better how Kazakhstan has faired (extremely well, despite the crude, inaccurate portral in Boraдt) than the other former Soviet countries since the collapse of the USSR.

I am constantly amazed by the Kazakhs’ closeness to and concern for one another, even including their great concern for my daughter, who has not yet returned to her mother country (though I plan to take her “home” for an extended holiday for her 16th birthday next year). I continuously receive articles and music related to Kazakhstan to show Milena, though at her age, they oftentimes send information directly to her.  Milena continues to list Almaty, Kazakhstan as her hometown at every opportunity and tries diligently to celebrate her Kazakh culture as much as she does her American culture (whatever that is).

 

Milena maintains pride in the heritage of both countries in which she has dual citizenship.

 

When the national media reported on the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) filing of complaints with the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Education against Milena’s former school system for their deliberate indifference in allowing her to be harassed and the subject of discrimination (and accompanying retaliation) based on her ethnicity, national origin and race, well over a thousand Kazakhs came to her defense on Facebook, creating a page dedicated to Milena and offering her support in both English and Russian. Most of our Kazakh friends know that I have raised Milena to be bilingual (English, out of necessity, and Russian, her first language–though she is determined to learn Kazakh, which, though it currently uses the same Cyrillic alphabet as Russian, is a Turkic, not a Slavonic language).

 

The Kazakh Facebook community’s show of support for Milena

 I have had more contact with Central Asians because of the similarty of their cultures with Kazakhstan, maintaining friendships with people of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Also, because my daughter and I practice the Russian Orthodox faith, we have a greater understanding of the non-secular issues of Russia.

If anyone has any information they would like to share on any of the 15 post-Soviet states, please be sure to add your thoughts, ideas or information in the comments section.

17 thoughts on “The Post-Soviet Union Countries: An Update

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