Global Politics

Nursultan Nazarbayev: Kazakhstan's Longtime Ruler

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Nursultan Nazarbayev (Photo: US Defense Department/Wiki Commons)

Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev has ruled the country since before the collapse of the Soviet Union.

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(This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.)

In the decades since, Nazarbayev has walked a fine line between leader and oligarch.

Despite having amassed a fortune from several state run companies, Kazakhs still support him.

In fact, officials are busy erecting several Soviet-style statutes of Nazarbayev to celebrate Kazakhstan's two decades of independence from Russia.

Reporter Steve LeVine, a Schwartz fellow at the New America Foundation, says Nazarbayev was a keen student of Soviet-era politics.

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