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What Kazakh Schoolchildren Learn About Their President

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev

Compared to the ostentatious and brutal excesses of his Turkmen or Uzbek counterparts, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev has always seen himself as something more moderate and sophisticated.

While he hasn't gone in for gold statues or penned a national tome (like Turkmenistan's former president), there are still elements of a personality cult around him. (More on that here or in this good Slate piece.)

But for a brief glimpse of how schoolchildren are taught about their president in Kazakhstan, check out this video by RFE/RL's Kazakh Service.

Visiting a sculpture devoted to the Kazakh people in the capital, Astana, the tour guide explains to a school group how the monument also honors the greatness of Nazarbaev.

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at

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