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Kazakhstan Commemorates 1986 Anti-Moscow Protests

Kazakhstan's monument to independence in the capital, Astana (ITAR-TASS) September 18, 2006 -- President Nursultan Nazarbaev today unveiled a monument to anti-Kremlin protests that took place in Soviet Kazakhstan 20 years ago.

In December 1986, some 3,000 people took to the streets of Almaty to protest Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev's decision to replace the head of the Kazakh Communist Party, Dinmukhamed Kunaev, with an ethnic Russian, Gennady Kolbin.

The 1986 events are seen as part of the process that led to the demise of the Soviet Union five years later.

Following the protests, many participants lost their jobs and fell victim to administrative harrassment.

(Kazakhstan Today, Interfax-Kazakhstan)

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