DISINFO: Ukrainians and Kazakhs did not exist as ethnic groups before the USSR
  • Outlet: asd.news (archived)*
  • Date of publication: August 13, 2021
  • Article language(s): Russian
  • Reported in: Issue 254
  • Countries / regions discussed: Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Russia
Russophobia Anti-Russian Ukrainian statehood Ukraine Central Asia USSR Historical revisionism

DISINFO: Ukrainians and Kazakhs did not exist as ethnic groups before the USSR


Kazakhstan owes a lot to the Russian Empire, even its creation. Until 1936, there was no such thing as "Kazakhstan" or "Kazakh" at all. Initially, the name was "Kazakstan," meaning the Cossack camp. And there were no “Kazakhs” themselves, but the Kyrgyz. All this happened in Soviet Union times. [...] Do you understand how similar the situation is to the one in Ukraine? It did not exist too. It was created and "Ukrainians" were created too. Even this term did not exist before. The same is with the "Kazakhs". Now the Ukrainians have decided to be Russophobes; the Kazakhs have decided to join them.

The lands of Kazakhstan are historically Russian lands. Kazakhstan was created by Russia and the Russians, almost all cities, and the state itself.


Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative accusing neighbouring countries of Russophobia and claiming that Ukraine and Kazakhstan did not exist as separate nations before the USSR.

Ukraine and Kazakhstan are well-defined nation-states with a long history, own language, culture, literature, and identity. The Kazakh identity was formed in medieval times and was mostly shaped by the foundation of the Kazakh Khanate between 1456 and 1465. During the late 15th century and throughout the 16th century, the Kazakhs were able to consolidate a nomadic empire stretching across the steppes east of the Caspian Sea and north of the Aral Sea as far as the upper Irtysh River and the Western approaches to the Altai Mountains. The contemporary state of Kazakhstan declared its sovereignty on October 25, 1990, and became fully independent on December 16, 1991.

The history of Ukraine dates back to the era of the Kyivan Rus’ in the 9th-13th centuries. A fully independent Ukraine only emerged in the 20th century, after long periods of successive domination by Poland-Lithuania, Russia, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). Under Lenin's leadership at the beginning of the 20th century, Ukraine was occupied by the Bolsheviks and for decades was under communist control. When the Soviet Union began to unravel in 1990–91, the legislature of the Ukrainian S.S.R. declared sovereignty (July 16, 1990) and then outright independence (August 24, 1991).

Ukraine and Kazakhstan are not Russophobic or anti-Russian states. Kazakhstan is an important trading partner of Russia, a member of the Eurasian Economic Union, Commonwealth of Independent States, and of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation.

After the collapse of the USSR, Ukraine and Russia signed a number of important treaties, including a comprehensive Friendship Treaty. The countries became the founding members of the Commonwealth of Independent States. Russia recognised Ukrainian sovereignty and provided security assurances under the Budapest Memorandum. It also recognised that Crimea belongs to Ukraine but in 2014 Russian Federation violated both the Friendship Treaty and the Budapest memorandum, occupied and illegally annexed Crimea.

See similar disinformation cases in our database: Ukraine was created by Vladimir Lenin; Ukraine was artificially created by the Bolsheviks.


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Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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