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Facts about Karaganda

Today I was at the Baptist Union office. They have a terrific map which indicates the major people groups in the major cities of Kazakhstan and of each oblast (like a state).

Here is the breakdown in the city of Karaganda and the oblast

Russians: 52.1%     42.3

Kazakhs: 27.5         40.1

Belorussians: 1.4     1.4

Koreans: 1.7             1.0

Tatars: 3.4               2.7

Germans: 3.7          3.2

Ukrainians: 5.8      5.3

Others: 4.4

I met with one brother who is of German descent. I asked him about how he viewed himself. He shared with me that while his Kazakhstani passport may report him as a German, he said that he is Russian. He speaks and thinks like a Russian. I asked him about other groups like Ukrainians, Belorussians, Moldovans. He said that he viewed them as Russians as well.

This was interesting insight. I struggle calling people who are Ukrainians (those living in Kstan, not Ukraine) and other Slavic groups as Russian. However, after speaking to this brother and others, I am beginning to understand that the Slavic people here view themselves as Russian.

Great info to know…


  1. That’s because most Slavic (and German too) people here are mixed with each other. My grandma belorussian; my wife half belorussian, half ukrainian. But all slavic people here speak Russian – our most important common thing is language.

  2. It was really important for me to hear this. It helps me understand the people a whole lot better. And you are right, the language is the common denominator and is what holds you together!

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