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Kazakhstan reforms meet skepticism in shadow of Russia's war

Amid 'cosmetic' changes, critics say Tokayev missing chance to break Kremlin's grip

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev delivers a speech during a festival in Almaty on March 21.   © Reuters

ALMATY -- Kazakhstan's President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev is steadily dismantling predecessor Nursultan Nazarbayev's regime and business interests, including a broad clampdown on cryptocurrency mining this month that named and shamed members of the former leader's inner circle.

Yet as the dust settles, critics say the president is not delivering meaningful reform of the political system that Nazarbayev built around himself for 30 years. Moreover, some say he is missing an opportunity to break Russia's grip on the nation's political and economic relations with the rest of the world.

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