Kazakhstan to revert its capital's name back to 'Astana'
After many changes to the name of the capital, Nur-Sultan will return to its former name, Astana.
Kazakhstan's President, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, has announced that he backs the idea of Nur-Sultan, the capital of the country, reclaiming its former name, Astana.
In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Nur-Sultan's presidential spokesperson announced that the country will be reversing one of Tokayev's first decisions since he took office in 2019, after Kazakhstan's first president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, ruled the country for decades.
The move to rename the capital was brought forward, systemically, by a constitutional reform, which was agreed upon by Kazakh lawmakers, arguing that it is "wrong" to name the capital after an individual who is still alive, in addition to that "the people have also not accepted the new name of the capital."
In the past century, the capital has experienced changes over and over, in addition to it being relocated from one point to another on multiple occasions.
During the ruling of imperial Russia pre-Bolshevik revolt, Astana was known as Akmolinsk, and was renamed Tselinograd during the Soviet era. Then, it was renamed Akmola when Kazakhstan reached statehood in the 1990s after the fall of the Soviet Union, before becoming Astana, after which it was renamed Nur-Sultan in 2019.
Kazakhstan, earlier this year, experienced civil violence which was triggered by skyrocketing fuel prices following an energy price cap initiated by the state, in addition to a failed coup attempt that involved high-ranking officials, and a dodged assassination attempt against Tokayev by foreign agents.
The wave of riot-turned demonstrations that took place in Kazakhstan in early January led to the death of 225 people and the injury of thousands of others.
Authorities identified 4,578 people as victims of the two-week-long violent unrest, which included 4,353 wounded people, 3,393 of which were security service personnel.
Riots started in Kazakhstan in early January, when thousands of demonstrators took to the street to protest against the surging gas prices in the Central Asian nation. President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev then declared a state of emergency in the west of the country and Almaty.
Tokayev appealed to the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) for help in quelling protests across the country, which he said were led by "terrorist gangs".