Support The Moscow Times!

U.S. Peace Corps to Leave Kazakhstan

ALMATY — The U.S. Peace Corps is withdrawing nearly 120 volunteers from Kazakhstan, ending its 18-year presence in Central Asia's largest economy following a spate of Islamist militant attacks.

The Peace Corps said Friday that it was suspending its operations in Kazakhstan for "a number of operational considerations," without giving further details. It said its 117 volunteers in the country were safe.

More than 1,120 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Kazakhstan since 1993, working with communities in projects focused on teaching English, education, youth development and HIV prevention.

Some officials say Kazakhstan, where per capita gross domestic product exceeds $9,000, has outgrown the need for the Peace Corps. Kazakhstan's Ministry of Education and Science said the suspension was "a logical step" given the country's development.

But Larisa Koisina, headmistress of a private school in the central Kazakh city of Karagandy where two Peace Corps volunteers had taught, said she believed that the withdrawal could be linked to a spate of militant attacks in a country long viewed as comparatively peaceful.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

Please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world's largest country.