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Kazakh Textbooks to Remove Mention of 'Russian Crimea'

A view of the Swallow's Nest, a castle at Gaspra, Crimea.

The Kazakh Education Ministry will correct geography and history textbooks to remove references to Crimea as a Russian region, local news website Tengrinews.kz reported Wednesday.

Moscow annexed Crimea from Ukraine last year, but few nations have officially recognized the Black Sea region as part of Russia.

Tengrinews.kz quoted spokespeople from the Kazakh Education Ministry rapping the knuckles of a publisher of state textbooks: "On the subject of Crimea, the publishing house and the authors [of the books] failed to reflect fully Kazakhstan's official position [on the issue], as well as the international position."

Kazakhstan, which has a large Russian population, has particular reason to be wary of recognizing the annexation of Crimea. Moscow justified the land grab as essential to protect the Russian population against Ukrainian aggression, and some analysts have worried that it could use the same pretext against other neighboring states.

The move by Kazakh authorities came after the Ukrainian Embassy in Kazakhstan sent a protest note last week to the country's Education Ministry, Tengrinews.kz reported.

The embassy's statement said that mention of Crimea as a part of Russia "contradicts the international position on the matter, as well as the official position of Kazakh leadership that has claimed its support of Ukraine's territorial integrity multiple times."

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