Togzhan Kassenova (Center for Policy Research, SUNY-Albany)
Kazakhstan holds an interesting place in the history of nuclear weapons. The Soviet government used Kazakh land to conduct more than 450 nuclear tests with no thought given to local people and the environment. A powerful anti-nuclear movement emerged to shut down the test site, followed by Kazakhstan’s decision to give up the nuclear arsenal that remained on its territory after the Soviet collapse. Now, Kazakhstan is a member of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and contributing to a future in which the horrors of nuclear weapons use will never be repeated. Togzhan Kassenova, author of Atomic Steppe, will talk about the human story behind the world’s largest anti-nuclear movement and what has changed as the risks of nuclear war are once again at the forefront.