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Dark Shadows: Inside the Secret World of Kazakhstan
by Joanna Lillis
In Dark Shadows (2018), Almaty-based journalist Joanna Lillis introduces readers to modern Kazakhstan, the Central Asian republic that became independent of the Soviet Union in 1991 and was ruled by one man—Nursultan Nazarbayev—until 2019, when he was replaced by a close ally. “He lived through every Soviet leader bar the first, Lenin, and is the only ruler of an ex-Soviet country who has been in power since before the USSR collapsed,” Lillis writes. A big part of the story is the country’s enormous oil wealth, and how that has fuelled corruption on a massive scale.