Kazakhstan remains an important case study of nuclear reversal, yet most accounts of this event merely highlight the return of the nuclear weapons from Kazakh territory to Russia as the Soviet Union dissolved. Left out are the human dimensions of the story—the ethnic Kazakhs living around Semipalatinsk and impacted by the Soviet nuclear program; the growing protest movement during the 1980s to halt nuclear testing; and the senior officials navigating complex international politics to garner U.S. security guarantees while agreeing to give up nuclear weapons.

Join us for a special event featuring Togzhan Kassenova on her book Atomic Steppe—a fascinating and compelling new look at Kazakhstan’s nuclear history that artfully weaves together first-hand stories and archival data into a rich accounting of a tumultuous period. She will be joined in conversation by William Courtney, the first U.S. ambassador to Kazakhstan. George Perkovich will moderate.