Kazakhstan: The Slumbering Steppe

A mysterious sleeping sickness is plaguing Kalachi, a remote village 500 kilometers west of the Kazakh capital Astana near the abandoned uranium mining city of Krasnogorskiy. (Photo: Joanna Lillis)

One day last summer, Viktor Kazachenko set off across the steppe from his village in northern Kazakhstan, driving to the nearest town on some errands – but he never arrived.
“My brain switched off,” he says. “That’s it. I don’t remember.”

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Joanna Lillis is a freelance writer who specializes in Central Asia.

Kazakhstan: The Slumbering Steppe

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