Scientific journal
European Journal of Natural History
ISSN 2073-4972


Egorina A.V. 1 Salykbayeva G.M. 1 Artemyeva K.A. 1 Manapova Zh. 1
1 S. Amanzholov East Kazakhstan State University
The article discusses the concept of “border” and “cross-border” areas, elicited the degree of illumination on the subject. On the basis of the analysis of references, for formation of prerequisites of the cross-border region are found. The best practices of the advanced countries in creation of mechanisms of border cooperation are considered. The degree of necessity of development of this direction of interaction for Kazakhstan and Russia is defined. The paper presents the results of the analysis of statistical and cartographic material, based on the main features of the ethno geographic situation of the border areas of Kazakhstan and Russia which are formulated. The lists of ethnic groups of a border-zone with the greatest total specific gravity in structure of the population of the neighboring countries are defined. A brief excursion into the history of development and settlement of Altai as a region of unification of interests of the four states were made. The special attention is paid to the potential of the mountain system considered as a unique natural object with the richest natural reserves and opportunities.
border areas
cross-border region
kazakhstan-russian border-zone
international cooperation
sociocultural space
ethnic identity
labor skills
1. Baklanov P.Ya., Ganzey S.S., Cross-border areas: problems of sustainable nature management. 2008.
2. Bozhko L.L., Conceptual approaches to the definition of border areas: textbook // Regional economy: the theory and practice. 2010. № 4. P. 47-54.
3. European framework Convention on cross-border cooperation between territorial communities and authorities. Madrid: Council of Europe, 1980. Р. 35.
4. Mkrtchyan N. Russian peasant settlers of the XIX – beginning of XX century on the territory of Kazakhstan. [Electronic resource]. URL: (date of treatment: 27.01.2019).
5. Kolosov V.A., Mironenko N.S. Geopolitics and political geography: textbook for universities. М.: Aspect Press, 2002. Р. 479.

The overall and irreversible nature of processes of integration and globalization of the international community causes formation of the uniform space which is characterized by availability among the states of political and economic arrangements. Feature of the modern international relations of regions is border cooperation within many vital issues of the states is solved. The problem of border areas plays a special role for Kazakhstan-a country with the 9th place in the world in terms of area, and enormously various of natural, economic, demographic indicators. The regions of Kazakhstan take a special place in the process of cross-border interregional cooperation and create opportunities for the development of close inter-state relations through the integration of intellectual, information, natural resources, as well as the rapprochement of people living in the border areas.

The historical events of the end of the 19th century have made fundamental changes to the political map of the world, have caused of the emergence of many new state borders. After the collapse of the Soviet Union and other socialist republics, 27 new subjects – independent states were created on the geopolitical map of the world. At the same time with loss of aged inter Soviet borders are arisen new uniform borders of the national states between federal republics. The research interest that has appeared on this basis from scientists is caused by the shift of semantic values and acquisition of the new statuses of state borders of the countries. The theoretical and methodological substantiation of the border areas has the most descriptive character and includes the knowledge from the field of history, politics and geography. The modern social and economical processes of border areas demand an integrated approach, a wide range of applied geographical research methods.

The purpose of the research. The main purpose of the research became the analysis of the ethno-geographical situation of the border areas of Kazakhstan and Russia and identification based on its similarities in the ethnic structure of the population.

The results of research and its discussion

The summary table was made on the structure of ethnic groups in East Kazakhstan, Altayskiy Kray and the Republic of Altay. The identical numerous ethnic groups and the specific weight of the ten largest ethnic groups in the structure of the entire population of the regions are determined and calculated. A similar ethnic appearance of the being considered territories have been identified.

To date, the subject of development and cooperation of border regions is sufficiently covered. Features of cooperation among countries within the border area are reflected in the works of V.V. Goncharov, S.G. Gorshenin, L.A. Gaynanov, P. James, P. Druker, Martin, I. Ansoff, F. Korzhunin, G. Murdal, N. Nekrasoph, and N.P. Nesterov.

The term “border area” refers to the social and economic zone along to the border or point in the deep of the country, within that observe border processes and phenomena related to the interests of neighboring countries and the interaction between their economic, cultural, legal and political systems [5].

L.B. Vardomskiy and S.V. Golunov characterize the border area as a zone covering the state border, checkpoints across the state border and related objects within the country, border territory, airspace, cross-border water objects, internal sea waters, territorial sea, their underwater environment, continental shelf and exclusive economic zone [2].

In a more strict sense, border areas are those that are directly adjacent to the state border, are most affected by the border and the neighboring country and have a special, additional potential of development and international cooperation. It can be called the specific potential of the-border [1].

Over time, the border areas of neighboring countries can move into the category of cross-border, that is, the border areas of states characterized by a certain natural, economic, socio-cultural and ethnic unity. Integrated cross-border territories must be distinguished from the border, although for the latter, to a certain extent inherent the processes of integration. Our analysis of the literature allows us to identify the prerequisites for the formation of a cross-border region:

1) similar natural geographical environment of border areas;

2) the ethnic identity causing by uniform of sociocultural space, interaction and interference of cultures of the people;

3) the availability of economic, political, social, cultural complementarity;

4) the implementation of various kinds of interaction between neighboring countries, as well as the manifestation of the influence of various spheres of activity of states on the sides of life activity of the population;

Systemic development of border zone may contribute to the application of synergetic effect of joint solutions to common of various kinds’ problems in the future. Extensive experience of such cooperation has been accumulated in Europe.

In the context of European framework of cooperation of border area communities and authorities, efforts are made to develop the regions of cities and rural areas, environmental protection, improvement of infrastructure and services to the population, mutual assistance in emergency situations. Interaction between the European border areas makes a significant contribution to the economic and social progress of the border regions, while forming a single spirit of friendship, the unification of the peoples of Europe [3].

The considered convention is actively used within the European Union for the purpose of elimination of a gap in social and economic development of the countries and regions and also strengthening of processes of integration. In a relatively short period of time, the activities of this Convention have resulted in significant achievements in the field of cross-border cooperation. Today it is a positive example of cooperation among cross-border regions and an incentive to create a mechanism of cross-border cooperation between Kazakhstan and Russia.

The development of cooperation within the border areas of Kazakhstan and Russia is due to the establishment of socio-economic relations. Analysis of statistical and cartographic material have shown that the ethnogeographic picture in the border areas of Kazakhstan and Russia has a number of features. First, the Kazakh – Russian border area is more densely populated than the Russian regions to the North and the Kazakh regions to the South. In fact, except for the west and east sites, the new border passed in many places on the middle of the main strip of resettlement of the former Soviet Union. Secondly, for example, in comparison with the border areas of the North Caucasus, where the new state borders divided the ethnic territories of Lezgins, Ossetians and other North Caucasian peoples, as well as the territory of the traditional residence of the peoples of Transcaucasia, the border of Russia with Kazakhstan passed across the territory of settlement of the Russian as the main state forming the people of the Russian Federation [4].

Evidence of the importance and need of studying of the Kazakh-Russian cross-border territories are enough today:

1) the length of the Kazakh-Russian border is more than 7500 km and it is one of the longest land borders in the world;

2) the Kazakh-Russian border passes in the center of the largest continent and divides Russia, and the countries of Central Asia is the largest state by area;

3) the border between Kazakhstan and Russia separates regions that are different not only on socio-economic indicators but also characterized by different directions of specialization of the economy;

4) to the both sides of the border are the largest cities of Kazakhstan (Aktau, Aktobe, Kostanay, Pavlodar, Ust-Kamenogorsk) and Russia (Novosibirsk, Samara, Chelyabinsk, Saratov, Togliatti, Barnaul, Orenburg, Magnitogorsk, Astrakhan), which are the most important centers of population, economy and culture;

The occurrence of the new state borders entails not only profound changes in the socio-economic, cultural and geographical spaces, but also is the reason for the conditional division of a single natural object into parts that are influenced by different states. So it was happened with Altai – a unique mountain system located in the South of Siberia and Central Asia, which occupies a special place among the natural objects of our planet.

The first people had settled in the Altai valleys hundreds of thousands years ago that is evidenced by the world-famous Ulalinsky site found in Gorno-Altaysk. The rich history of this mountain system begins from the ancient Turkic era and the state of the Turks. Since 745 the territory of Altai is included into possession of the Uygur khaganate which gradually unites the lands of Altai, the Central Mongolia, the Southwest and significant portion of East Siberia, at the same time uniting representatives of many ethnic groups, religions and beliefs. During domination of kidany Altai becomes the center of formation of numerous ethnic communities which began to be exposed to processes of consolidation after disintegration of the Dzungarian khanate. The beginning of exploration of the territory of Altai by Russians it is considered the 17th century though the most notable population belongs only to the beginning of the 19th century when began to accustom the foothills and then Mount Altai by peasants of the Biysk district. From the second half of the 18th century has been taken place the formation of the Kazakh population of Altai, which have been reached high rates to the beginning of the 20th century. The numerous residences of ethnic groups of Altai within a single natural complex with similar climatic conditions, resources constantly were strengthened economic and cultural ties between them, that left a certain mark on their job, traditions, customs and lifestyle.

Thus, having seen a lot of historical events Altai is not only the cradle of history, but also the center of formation of many cultures and peoples, which had a great influence to the fate of other territories. Today Altai is a link between 4 countries: Kazakhstan, Russia, Mongolia and China. Having a common history of many thousands, Altai becomes a sphere of many political, economic, trade, transport and socio-cultural interests of these countries.

A special role in this world has the Kazakh-Russian border areas which located in the West Altay. Having arisen in the old developed area they are attended the mark of the history of settlement, which causes a similar ethnic structure of the territories (table).

On the both sides from the Kazakhstan-Russian border the population is characterized by multiethnic structure. More than 142 nationalities live in the Altay Territory, more than 100 in the Republic of Altay, and more than 90 in the East Kazakhstan. Despite the different nationality, there are observed a number of similar features in the structure of the population of the regions: 1) The Russian population either prevails or constitutes a significant share; 2) The list of the most numerous ethnic groups is identical; 3) The specific gravity of large ethnic groups is a significant share. Based on the analysis of the ethno geographic situation of the border areas, we have identified 10 largest ethnic groups living on both sides of the border, the total share of which in each of the territories under consideration is more than 97 %. It should be concluded that this cross-border region is multinational and, as a consequence, multicultural.

The ethnic structure of Kazakhstan and Russia border areas for 2013


East Kazakhstan

Altay region

the Republic of Altay

Entire population

1 396 593

2 419 755

206 168


561 183

2 234 324

114 802


781 732

7 979

12 524


14 030

50 701



7 078

32 226

1 010


17 899

6 794



1 999

4 591




7 640




1 763

72 841


1 491

1 210



1 373

4 950


And other nationalities

9 032

67 577

2 698



Altay, as a multi-ethnic region, requires a comprehensive historical and ethnographic research. The fact of the different political affiliation of the peoples inhabiting the territory of Altay, at first sight, acts as a barrier in their development. On the other hand, the most effective use of natural resources in this region is possible due to the ethnic identity of modern border areas. Altay peoples are united not only by the common historical past, but also, as a result, are similar in material and spiritual culture, many traditions and customs, type of economic activity and existing labor skills. They reflect the connection of the nature phenomena and the experience of agricultural work and life, accumulated in the process of centuries old history of each nation.

Accounting the labor traditions of ethnic groups living in the Altay territory on both sides of the border is necessary for the effective use of labor resources, as well as the rational placement of production. National features determine the needs for certain goods and services, are an important component in identifying the social needs of the population. Today, the Altay mountains are considered to be a storehouse of rich mineral resources, the unique natural landscapes, huge tourist potential. The using of the wide opportunities of this natural object implies a complex and large-scale study of indigenous ethnic groups-keepers of skills of interaction with this natural environment.

The national diversity of the Altay region is the most important value that is being able to enrich the range of economic, social and political opportunities of Kazakhstan and Russia. In this regard, the study of economic and social aspects of the border areas is the priority task of modern geography. In this context, the population of the border areas is considered not only as a labor resource and productive force, but also as an important link in formation of ethno-cultural image of the border.