NUR-SULTAN -- Livestock deaths are spiking in Kazakhstan, another consequence in Central Asia of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported Tuesday (June 14).
In recent days, 76 cows and calves died from an infectious disease in Shet district, Karaganda province. Another 150 cows are suspected to have the infection.
A top veterinary official blamed the livestock die-off on a lack of vaccines from Ukraine and Russia.
Russia's unprovoked attack on its neighbour, which started February 24, disrupted supplies of Ukrainian and Russian vaccines.
Those two countries usually supply livestock vaccines for anaerobic ailments, Qaiyrbek Tursynbekov, chief of the Veterinary Directorate in Karaganda province, said on television Monday.
"Our plan was to vaccinate 3,000 livestock in that village. However, we were able to vaccinate only 25% of them because we did not have enough vaccines," he said.
Karaganda province needs 350,000 more doses against anaerobic infection and other livestock afflictions, he said.
"Our vaccine suppliers are Ukraine and Russia. The equipment to diagnose the disease also comes from Ukraine. We failed to get enough vaccines for our planned vaccinations this season," he said.
Vaccine deliveries need to resume as soon as possible to prevent the wider spread of infections in the province and across the country, Tursynbekov warned.
Invasion causes Central Asian hardships
The livestock plague in Kazakhstan is another knock-on effect of Russia's shattering of the fragile peace in the former Soviet space.
Central Asian migrants are streaming home by the thousands after international sanctions post-invasion sent the Russian economy into a tailspin.
Over the course of four months this year, 133,000 migrant workers returned to Uzbekistan from Russia, according to the Uzbek government.
The war in Ukraine and subsequent new sanctions against Russia will lead to a decline in remittance flows, with Kyrgyzstan experiencing a 32% drop, Tajikistan a 22% drop and Uzbekistan a 21% drop this year, the World Bank predicted in a May 11 report.
In addition, Central Asian migrants live in fear of being drafted into the Russian army, which has suffered high casualties in its botched attack on Ukraine.
More and more men who were born in Central Asia and later received Russian citizenship are being asked to report to local conscription offices, Caravanserai reported in April.
"These days it's better for migrants to leave Russia and go home or find work in other countries," Valentina Chupik, an Uzbek-born migrant-rights activist, said at the time. "Living in this country is becoming dangerous."