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Kazakhstan uprising and Rolling Stones’ stories (E419)

Kazakhstan was a name neither on the lips or even on the radar of most in the West – that is, until just over a week ago. Given it shares a 1,700km border with Russia, and its neighbor on the other side is China, you can see just what attracted certain powers to take an interest in the vast, landlocked nation. A giant country with a tiny population, it’s mineral rich, abounding in both oil and gas. It’s not the first time there’s been an uprising in Kazakhstan, however, although last time, Tony Blair was hired to help the regime spin its way out of it. Now the tables have turned and the tectonic plates have shifted. We invited Bryan McDonald, a journalist based in Moscow, to help make sense of it all.

She’s survived being marooned on an island with adventurer Bear Grylls, but probably more remarkably, she survived a long and eventful rock’n’roll marriage to a Rolling Stone. Jo Wood was fast-living guitarist Ronnie’s wife from the 1970s until about a decade ago – a story she documents in her memoir, ‘Stoned’. It’s full of photographs and memories of a life on the road, offering a behind-the-scenes look at a legendary rock band on tour. She now lives a far quieter life and joined Sputnik to tell us more.