Although in many ways unexpected, the arrival of indepen­ dence in Kazakstan in December 1991 was nevertheless greeted with a great deal of euphoria. Kazakstan was the last republic to secede from the Soviet Union, and actually did so after the Union had effectively been dissolved. In other words, after the Ukraine, Belarus and Russia had formed the CIS in December 1991. Although there had been a rise in national sentiment throughout the 1980s, there was no existing independence movement in Kazakstan. The revival of interest in nomadic life among the Kazaks had little to do with any desire for independence. It was more a wish to see Kazak culture included within official Soviet accounts of their history. Kazak scholars, for example, sought to establish the idea that nomadism had made a significant contribution to world civilisation. They argued, among other things, that nomads revealed all the main religious beliefs to the world.