Saniya Sagnaeva is a social anthropologist with a great deal of field experience in Kazakstan, where she has studied Kazaks and Cossacks, and has participated in a major research program supported by USAID on the impact
of the transition on rural society and economy. She received her degree of "Candidate of History" from the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow. Saniya Sagnaeva has authored a book and about a dozen articles on Kazaks and Cossacks (including particularly ethnic relations and
conflicts). She is a native speaker of Kazak and Russian, and can communicate freely with Kyrgyz speakers. Before joining ICG in October 2000, she was based at the Institute Anthropology and Ethnology in Moscow, from which she is due to receive her doctoral degree.