The frequency-dependent attenuation of regional seismic phases recorded by three stations near the nuclear explosion test site in eastern Kazakhstan is estimated by inverting spectra from 21 events with magnitudes between 2.3 and 4.6 at distances between 200 and 1300 km. The Pn spectra are inverted between 1 and 10 Hz, and the Lg spectra are inverted between 0.5 and 2.5 Hz. The motivation for this study is that previous estimates of detection capability in the Soviet Union are based on data recorded in other regions (eastern North America and Scandinavia) and therefore have large uncertainty. The data recently recorded in eastern Kazakhstan provide an excellent opportunity to compare regional wave propagation and noise characteristics at these sites to conditions assumed in previous detection capability simulations. It is found that attenuation in eastern Kazakhstan is not much different from attenuation in Scandinavia, but it is greater than attenuation in eastern North America. This implies that estimates of detection thresholds that assume attenuation like that observed in eastern North America will be lower than estimates of detection thresholds that assume attenuation like that observed in eastern Kazakhstan or Scandinavia. However, it is not known how well data recorded in eastern Kazakhstan represent conditions in other areas of the Soviet Union.