World News

Kazakhstan: Government aggression, coup d’etat and Russian victory | Ideas

Earlier this month, Kazakhstan hosted a bloody event that marked the richest country in Central Asia in the world. The violence killed more than 220 people, while the destruction of government property and the disruption of the economy would cost $ 3 billion.

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev called the riots “an unprecedented act of violence” and called for help from the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a coalition of six former Soviet republics.

These developments, which came as we begin fourteen years after the breakup of the Soviet Union, will have a profound effect on not only the richest country, but also the post-Soviet Union, as well as Russia and Russia. his alliance with the West.

From gas prices to seizures and protests

Before discussing the impact of the protests in Kazakhstan, it is important to examine the timing of the events, which some have called “changes”.

The unrest began in early January as the government continued to reduce fuel costs, which doubled the price of liquified petroleum gas (LPG). This has angered many, especially in the western part of the country, where 70 to 90 percent of vehicles use gasoline and a large amount of Kazakhstan’s fuel.

The fact that the western region has been largely ignored by the central government, despite its significant contribution to the state budget (oil which is the main source of government revenue in Kazakhstan) only exacerbated the anger. The people living in this area suffer from high levels of poverty and unemployment and are often viewed as second-class citizens and landowners. That is why protests have often taken place there.

For example, on December 16, 2011, the day Kazakhstan gained independence, in the affluent town of Zhanaozen, in the affluent town of Zhanaozen, protesters rallied against the economic crisis and the unpaid taxes for oil workers. More than a dozen people were killed when police launched an all-out attack. In 2018, there were also demonstrations commemorating the genocide and the following year – in contrast to China’s economic growth in Kazakhstan and the work of Chinese workers.

Due to the unrest in the area, the government’s response to the protests in early January appears to have been delayed and ineffective. Tokayev waited for the day to send two government officials to the west, who tried to reassure the people, and promised to bring back the old trees. But by then the public outcry had intensified in Kazakhstan.

On January 4, Tokayev issued a statement saying the government was behind the protest, promising to end the protests and warn Kazakh youths not to “ruin their future”.

But the threatening words in his speech turned out to be wrong. It turned out that Tokayev did not really know the truth in that country, where most 31-year-olds are 31 years old and life has been very low. Most people live in poverty, although the average household income per person is about $ 9,000.

Not surprisingly, Tokayev’s remarks angered the public and urged people to stop worrying about the economy and stay politically neutral. Protesters called for the government to resign, for direct elections to regional governors, and the right to political participation.

In the south, Almaty, the former capital of the Soviet Republic of Kazakhstan and a major economic and political capital, were also in the grip of violence, and news of the first victims of the violence began to surface. Local officials responded by shutting down the internet, but this was wrong because it sent people into the streets to find out what was going on.

As the situation worsened, it became clear that the government was working hard to make quick and effective decisions to address the problem. One of the reasons for this was that Tokayev’s hands were “bound” by the existence of two governing bodies in the country: the house of the first president of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, named “Library” and the house of President Tokayev. , called “Akorda”. This has been the case since Nazarbayev resigned in 2019 and has appointed Tokayev, who has been identified as his puppet, as his successor.

In the early days of the riots, Nazarbayev, nicknamed “El Basy” (tribal leader), never appeared. His press secretary, Aidos Ukibai, confirmed that he was at the headquarters, but did not provide any evidence to substantiate this claim. According to the author’s sources, “El Basy” was a Chinese tourist destination in Hainan, a favorite place to relax and receive medical treatment.

Realizing that this was not possible, on January 5, Tokayev finally took matters into his own hands by ousting the government and claiming power over the Security Council of Kazakhstan, a state body responsible for compliance with national security policies, which was under the leadership of Nazarbayev until then. This means that Tokayev is trying to overthrow the second capital and take control of the country.

On the same day, Tokayev also fired the head of the National Security Committee (KNB), Karim Massimov, a loyal Nazarbayev man and prime minister and prime minister, and his deputy, Samat Aish, a nephew of Nazarbayev. at one time he was considered capable.

This changed completely. Meanwhile, Russian Vladimir Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov described in detail the Kremlin’s views on what is happening in Kazakhstan. He also said his Russian neighbors had not asked for help and hoped that “our Kazakh friends would be able to deal with their internal problems on their own” – which was probably the idea that Moscow wanted to take part.

Just hours after this statement, a call for help did come from Kazakhstan’s capital. Tokayev said the country was plagued by “foreign-trained terrorists” and sought help from the CSTO.

At night, the first fighter jets flew to Kazakhstan, sending in troops from Russia. Later, smaller groups from Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Belarus also arrived.

So what happened on January 5 that caused Tokayev to make a sudden choice?

On that day, the first remnants of a “revolution” were discovered, when the Nazarbayev tribe quickly assembled to prevent Tokayev from seizing power. Well-trained and well-trained fighters in the face of adversity managed to control the KNB building, the presidential palace, and the airport in Almaty. For many Kazakhs, it was obvious who caused this. Tokayev himself said this when he accused the KNB of ignoring the “grave threat” and allowing their offices to be raided without a fight.

The explosion of government agencies and infrastructure gave Tokayev an opportunity to highlight what was happening in the country such as interfering with foreign violence and using it as an excuse to demand CSTO intervention.

The deployment of CSTO troops effectively ended the seizure of the government. He was able to control the Almaty airport and restore order in the city with ease. Nazarbayev’s family and family faced a dilemma and Tokayev freed himself from political turmoil that was holding him back and preventing him from pursuing economic and political change. But that did not overthrow Nazarbayev’s absolute.

Kazakh alliance is Russia’s success

On January 14, the KNB released a statement stating that Nazarbayev’s nephew Abisha had retained his position. Meanwhile, Massimov, his former boss, is under arrest and charged with sedition. The indictment of Massimov, a loyal Nazarbayev man, but not a member of his own family, indicates that a compromise has been reached.

This means that a decision has been taken not to insult Nazarbayev as a symbol of Kazakhstan’s independence and a key figure in the Soviet Union. El Basy should remain a mythical figure, as his ouster could provoke tensions within the Kazakh community and could even spark unrest. Further lessons can be gleaned from Kazakhstan from the idea of ​​Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev to abruptly abolish Stalin’s personality after his death, sparking unrest in some parts of the USSR and causing great emotional pain to many in the Soviet Union.

After securing some kind of alliance with Nazarbayev and strengthening his power, Tokayev was quick to announce the end of CSTO’s work. On January 11, he said the military had begun evacuating. This announcement demonstrates the president’s understanding that the temporary presence of foreign troops could upset people, which could see them as heirs. And this is something that Tokayev will not be at risk, because now more than ever, he has to win more people and strengthen his credibility.

Despite the immediate end of the CSTO operation, its leader, Putin Russia, emerges as the main beneficiary of the process. The Kremlin declared victory, after strengthening its position in Soviet territory and gaining the loyalty of the Kazakh government and respecting the interests of Russia and the interests of the majority of the Russian people in the country.

It also pointed out that the CSTO is not just a paper work and can play a major role in the politics of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. This especially helps Moscow to demonstrate its strength and resilience in defending its red lines in Soviet territory after its talks with the US and NATO.

But what is happening in Kazakhstan is also disrupting Russia’s politics, with 69-year-old Putin facing power crisis. The uprisings in the eastern part of the country have clearly shown that any change in power would put the government and its benefactors at risk. This could be another reason for Putin to consider staying healthy for the rest of his life or as long as he has physical and mental strength.

In other words, Kazakhstan 2022 may have unknowingly predestined the outcome of Russia 2024.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Al Jazeera.

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button