Kazakh explosion: a multi-layered pie of interests

MOSCOW, 12 Jan 2022, RUSSTRAT Institute.

Any attempts to analyse the situation in Kazakhstan in the spirit of “colour revolution”, “palace coup”, “external aggression” and so on, run into contradictions and a statement of the fact that “it doesn’t happen that way”. Because the main feature of the Kazakh process (which experts now are not writing about) is its multi-layered structure.

The fact is that the processes that took place in Kazakhstan are considered by most commentators as a linear one-act process, but it is not. In Kazakhstan, in the first decade of the new year, not one, but five related processes took place at once.

1. A typical “colour revolution” started at the point of origin of the protests in the city of Aktau with foreign participation and, apparently, foreign initiation (more on this in the following posts). It is precisely there that the process went according to the scenario of “colour revolutions”. In other cities of Kazakhstan, this process was quickly erased into the background by other parallel processes.

2. An attempt of a “street coup” organised by the fugitive oligarch Mukhtar Ablyazov, who even during certain time assumed the role of a “protest leader” broadcasting from a studio in Kiev. It was precisely his people who gathered gangs in Alma-Ata and a number of other cities, paid for participation in riots, distributed “cheerfulness pills” – captagon. This process started when, literally on the second day of the protest in Aktau, the authorities made concessions – returning back gas prices and dismissing Prime Minister Askar Mamin.

3. An armed coup with external participation. Parallel to the first and second processes in Kazakhstan, an attempt of an external armed overthrow of the government without the use of “colour revolution” technologies by gang groups, including militants of the “Islamic State” from Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, was also manifested. It was precisely these individuals who transferred the process from the mode of street riots to the mode of armed attack. It was they who tried to seize the Alma-Ata airport, the television centre and acted according to the scenario of an armed assault. 

4. The “Palace Coup” by Karim Masimov. The head of state security, apparently, having full information about what is happening (and who else would have it, if not state security?), realised that the government is not able to stop Ablyazov’s rebels, insurgents and ISIS members.

In this case, Masimov, who, with any outcome of political castling between Tokayev and Nazarbayev’s “clan”, will still not get the presidential chair in any way. In this case, the “assault” of the state security building in Alma-Ata, which could have been defended for weeks, was literally “handed over” in minutes together with an armoury.

As a result, Masimov had armed detachments ready to advance on the capital and take power. After that, apparently, there would have been a tough sweep of all other processes and a conversation with other states about recognising the “transitional” dictatorship of Masimov, which the neighbours would have had to put up with, as the only force capable of restoring order.

5. Street riot with chaos. When information appeared that there were no law enforcement officers on the streets of Alma-Ata and other cities of Kazakhstan, the process of looting by marauders sharply escalated. As a rule, these are lumpenised residents of the suburbs, which were joined by fair share of neighbours from Kyrgyzstan, who are already accustomed to profiting from the new coups, of which there were a lot there. It was precisely they who introduced a stream of unrestrained robbery into what was happening, which killed all the “romanticisation” of protest activity and became the background for attempted coups.

Typical “colour revolution”: Kazakh version

I have already mentioned above five overlapping processes that marked the current events in Kazakhstan. And the first thing that started the events was the rallies in the Mangustau region.

On January 2, 2022, crowds came out on the square in front of administrative buildings in the cities of Aktau and Atyrau, demanding to cancel the increase in the price of liquefied gas. Initially, it resembled an ordinary rally, but soon turned into a typical process of a “colour revolution”.

Yes. The two-fold increase in gas prices took place and was negatively received by society. As the examination will show later, there was a price collusion. Although, to be fair, even after the increase, the price of gas did not reach the Russian price.

A significant proportion of the rally participants consisted of people in black and red jackets uniform.These are shift workers of companies producing oil and gas at local fields (Zhetybai, Ayrantakyr, etc.), developed on the basis of a production-sharing agreement. According to this agreement, foreign companies, primarily American Chevron and ExxonMobile, have the lion’s share in the enterprises. Oil and gas workers made up about a third of the total number of protesters in Aktau and Atyrau.

And they appeared from deposits, some of which are located 250 kilometres from the cities of activity. They got there in less than a day, allegedly on foot, since the regional buses did not run.

We hardly believe that oil and gas workers would go to an illegal rally. Imagine a rally in Salekhard, Surgut, Nizhnevartovsk or Khanty-Mansiysk with employees of Gazprom, Surgutneftegaz or Lukoil, and that the company’s management is against it, as well as the production process cannot be stopped. Can you imagine? To be honest, I can’t. Under the threat of dismissal, it is unlikely that anyone will go on strike because of the penny gas price.

Especially that they could get to the place of rallies on the bare steppe, there is no way to do it on foot (otherwise a significant part of them would have already been in local hospitals after a multi-kilometre march on the steppe in winter on foot). They could only get there by corporate buses.

And this gives reason to assume that they were either provided with transport at will or simply collected and brought to the square by the management of enterprises. This means that the rally is at least not spontaneous, but quite calculated.

Second. Almost immediately, well-known information structures joined the coverage of the rally. The Kazakh office of Radio Liberty, the infamous Belarusian (broadcasting from Poland) NEXTA network resource and a number of others. Again spontaneously? Unlikely.

And then the rally was conducted exactly the same way as they are conducted during the “colour revolutions”, with songs, self-organisation, bonfires, the installation of a tent, which was replaced by a yurt according to local tradition, cooking (allegedly for fees from people protesting against the prices of liquefied gas), water transportation, the creation of the council of elders.

And then the further it goes, the better it gets. Local police officers were brought to the square, where they repented for “cooperation with the regime”, flying teams of protesters like “Automaidan” cut off the road and blocked cars with police and the National Guard, the employees themselves were seized and taken to the square. On the square itself there was a picture of universal peace and unity against the “thieving government”.

But then everything went wrong. The traditional scheme with peaceful protesters and aggressive authorities failed. On the second day of the protest, President Tokayev ordered gas prices to be frozen at the previous level and dismissed Mamin’s government. The demands were met and the grounds for the rally were no longer there. But the rally did not disperse, but put forward new demands, which were already completely political, not economic.

Apparently, the plans of the foreign organisers of the protest (taking into account those firms from which the gas and oil workers were brought) were not to reduce the price of gas, but to overthrow the authorities of Kazakhstan. Moreover, all of them and exit from the EAEU. And for this, after Aktau and Atyrau, similar rallies were to begin everywhere. And they started literally on the second day of the protest. Almost everywhere. But it was silenced. The bloody revolt of Ablyazov and armed attacks and looting. The scenario collapsed.

Institute for International Political and Economic Strategies – RUSSTRAT

Share:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on pinterest
Pinterest
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
On Key

Related Posts

On AIR

Russtrat world

Russia passes the point of no return

MOSCOW, 24 Jan 2022, RUSSTRAT Institute. After a series of January meetings between Russian diplomats and representatives of the United States, NATO and the OSCE,