Consequences of “multi-vectorness”: about the riots in Kazakhstan

MOSCOW, 08 Jan 2022, RUSSTRAT Institute.

Of course, there is inter-clan competition and unresolved economic problems in Kazakhstan.

At the same time, the incredible aggressiveness of the rioters, the high level of their organisation and training, the focus on the rapid capture of strategic objects and cruelty towards captured law enforcement officers clearly prove the obvious presence of an external terrorist factor.

It should not be surprising if it turns out that among the leaders of the riots were militants from terrorist organisations operating in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

The events in Alma-Ata are more similar not to the “colour revolutions” in Eastern Europe, but to the terrible episodes of the so-called Arab Spring – the events in Syria, where the British “knights of the cloak and dagger” and the Turkish builders of the “Great Turan” and “Ottoman Empire 2.0” were noted.

Their efforts lay on fertile socio-economic ground created by the mass impoverishment of the population, progressive economic stratification, and the lack of life prospects for young people. It is on this basis that further conclusions should be drawn about the events in Kazakhstan. Spontaneous manifestations of popular indignation, of course, took place, but the riot in Alma-Ata was definitely not a “spontaneous protest”.

The uncompromising and quick response of the CSTO to the appeal of President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev allowed the situation to temporarily stabilise. However, the problems facing Kazakhstan cannot be solved exclusively and only by force.

The country needs urgent socio-economic transformations that demonstrate that the authorities are ready to take real steps towards a more equitable distribution of national wealth, improving the socio-economic situation.

It is also necessary to urgently launch a process of national dialogue with the participation of authoritative representatives of all regional and ethnic groups.

It is also obvious that one of the reasons for what happened was the notorious “multi-vectorness” of the Kazakh authorities, attempts to sit on several chairs at once, including American, British, Turkish ones.

As a result, Kazakhstan has become a territory where openly subversive NGOs feel like a fish in water, and according to their manuals, as a rule, “peaceful protesters” work. This influence must be stopped, otherwise the riots of January 5 may happen again at any time and anywhere in the country. Therefore, attempts to build a branch of the Great Turan in Kazakhstan, cultivate nationalism and national superiority should be resolutely suppressed.

The events of recent days have shown that the ideology of Pan-Turkism can lead to a split of the country into several parts, to a slide into chaos. The leadership of Kazakhstan should reconsider such actions as the impending rejection of the Cyrillic alphabet, the reduction in the number of Russian schools, the continuing squeezing out of Russians from the authorities – including in those regions where they make up a good half of the total population.

The authorities should send a clear signal to the elites and the whole nation: the future of the country is in the Eurasian Union, in preserving all the best that cooperation with the Russian Federation gives. There is no other way for Kazakhstan as a sovereign state.


Elena Panina, Director of the RUSSTRAT Institute

Institute for International Political and Economic Strategies – RUSSTRAT


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