MOSCOW, 14 Jan 2022, RUSSTRAT Institute.
The events of January 2-10, 2022 that took place in Kazakhstan have a prehistory, a sequence different from those presented by the media and most analysts. Mukhtar Ablyazov, a fugitive Kazakh oligarch who is in France, is said to be the organiser of the events.
Concurrently, Ablyazov is the main DVK (Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan) with headquarters in Kiev. Rallies and protests before the events described were organised by the DVK for almost every landmark event in Kazakhstan, were exclusively peaceful in nature, were few in number.
The beginning of the events is January 2, 2022, when, due to the almost twofold increase in gas prices by the government of Kazakhstan, oil and gas industry workers in Aktau and Zhanaozen of the Mangystau region came out to protest. The protests were peaceful in nature, were quite few (from 50 to 150 people) demanding to reduce the price of gas.
For reference: in December 2011 in Zhanaozen there were already social protest actions of employees of subsidiaries of the state oil and gas company “KazMunayGas” (“Karazhanbasmunai” and “Ozenmunaygas”) in the Mangystau region in the south-west of Kazakhstan. The events resulted in major riots with 15 dead, hundreds injured and arrested. A significant part of the oil industry, located precisely in the west of Kazakhstan, is controlled by N. Nazarbayev’s son-in-law, Timur Kulibayev.
The protests continued with the same characteristics until January 4, 2022. Informational support was provided only on the personal Facebook pages of Ablyazov and DVK. The protesters did not put forward political demands, slogans to overthrow the government were not voiced. The opposition channels, most of them stationed on the territory of Ukraine – “16/12”, “Basse”, “Nexta live” (Poland), “NC” did not support the protesters either.
On the evening of January 4, 2022, information about the support of protests and the exit of protesters in other cities of Kazakhstan began to appear in an avalanche on the Telegram channel of the DVK. The protests against the increase in gas prices were joined by: Uralsk, Atyrau, Aktobe, Taraz, Shymkent, Kostanay, Nur-Sultan (the capital of Kazakhstan), Petropavlovsk, Pavlodar, Semey, Ust-Kamenogorsk, Karaganda, Almaty.
In the “northern” cities, the rallies were peaceful in nature – after going to the square by 10-11 o’clock in the evening, people dispersed. They remained only in Zhanaozen, Aktau, Taraz, Shymkent and Almaty, where sympathisers began to bring food to the protesters. Recommendations for long-term arrangement of speakers on the ground (blankets, tents, etc.) appeared on the DVK Telegram channel, the “BASE” YouTube channel. First, a call was made to hold all events exclusively peacefully, not to enter into conflicts with law enforcement bodies.
On Facebook, on the pages of the unregistered party “El Tiregi”, Nurzhan Altayev, Murat Mukhamedzhanov, there were messages of support for the protesters. Similar messages were seen on the pages of retired high-ranking military men declaring anti-Russian sentiments – Mukhtar Serkpaev, Murat Nugmanov.
For reference: Nurzhan Altayev, leader of “El Tiregi”, the party created with the support of T. Kulibayev. Murat Mukhamedzhanov, Altayev’s associate, is the chairman of the Union of Veterans of the Events on the Tajik-Afghan Border, a reserve colonel who served in the combat training department of the Ministry of Defence of Kazakhstan. They actively interact with other oppositionists located outside Kazakhstan also in Ukraine: Ermek Narymbay, Kuat Akhmetov (organiser of “language patrols”).
It was at exactly this moment that something happened that remains “behind the scenes” for now, but this was the trigger for further events.
The President of the country K. Zh. Tokayev draws attention to the events. Through a speech, he addresses the protesters with a promise to “understand the situation and solve problematic issues”.
On the morning of January 5, 2022, Tokayev signs a decree on the resignation of the government of Kazakhstan. The protesters remain in place.
On the Telegram channel of the DVK, groups are coordinated to join the protesters. “2gis” is actively used to determine the relative location. The gathering place was assigned to the squares of akimats (mayors) of cities.
The first political demands of the “citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan” appear, duplicated on the Telegram of the DVK, the channels “BASE”, “16/12” about the resignation of the government, the slogan “Shal Ket” (“Old man go away”, refers to N.Nazarbayev). It also indicates withdrawal from the Eurasian Union, polygamy, and the release of political prisoners. Turkish opposition and official media continue to remain silent.
Instructions for nonviolent resistance are distributed via messengers. The authorship belongs to the famous Russian oppositionist Malyshev V.V.
In the information field, the movements “Oyan Kazakstan!” (“Wake up, Kazakhstan!”), “No waste collection” (presumably created under the patronage of the Soros Foundation-Kazakhstan) are “attached”. Their followers join the protesters.
Organised groups of young people appear among the protesters and call for the seizure of government buildings and institutions. Gun shops are being deliberately looted. Along the way, small businesses (grocery stores, etc.) are looted by looting entities. In Alma-Ata itself, the passivity of the police and intelligence agencies is noted on the streets.
For reference: According to the available information, the National Security Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan staff received an order not to interfere in the events, not to hinder the protesters. Presumably, the command came from N. Nazarbayev’s nephew Samat Abish, the first deputy chairman of the National Security Committee of the Republic. Along the way, criminal elements appear on the streets, including the “right hand” of another tribesman of N. Nazarbayev, Kairat Satybaldy (Major General of the National Security Committee in reserve), Rashid Mahat, as well as Dikhiy Arman (Dzhumageldinov), seen in close ties with Turkish crime.
Since about 2015, Kairat Satybaldy has shown himself to be a radical Islamist, sponsoring relevant groups and events. Also, during the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, the National Security Committee was closely engaged in the rehabilitation of ethnic Kazakhs who took part in hostilities in Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, and the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Okrug. Samat Abish supervised this issue. Militant thugs arrived both from the areas adjacent to Alma-Ata and from the territory of neighbouring states.
Militant groups of protesters are seizing the buildings of akimats (mayors) of Almaty, Aktobe, the Department of the National Security Committee (regional administration) in the Almaty region with accompanying arsenals of weapons. Along the way, the offices of TV companies and the airport of Almaty were seized.
There are attacks on employees of the fire service, the police, the ambulance, the military are captured, moving forward to make a cordon, some of them, as well as riot police officers, are adjacent to the protests. The DVK’s Telegram channel repeatedly says that they do not take part in these actions and condemn those who committed them.
President Tokayev addresses the people with words about external aggression and the need for tough opposition from the state. They are informed that he becomes the head of the Security Council of the Republic.
After a while, information appears about Tokayev’s appeal to the CSTO secretariat for help in restoring order. The Internet is “extinguished” throughout the republic with the introduction of the republican emergency. There is information about the removal of Karim Massimov and Samat Abish from their posts. Surnames of replacements are voiced (instead of Masimov – Sagimbayev, instead of Abisha – Murat Nurtleu).
Active support from the protesters from the opposition channels on YouTube, Telegram, Facebook is noticeable.
For the first time, publications “On the fall of the regime in Kazakhstan on the eve of the US-Russia meeting” appear in the Turkish opposition media. It should be assumed that this is how Turkey talks about external interference in what is happening in Kazakhstan and its own non-involvement in this.
On January 6, 2022, the press service of the National Security Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan announced the initiation of a criminal case against Karim Masimov under the article “state treason”, as well as a refutation of the detention (not dismissal) of Samat Abish. There is information that T. Kulibayev, N. Nazarbayev’s daughters, Kenes Rakishev and a number of oligarchs left the country by plane. They are named as the UAE, Britain, China, Kyrgyzstan.
For reference: Alma-Ata could have been chosen for the following reasons: it was here that the events of 1986 with mass demonstrations of Kazakhs took place, that is, this is a “landmark place”. Alma-Ata itself has a very large number of pro-Turkish religious and secular educational institutions. The geography of Almaty allows a significant number of militants to “get through” the mountains and hide there. There are a lot of settlements with radicalised and marginal youth around.
On January 6, 2022, the first CSTO units from Russia arrive in Kazakhstan. Kyrgyzstan is clearly in no hurry to send its peacekeepers (the “Scorpion” brigade, although they are on the way, the parliament (Zhogargy Kenesh) did not give the appropriate permission), there are many messages on Telegram channels that the “fraternal Kyrgyz people” support the protesting Kazakhs, but will not help the invaders.
There are calls to Bashkiria and Tatarstan (“BASE”, DVK) to support the protesters on the web. There are also pictures of “Ivan go home, there is no vodka here”, calls to resist the aggression of Russia (Facebook, Telegram).
There is an attack on the pre-trial detention center in Taldykorgan, Taraz. In Alma-Ata itself, protesters are obstructing the work of two city hospitals.
Two deputy heads of the National Security Committee of the Republic were dismissed – Colonels M. S. Osipov and D. E. Ergozhin.
On January 10, 2022, the following were found dead: the head of the Technical Department of the National Security Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Colonel Azamat Ibrayev (Nur-Sultan, in the courtyard of the house), the head of the Department of Internal Affairs of the Zhambyl region (adjacent to Alma-Ata), Major General Zhanat Seleimenov (committed suicide), the head of the Department of Internal Affairs of the Turksib district of Almaty, Colonel Tanat Nazanov (heart attack).
Note: If the former could have known (by wiretapping) about the collusion in the intelligence agencies, including the involvement of Abish and Satybalda, then other high-ranking policemen could have been involved in organising the passivity of the police.
It is possible that when a trigger appears (an unknown event, which we talked about above) Kulibayev, Abish, Satybaldy, together with Masimov, decided to oust Tokayev, showing his helplessness in resisting unrest, flooding chaos. At the same time, both Abish and the “provisional council” could take Tokayev’s place.
There is also a motive for Masimov, he himself could not apply for the post of president (although he has extremely significant political weight, twice prime minister, head of the presidential administration, head of the National Security Committee) because of ethnicity (Uighur) and lack of blood ties with the family of N. Nazarbayev. Therefore, he could count on governing the country through henchmen.
N. Nazarbayev himself, most likely, either did not know about the planning of the operation and did not control its course, or he planned the “second Foros” himself. According to various sources, he allegedly left the country. However, there is no reliable data confirming or refuting this. It is also still unknown whether Nazarbayev himself is alive. Information about him comes only from his press secretary.
What will happen
Further arrests and “deaths” of security forces, as well as major political and economic figures. Perhaps the “death” of K. Masimov, in order to avoid making public the connection between Nazarbayev’s nephews and the coup attempt. Reorientation (temporary) Kazakhstan in favour of Russia.
Turkey, Britain, and the United States, which have “joined in”, will try to ignite a guerrilla war against the peacekeeping contingent on the territory of Kazakhstan. For these purposes, propaganda, religious and economic levers, Turkish-controlled militants located both in neighbouring states and on the territory of Syria will be used. Something like the “second Donbass”.
In these conditions, Russia must consistently increase the advantages that were obtained as a result of the assistance of the CSTO forces to President Tokayev to prevent external interference, accompanied by a conspiracy of security forces, the result of which could only be the collapse of the country and the destruction of the statehood of Kazakhstan.