The battle of Ukraine will have to wait

It’s funny to read people on twitter saying that Kazakhstan proves you can chase out a government through protests. Cause the President is calling in reinforcements!

While the protests in Kazakhstan erupted suddenly over rising prices (didn’t they read the news regarding Chile in 2019) the president has so far decided to confront the issue head on. Declared a state of emergency throughout the whole country.

The protests might topple his regime, but then again, we suspected the same thing for Lukashenko last year.

This time what’s more serious though is that a state of emergency has been declared throughout the whole nation and the president has asked Russia for help and Russia will be providing it, neither of which Lukashenko ended up finding necessary. Kyrgysztan has offered to join the fight as well. These guys are quick.

Neo-cold warriors are likely making Warsaw Pact comparisons as we speak.

It has already been noted that the protests are primarily aimed at former president Nursultan Nazarbayev, who was president from the collapse of the Soviet Union till 2019, and who has continued to wield power behind the scenes after he stepped down in what at first seemed like a smart controlled succession.

He’s been removed from his position as head of the Security Council already. With the resignation/firing of the government President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev is set to become the undisputed leader in his own right… if he overcomes this struggle.

Ironically all this might dissuade Putin or perhaps Lukashenko from retiring in favour of a replacement

But the protesters are after Nazarbayev’s legacy and they’re not likely to stop. They got their reduced fuel prices, the government’s resignation and the ex-president gone. Where is he right now anyways?

They also want a return to the constitution of Kazakhstan from 1993 instead of the 1995 one. I am trying to read translations of both right now, but I’ll say immediately that I don’t see how the 1993 one would fit a progressive liberal pro-Western regime.

The Collective Security Treaty Organization will get its first real battle. So WWIII in the Ukraine will have to wait, I guess. Or maybe it will come sooner now.

The protests appear to be spontanious. The EU and USA have remained rather muted in their responses. So what is going on? Kazakhstan has been a relatively stable dictatorship for years, recently enacted some moderate reforms and its economy is doing better than the other stan countries. This surprised everyone!

Ramon Giralt

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