President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev once again appealed to the people of his country and said that “the law enforcement agencies and the army have been ordered to open fire to kill without warning.” All this speaks of the extremely desperate situation of the official authorities and their firm readiness to take the most radical measures.
The reports from the unrestrained country are reminiscent of the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011. Then in the former “Arab France” (as the SAR was then called), no one believed that in a matter of months a relatively prosperous state would turn into ruins. Too much in common: here and there clans that have the strongest influence on their fanatical youth entered the struggle.
The impression is that in Kazakhstan, as it once was in Syria, there is a formation of military groups and / or the “awakening” of sleeping cells of terrorist organizations, which have decided to take advantage of spontaneous social protests.
In particular, on January 7, the Situation Center of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kazakhstan reported: “At the pre-trial detention center in the city of Taldykorgan, an attempt was made to attack. An attack by terrorists dressed in camouflage uniforms was prevented. During the special operation, law enforcement officers destroyed one attacker, the second was wounded. There were 20 attackers in total ”.
A little earlier, on the website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kazakhstan, information appeared: “10 units of smooth-bore weapons were intercepted by law enforcement officers in Kordai. Subaru was detained without license plates. Four people were taken to the police. Two more cars with 26 new cell phones were detained ”.
Foreign media, referring to the KazTAG news agency (according to some information, the site kaztag.kz, like orda.kz, is blocked), write about certain groups of armed people who allegedly seized a television tower on a hill overlooking Almaty on January 6. Perhaps these were the very Protestants (more precisely, the rebels) who stormed the city hall on the night of January 4-5 and set fires everywhere.
The measures taken by the authorities are yielding first results, but it is too early to talk about stabilization. According to the information that breaks through the social network, it can be understood that on January 7, Almaty was relatively calm (although everything may change), only rare automatic fires are heard. At the same time, it is reported that “the militants are retreating in an organized manner to the Almaty region.”
On page Orda. kz on Facebook, there is a post that most of the protesters in Aktau dispersed. People allegedly even dismantled all the tents and cleaned up the trash after themselves. Nevertheless, some activists demand “not to disperse” and again gathered a crowd of 700 people ready to continue the struggle.
Local authorities insist that the protests, which turned into bloodshed, are full confirmation of Tokayev’s words that the current unrest is associated with terrorist and criminal groups, which may be helped by foreigners.
Here you can recall the ISIS propaganda video * demonstrating indoctrination and training in AK-74 shooting for Kazakh children aged ten years. As a reminder, in 2014, a video entitled “Race to Good” was prepared by the main media division of the terrorist group Al-Hayat Media Center **.
In that video, the voice explained, “Meet some of our new brothers from Kazakhstan. They responded to the aggression of the crusaders with their hijra. ” Then one of the adult militants commented: “They are preparing to fight against kafirs (non-believers) and mushriks (polytheists).” Now those children are twenty years old …
Few people know that the first president of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbaev at one time made a decision on the return from Syria and Iraq of Kazakhs associated with ISIS. This policy continued under Tokayev. The children of ISIS fighters were given Kazakh birth certificates and Kazakh names, and women detained for having links with the fighters were given clean passports and documents to reduce social stigma and facilitate their integration into society.
It looks like it didn’t work out very well. Actually, therefore, no one can give a more or less intelligible explanation of what actually happened. After all, from the very beginning, nothing reminded of the classical scheme of regime change. From 2 to 4 January, the protests were an amorphous state of incipient chaos, in which Kazakh institutions of power did not want to believe in any way. It was also clear that there was no political opposition, if only because civil society did not have independent channels for expression.
On the one hand, the experts spoke of an overflowing cup of patience, on the other, about the clans that declared war on “Shal” (Old Man) Nazarbayev, to whom the crowd chanted “ket” (go away). But even a no brainer: such spontaneous protests cannot arise simultaneously in a territorially vast country practically overnight and develop into bloody civil strife.
It is believed that the riots both quickly arose and will quickly go out. But there is one but. Moscow has introduced electronic warfare and unmanned aircraft units to Kazakhstan, as well as tracked and wheeled light armored vehicles, which have proven themselves well in Syria. Perhaps this is the case when it is more correct to overdo it than not to overdo it. Nevertheless, it can be assumed that the Russian special services know more than is officially reported.
In Kazakhstan, for example, together with the peacekeepers, mobile platforms RB-341 V “Leer-3” were lit up, with the help of which enemy mobile phones, tablets and other communication systems were detected for the subsequent application of a fire strike at these coordinates. The complex includes a pair of Orlan-10 UAVs capable of carrying small jammers.
In general, military equipment delivered to Kazakhstan as part of a peacekeeping operation is most likely designed to combat armed groups like those that have shown themselves in Syria, rather than to enforce order on ill-prepared spontaneous detachments of young animals armed with smooth-bore and captured weapons.
Taking into account the fact that the mobile Internet is already jammed by operators, the electronic warfare “Leer-3”, most likely, is preventively designed to suppress radiotelephones, which are liked by the militants of already established groups with experience in subversive or insurrectionary warfare.
If you look at the preliminary figures of the losses of law enforcement officers, which were reported by the state channel “Khabar 24”, it is obvious that the authorities were not stormed by newcomers who had just taken up arms. 12 killed and more than 350 wounded special forces are a serious bid to make another Syria or even Libya from Kazakhstan.
Attention is drawn to the reaction of the White House, which can be called rather neutral, albeit with shades of traditional Russophobia. “We are closely following reports that the Collective Security Treaty Organization has sent its collective peacekeeping forces to Kazakhstan,” a White House spokeswoman said at a briefing. Jen Psaki… “We have questions about the nature of this request and whether it was a legitimate invitation or not. We don’t know that at the moment. “
In the US, they obviously don’t know how to react. If it were only about civil disobedience, which is being dealt with by the authorities, and even with the help of Russia, it’s scary to even imagine what a cry would be overseas. With a certain degree of confidence, we can say that the Yankees are aware of the jihadist threat that looms over Kazakhstan.
* “Islamic State” (IS, ISIS) by the decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation of December 29, 2014 was recognized as a terrorist organization, its activities on the territory of Russia are prohibited.
** “Al-Hayat Media Center” is a subdivision of the “Islamic State” banned in Russia