On Wednesday, January 13, a phased withdrawal of CSTO troops from Kazakhstan is to begin, which will take 10 days. This, speaking before the deputies of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan, said the President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev… The President of Kazakhstan noted that “the main mission of the CSTO peacekeeping forces has been successfully completed” and therefore they will be replaced by reinforced units of the National Guard.
According to the commander of the CSTO forces Andrey Serdyukov, now, together with the Ministry of Defense of Kazakhstan, a plan is being worked out to transfer objects taken under protection by the military to republican law enforcement agencies. After that, the peacekeepers will be taken out of the Republic of Kazakhstan by transports of the Russian Aerospace Forces.
On January 12, Tokayev arrived in Alma-Ata, where he held a meeting of the operational headquarters. The president’s visit to the city most affected by the unrest is likely to demonstrate that Moscow’s services are no longer needed. Is Russia in a hurry to leave Kazakhstan? Will Tokayev hold on to power or will attempts at coups and revolutions become the norm there, as in Kyrgyzstan?
– There was no need to go there, to Kazakhstan, as naked in a bathhouse, to fly, – says Head of the Center for the Study of Public Applied Problems of National Security, retired Colonel Alexander Zhilin… – Look, China operates without any fuss at all. I did not introduce troops, but I won. Now their diplomacy is working closely with Kazakhstan, there are corresponding programs.
“SP”: – Kazakhstan is a traditional zone of influence of Russia. Chaos there would have hit our country, which has a cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, a military training ground and millions of compatriots much stronger than China. So we had to help out …
– Okay, our military entered Kazakhstan, as in their time in Syria, from where we still cannot get out. But it turns out that we have completed the “dirtiest” part of the stabilization work, have taken risks, and suddenly we are told, they say, now get out of here. It seems like we are uninvited guests. Wait guys. What is this approach? Are we call boys?
And who is Tokayev today to allow this kind of thing? Russia defended him, in fact, from the outraged people. I hope it is already clear that the 20 thousand “terrorists” in Alma-Ata, about whom he spoke, is an exaggeration. This is more than a Russian motorized rifle division. For them, toilets alone had to be delivered several hundred.
Tokayev has all the characteristics of a nationalist. It was under him that language patrols appeared in Kazakhstan, which control that they do not speak Russian. Nevertheless, we protected him for some reason. But now, when our guys are already there, it is necessary to resolve issues related to Russian interests. Meanwhile, Russia is picking it up and promising to leave. It’s a shame.
Of course, in order to bring in troops, you need a formal invitation from the local authorities. But the withdrawal of troops is the moment when counter conditions are put forward. Yes, we will leave, but what will happen to Baikonur? What will happen to the Russian border with Kazakhstan, which is poorly protected for thousands of kilometers? Tomorrow the Afghan audience will come to us and it is clear that Tokayev will not be able to restrain them.
We are not aggressors. But let’s resolve the issue with our bases in Kazakhstan. In the Baikonur region, the base is needed like air. In the areas of the border with Russia too. But none of this is … It is noticeable that Erdogan through the channels of diplomacy and special services, Tokayev is already strangling with might and main. Tokayev rushes about.
“SP”: – How do you assess the military part of the operation?
– The military worked fine. The reconnaissance worked perfectly, the paratroopers were prepared in advance, brilliantly deployed – no one even expected this. But then … The political component is without a rudder and sails. One gets the impression that no one is involved in strategic planning in Russia at all. We’ll get out of there, and it will be humiliating. This is not done.
In the opinion Head of the Department of Central Asia and Kazakhstan of the Institute of CIS Countries, Chief Researcher of the Institute Oriental Studies RAS Andrei Grozin, the authorities of Kazakhstan can stop the risks of endless coups only with powerful social support of the population.
– I believe that in Kazakhstan we saw an attempt not to a classical “color revolution”, when the government is changed with the support of external forces, as, for example, in Georgia, but with an attempt to Ukrainize, to Kyrgyzize this country, to turn Kazakhstan into a semi-wild field that will generate problems for all its neighbors: for the Russians, and for the Chinese, and for the Uzbeks, and for the Kirghiz.
A permanent zone of instability was needed. Therefore, the blow was struck at the largest metropolis. They wanted to launch “Syrian” processes, when instability, if it is not stopped in time, begins to enter the mode of self-reproduction. Radical Islamization, banditry, crime … For the same reason, they hit Aktau, where the oil fields are located.
But this result did not work out. The CSTO promptly brought in troops not in order, as the Russians say “with bright faces,” to shoot people who want changes, but to protect strategic objects: not only the cosmodrome and airports, but also energy supply facilities that are needed for the export industry of the Republic of Kazakhstan … It’s money.
SP: – After the withdrawal of the CSTO troops, won’t Kazakhstan turn into a second Kyrgyzstan, where the government is constantly changing in an illegitimate way?
– Unlike Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan has a much larger safety cushion. Oil fields, mining of uranium, rare earth metals, the metallurgical complex in general, the agricultural sector – all this works. So far, there is no reason to worry that the main resource-producing capacities have been seriously damaged or will enter a long-term crisis.
Supplies to the world market are not declining. In December 2021 alone, they sold $ 4.5 billion worth of oil. For the Russian Federation, this is not much, but for Kazakhstan it is a colossal amount. Therefore, there are not so many objective reasons for the transformation of the republic into a fail state, like Kyrgyzstan. Export will reduce social instability, calm passions, and put things in order.
In general, social revolutions are stopped in this way – with money, not bayonets. The line on social responsibility, which Tokayev spoke about in the government, will be continued.
“SP”: – Russian question, in your opinion, can also be stopped by money?
– It is necessary to change the situation when the citizens of the titular population are perceived as important, main and necessary, and the rest are perceived as a leftover principle. If this is not done, over time, you can get new social unrest. Moreover, the last rebellion from an ideological and political point of view was organized after many years of nazification and ethnocratization.
In turn Konstantin Blokhin, expert of the Center for Security Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences I am sure that a variety of world players will covet Kazakhstan.
– Even if the CSTO troops remain in Kazakhstan, the position of this country on the geographical map will not change. A territory equal to Europe! Huge resources! And the population is small – comparable to Moscow. So this country will look like a fat piece to many anyway. They want to put Kazakhstan under control. Turkey has been trying to act there for a long time. Let us recall the map of the Turkic world presented to Erdogan. There is also Kazakhstan, and even a part of Russia.
In addition, after the withdrawal of the Americans from Afghanistan, many terrorist cells realized that the pressure in the region had eased and opportunities for their development had opened up.
“SP”: – And the Americans?
– As for the United States, their funds, NGOs have been active in Kazakhstan in recent years. Washington is interested not so much in Kazakhstan itself as in Russia. They are interested in destabilizing the situation along our borders. This is in line with the Anglo-Saxon geopolitical concept of the need to control the Heartland. And in this sense, Kazakhstan, which has the longest border with Russia, is on a par with Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia