Jan 6, 2022
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Massacre in Kazakhstan: the United States hit the “soft underbelly” of Russia

In the photo: a burned-out car near the burning building of the akimat.  Protesters against the rise in fuel prices broke into the akimat building and set it on fire.

In the photo: a burned-out car near the burning building of the akimat. Protesters against the rise in fuel prices broke into the akimat building and set it on fire. (Photo: Valery Sharifulin / TASS)

In the afternoon of January 6, in Almaty, police officers began to actively clean the streets of protesters. As stated in the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kazakhstan, “all measures are being taken to arrest the violators,” about two thousand people were brought to the police. At the same time, according to correspondents from the scene, at about 16:00, shooting began on Republic Square in the city center.

Recall that earlier peacekeeping forces of the CSTO were sent to Kazakhstan. In an official statement on this matter, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that the Russian Federation views the protests in Kazakhstan, which began on January 2, as “an externally inspired attempt to violently, using trained and organized armed formations, to undermine the security and integrity of the state.”

Although the statement does not indicate where the protests were initiated from “outside”, the United States appears to be the most obvious candidate for this role in connection with the “color revolutions” in the post-Soviet and other areas of recent years. Nevertheless, in Washington itself, a day before the Russian Foreign Ministry’s statement, they denied assumptions about their participation in Kazakhstani events. White House spokesman Jennifer Psaki called such accusations “insane and false.”

“We have heard a number of insane Russian statements that the United States is behind this. I will take this opportunity to emphasize that they are completely false and are part of standard Russian disinformation instructions. We’ve seen a lot of this in recent years, ”she said. Psaki also called on the protesters to express their demands peacefully, and the authorities to express restraint.

However, some experts have already linked the protests in Kazakhstan to the upcoming talks on security guarantees between the United States and Russia.

According to the Belarusian political scientist Alexander Shapkovsky, “On the eve of negotiations Putin and Biden the Americans struck the first blow in the Central Asian underbelly of Russia, trying thereby either to divert forces and means from the Ukrainian direction, or to disperse the Russian forces as much as possible. ”

Leader of the Communist Party Gennady Zyuganov in his Telegram channel he also wrote that although “the unrest in Kazakhstan, in fact, was provoked by the government itself, which doubled gas prices,” this “is actively used by the forces that have declared a hybrid war on Russia.”

“This time they are trying to crush Kazakhstan with the richest natural resources and having the longest border in the world with our country – more than 7500 km. It is important to understand that without close socio-economic, political and diplomatic ties with the CIS countries, there will be no rest in our expanses. NATO members surrounded us from all sides. The collective West will do everything to destabilize the situation along the contour of the Russian borders, ”the politician wrote.

A similar opinion is expressed in Ukraine, where they know firsthand about the “color revolutions”.

“It is unlikely that anyone would argue with the fact that very timely flared up in Kazakhstan, right in the midst of an exacerbation between Russia and the West. So it is beneficial to the Americans for at least three reasons. 1. To divert Moscow’s attention from Donbass to a CSTO partner. 2. Presumably to aggravate relations between Moscow and Beijing – they are unlikely to have the same priorities in Nur-Sultan. 3. If successful, provoke Moscow to participate in the suppression of protests with quite predictable consequences for Moscow for years to come. And lastly, as a witness to two Maidans, it is impossible for me to believe in the spontaneity of Kazakhstani protests. Otherwise, why have thousands of NGOs been feeding for a quarter of a century, ”a well-known Ukrainian political scientist wrote on his Facebook page Mikhail Pogrebinsky.

Mikhail Aleksandrov, leading expert of the Center for Military-Political Research, MGIMO believes that the US influence in the current exacerbation is limited, although it has not been without it.

– I said a few months ago that a sharp aggravation of the situation and the beginning of a war of clans – zhuzes (tribal unions of Kazakh clans, – editor’s note) is possible in Kazakhstan. Although the Kazakhs consider themselves a single nation, they maintain a strong division according to the zhuz principle. These are family ties, blood ties; there are also separate clans within the zhuzes.

Now in Kazakhstan there is a transit of power. Grip Nursultan Nazarbayev weakened. Moreover, when he himself was in power as a full-fledged leader and was in good shape, he was able to balance relations between various clan groups. But now, when he is weakened, his clan has gone too far and causes universal hatred in Kazakhstan, because it has crushed everything under itself.

The second point is that all this is happening against the backdrop of a worsening general economic situation and the coronavirus. Finally, these are the fruits of the ethnocratic, largely anti-Russian policy, which was carried out by the authorities of Kazakhstan and by Nazarbayev himself for many years. Many Russians have already left, the rest are also thinking how to do this, and they are not very interested in the affairs of Kazakhstan.

But the Russians played a stabilizing role in this country, made it possible to balance inter-clan contradictions, acting as a neutral force. When Nazarbayev had no one to appoint to any post, he could appoint a Russian to him, it seems that no one is offended, and the problem is solved.

But Nazarbayev also used a very bad technique – in case of any complications, he set the Kazakhs against the Russians. In his opinion, this should have united the scattered Kazakhstan. But this led to the fact that the Russians left, the opinion in Russia itself, at least among the people, about Kazakhstan worsened. True, now they have called for help from the CSTO, because they want to live.

“SP”: – So you do not agree that the protest was inspired from the outside?

– I would say that there was, first of all, internal destabilization. As for the role of the United States, they trained various activists who could act as an incendiary spark of protest at this particular moment. The fact that the exacerbation took place right now, and not in December or February, may indeed be related to the negotiations between the United States and Russia. But if it were not for this internal contradiction among the people, no American activists could have done anything.

Activists prepare people for mass protests and violent actions, for countering the police. But what the media reports are going on in Almaty – the seizure of hospitals, the cutting off of heads, the taking of hostages – is more like the actions of the Islamic underground. This is already beyond what the American instructors are teaching. Although we saw such things in Chechnya, it seems to me that the seizure of the hospital in Budennovsk was an initiative of local terrorists, not CIA instructors.

It’s good that the CSTO troops have now brought in. The leadership of Kazakhstan decided that it was more important to keep the situation under control than to lose everything altogether. But Russia needs to use this situation to put pressure on the Kazakh authorities so that they stop anti-Russian policy, persecution of the Russian language. Areas with a predominance of the Russian population should receive broad autonomy (by the way, there were no serious unrest in them). For this, it is necessary to carry out a reform of regional governance. The Russian population should not be hostages of clan showdowns.

Konstantin Blokhin, Leading Researcher at the Center for Security Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences believes that the aggravation in Kazakhstan is in the interests of the United States, therefore, whether it was inspired by Washington or not, the Americans will not fail to take advantage of the situation.

– Is this tension in line with the interests of the United States? I think yes. There is already Ukraine, an attempt to destabilize Belarus, there has been an exacerbation between Armenia and Azerbaijan, tension is growing in Central Asia, and now unrest has begun in Kazakhstan.

Such hotbeds of tension near our borders are certainly in the interests of the United States. The more there are, the more Russia will spend its resources in order to solve these problems, and not to restore and strengthen its own economy, to confront the same United States. This is part of America’s global strategy.

Back in 1992, the US Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz formed the so-called Defense Planning Manual, which became known as the “Wolfowitz Doctrine.” Long before the Crimean events, it was clearly and clearly stated that after the collapse of the USSR, the goal of American foreign policy was to prevent the emergence of a state or a coalition of states in the post-Soviet space that could challenge the US leadership in the world. In fact, after the collapse of the USSR, the entire American elite began to implement this main priority.

Whether Washington played any role in organizing the unrest in Kazakhstan, whether it was involved in them – this is a question that requires additional analysis. But it is clear that this is a huge treasure of natural resources, a tidbit for various players, including the United States. A pro-American Kazakhstan, located between Russia and China, is their goal. So the interests of the United States are understandable, but how great is their role in what is happening, time will tell.

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