The Kazakh president called the protesters “terrorists.” Russian President Vladimir Putin told themExternal forceWas devoted to the “revolution”. Some consider Central Asian anxiety to be a power struggle between domestic elites.
The indisputable protests in Kazakhstan, which killed 164 people and arrested nearly 8,000, began a week ago in remote areas with only a few hundred demonstrators.
After that, the protests went snowballing. Within a few days, large crowds across the country were demanding social and political change. Violent clashes, seizures of international airports, and looting of civilian buildings have led the government to demand troops from Russia to calm anxiety.
Kassym-Jomart TokaevThe President of Kazakhstan justified the request to Moscow by claiming that the violence was an “attempted coup” coordinated by “single people.” [command] Central “. Instead, the uprising appears to have been triggered by voluntary protests that took advantage of deep social and economic resentment.
“The first demonstrators were traditionally protesters.”[but]They were joined by young people from the suburbs. .. .. Poor people who are dissatisfied with the phenomenal social gaps that exist in Kazakhstan, “said Evgeny Zoftis, a prominent human rights activist in Almaty.
The first demonstration began in a small city in Zhanaozen over local issues. The price of liquefied petroleum gas, the motor fuel of choice in the energy-rich western part of Kazakhstan, has doubled.
More than 1000 miles southwest of the capital, Nursultan, Jana Ozen is a national synonym for human rights violations after police killed 14 oil workers protesting over worker rights in 2011.
The expanding protest soon envisioned other demands — primarily to remove former President Nursultan Nazarbayev and his family from their behind-the-scenes power and economic dominance positions. Protesters chanted the “old man” as a reference to the 81-year-old dictator who had been running Kazakhstan for 30 years before handing over the president to Tokaev in 2019.
Tokaev acknowledged the protester’s request. He dismissed the cabinet, reversed the rise in fuel prices, and removed Nazarbayev from the position of chair of a strong Security Council.
But the situation in Almaty — the capital of Kazakhstan until Nazarbayev later moved to another city Rename After myself — I kept getting out of control.
With a clear peaceful recovery by the weekend, the government has since tried to distinguish between fuel protests and subsequent violence.
“We heard everything[their demands].. .. .. But this didn’t mean anything, “Tokaev said on Monday. “There was a wave of mass turmoil disguised as voluntary protest.”
Still, his idea that anxiety was planned did not fit into the sequence of events, analysts said.
For one thing, the protesters did not have clear leaders or common demands — beyond general dissatisfaction with Nazarbayev, former civil servant Mukhtar Ablyazov in exile in France argued.
“In an authoritarian country, there can be no single being. [protest] Leaders because they will be destroyed, “he said. “People were fed up with Nazarbayev. Things reached a critical mass.”
Almaty was also a natural environment for the eruption. Alexander Gabuev and Temur Umalov of the Carnegie Moscow Center, the country’s largest cities are the main destinations for domestic immigrants, and have a reputation as hubs of protest, with the recent increase in crime.
“I could explain that there were a lot of angry young people who had nothing to lose … The transition to violence,” they wrote. Recent analysis..
Tokaev argued that the protests were taken over by “religious rushers, criminal elements, thorough bandits, poachers, and short hooligans.”
Indeed, posts from local bloggers and social media suggest that some protesters arrived at the bus in organized groups. Some claimed to have been paid.Social media videos also show people Steal weapons from the police When Remove weapon cache from car..
“It’s out of control,” Zhovtis said, adding that Islamic extremists were abundant in the southwestern part of the country, but he may have played a role.
However, the allegations by Kazakh authorities that these “terrorists” were directed from abroad are not supported by strong evidence. Tokaev even claimed that “terrorists” had recovered the bodies of their comrades who had fallen from the morgue at night. “This is how they cover their trucks,” he said.
The case of Vikram Ruzakhunov shows how difficult it is to identify the motivations of protesters. A prominent pianist from neighboring Kyrgyzstan appeared on Kazakhstan television last week, confessing that he had a bruise on his face and received $ 200 to participate in the riots. However, after Kazakhstan released Rusaknov on Monday, he told reporters when he arrived in his hometown that he made a false confession in hopes of being handed over.
Some analysts believe that the root cause of the problem is an internal power struggle between Tokaev and his predecessor Nazarbayev.
The Almaty clash occurred around the Altin Orda market, which was reportedly dominated by Nazarbayev’s younger brother Borat.Tokaev also fired the country’s intelligence director Karim Massimov, A close ally of Nazarbayev.
“It was not surprising that Tokaev’s first move was to dismiss Masimov,” said George Borosin, an analyst at the Paris-based consultancy Aperio. “What we are seeing is a battle for power.”
Others in the inner circle of Nazarbayev seem untouched so far. As a result, Masimov may have become a fall of man in crisis, said Simon Glancy, founder of Almaty-based Strategic Solutions consultancy.
“Clearly some negotiations are underway,” Glancy said. “In any case, Nazarbayev is no longer an important political force.”
Tokaev has called on the Collective Security Treaty Organization, a Moscow-led military alliance, to suggest the same.
Vorosin believes Tokaev needed a backup because he was uncertain whether Kazakhstan’s special forces would stand by him after Mashimov’s dismissal. Tokaev, who claims foreign involvement, was just an excuse to justify the CSTO’s entry into the domestic conflict.
As pointed out by the leading Belarusian president, Alexander Lukashenko, foreign intervention cannot succeed without domestic dissatisfaction.
“One of the things you have to understand is that external factors are never enough. You have to look at the internals behind them,” Lukashenko said. Said Monday’s CSTO.
Kazakh Anxiety: “Bandits”, Foreign “Terrorists”, or Troublesome Power Struggles?
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