Outside Forces Test Kazakhstan for Strength

Outside Forces Test Kazakhstan for Strength

Photo: http://Reuters.com

On January 6, the Security Council of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) decided to send peacekeeping forces to Kazakhstan at the request of that country's President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, said the Council's current chairman, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. He added that this was due to interference in the situation in Kazakhstan “from the outside.”

The CSTO consists of Russia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, and Kazakhstan. Russia has assigned airborne troops in its peacekeeping contingent. At present, the planes of military transport aviation of the Russian Air Force are redeploying them to Kazakhstan. Il-76 aircraft of the Russian Air Force continue to arrive at the Chkalov airfield near Moscow for loading. At least, ten IL-76s and three AN-124s are currently involved in the operation.

The CSTO military contingent is to protect military and government facilities in Kazakhstan, and its advanced units have already commenced their duties.

As previously reported, protest actions related to the doubling of the price of gas motor fuel began in Kazakhstan on January 2 and continue to this day. Initially, their participants demanded lower prices for liquefied gas, but the actions, accompanied by mayhems and seizure of administrative buildings, continued after these demands, as well as after the resignation of the government of Kazakhstan. A state of emergency is in effect throughout the country, and Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said he was forced to appeal to CSTO member states for help.

The commandant's office in Alma-Ata reported that 353 law enforcement officers were injured by terrorists and 13 were killed, including two who were found with their heads cut off. The presence of bodies with such mutilations was regarded by representatives of Kazakhstan's security agencies as “direct evidence that the gangs are terroristic” involved in the attack on Alma-Ata. In turn, the Health Ministry of Kazakhstan reported that as a result of mass unrest in various regions of the country suffered “over a thousand people,” of whom almost 400 were hospitalized and 62 are in the intensive care unit.

“Considering that these terrorist gangs are, in fact, international as they were seriously trained abroad, their attack on Kazakhstan can and should be regarded as an act of aggression. In this connection, relying on the Collective Security Treaty, I asked the heads of CSTO states today to assist Kazakhstan in overcoming this terrorist threat,” Tokayev said the night before in his third address to the people of Kazakhstan for the day.

“I see certain elements of a 'color' revolution in what is happening in Kazakhstan,” Alexei Mukhin, CEO of the Political Information Center, told wek.ru, “and the 'Euromaidan' is Ukrainian know-how, with its own life, its centers of influence, etc. The situation in Kazakhstan is somewhat different. There is a modification of this model, and it has been adapted to the national peculiarities. We see rather a certain Kyrgyz variant here.”

According to him, “Maidan” has a center, and in this situation, the process is organized through a network. That is, we are talking about more “down-to-earth things,” Mukhin said. This means that Kazakhstan is given a sign that one should not be especially “zealous” in supporting Russia on the eve of the Russia-NATO summit.

Meanwhile, the initial demands to reduce the price of gas motor fuel were quickly forgotten.

“Gas prices are just an excuse,” said Mukhin, “which arose in an easy state of mind of the Kazakh energy ministers. It was for this reason that Energy Ministry was dismissed as part of the entire government of Kazakhstan. The authorities, especially the regional ones, were not only weak-willed but frightened.”

In his opinion, only two politicians came out to the people, “and this is very sad.”

“There should be feedback with the population, especially since the demands were, let's say, reasonable, at least, those which were formalized. I do not mean the demands of the President's resignation and the like,” he said.

China, which borders Kazakhstan, has already stated its attitude to what is happening in this country. Thus, the Chinese Foreign Ministry reported that the Chinese authorities, who support the measures of the Kazakhstan side to protect public safety, believe in the normalization of the situation in Kazakhstan.

“Western players are also very concerned about the natural connection between Kazakhstan and China,” Mukhin said in an interview with wek.ru. “That is, the events are not only anti-Kazakhstan (I mean, against official Kazakhstan), but also anti-Russian and anti-Chinese.”

In addition, he believes that a demonstration of the potential for destabilizing the situation in relatively prosperous, at first glance, Kazakhstan is taking place.

The day before, Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev underlined that the “highly organized” hooliganism elements hit the eye. According to him, this indicates a “thoroughly thought-out” plan of action by the conspirators, who are “financially motivated.”

“There are now long-term processes going on in Kazakhstan,” said Mukhin, “that, unfortunately, may lead, if not to the collapse, then to the half-decay of the current political system of this country. This system is, in fact, too officious, and it is its weak spot. Frankly speaking, that is where the external actors struck. I do not doubt that it is outside forces that operate here.”

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