Upheaval in Kazakhstan: Links 1/6/2022

Updated 1/8/2022.

Click to enlarge.  Source: Oriental Review.

People in Kazakhstan are in revolt against their authoritarian government and the rich oligarchy it supports.

The revolt was sparked by an increase in fuel prices—surprising, since Kazakhstan is a major producer of natural gas. The CSTO alliance, the Russian-backed equivalent to NATO, has intervened.

The Russian and Kazakhstan governments claim the revolt was instigated by outsiders, and there are reports by U.S. think tanks advocating just such a strategy to hurt Russia.

Which is it?  A revolt against a tyrant, or an example of U.S. meddling?  Maybe both.  You have to read writers of differing views to get a complete picture, and you may not have it even then.


Russian troops arrive in crisis-hit Kazakhstan by David Child, Anealia Safdar and Merisha Gadzo for Al Jazeera.

Kazakhstan: Dozens killed as government unleashes military crackdown by the staff of Eurasianet.

Steppe on fire: Kazakhstan’s color revolution by Pepe Escobar for the Strategic Culture Foundation.

Kazakhstan explainer: Who’s in, who’s out as Tokayev tries to take back control by Joanna Lillis for Eurasianet.

CSTO agrees to intervene in Kazakhstan unrest by Joshua Kucera for Eurasianet

The U.S.-Directed Rebellion in Kazakhstan May Strengthen Russia by Bernhard for Moon of Alabama.


[Added Later].   The government of Kazakhstan is cruel and corrupt, as these background articles indicate.  Rebellion is understandable and justified.  But I don’t know enough to say whether the rebels would be any better than the present rulers.

What is behind the protests rocking Kazakhstan? by Agnieska-Pikulica Wilczewska for Al Jazeera.

Kanye West Performed for Autocratic Leader: He’s Not Alone by Krishanchev Calamur for National Public Radio {2013).  Rapper Kayne West was paid a reported $3 million to perform at the wedding of Aisultan Nazarbayev, the grandson of Kazakhstan’s then-President Nursultan Nazarbayev.  He is just one of the top stars who was paid millions to entertain Central Asian dictators.

Pandora Papers: Kazakhstan and the Offshore Shuffle by Catherine Putz for The Diplomat.  The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project reports leaked documents reveal a $30 million payment by top Kazakh oligarchs to an “unofficial wife” of then-President Nazarbayev.

Kazakhstan: Silenced dissent, sentencing of opposition activists and still no right to peacefully assemble by the International Partnership for Human Rights.

Death of Kazakh Ex-President’s Grandson Latest Dark Cloud Over Nazarbayev Family by Bruce Pannier for Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty.

Kazakh leader’s son-in-law skimmed millions from Chinese loans by Eurasianet.

Nazarbayev’s handmade political transition in Kazakhstan by Hubert-Felix Delattre, Gabrielle Valli, Dylan van de Ven and Charles-Adrien Fourmi for New Eastern Europe.

Powerful ex-Leader Nazarbayev Is Main Target of Kazakhs’ Anger by Gareth Jones for Reuters.

Russia’s Involvement in Kazakhstan Could Have Wide Implications by Felix Light for The Moscow Times.

The Revolt in Kazakhstan: Why Is It Important for Ukraine? by Volodymyr Fesenko for the Kyiv Post.

[Added 1/7/2022] What Kazakhstan Isn’t by Craig Murray.

[Added 1/8/2022] Kazakhstan’s Protests Are About Soaring Inequality by Zanovo Media for Jacobin.

Mysteries of the Failed Revolution in Kazakhstan by Bernhard for Moon of Alabama.


One Response to “Upheaval in Kazakhstan: Links 1/6/2022”

  1. Fred (Au Natural) Says:

    Losing Kazakhstan as a puppet state would be a major blow against the Russians. The Chinese would likely see it as an opportunity to gain influence in the little “Stans” near its border and Iran would gain influence as well. So Russia will do whatever it takes to keep the Kazakhs in line and we will do what we can to annoy them.


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