Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 06, 2022

The U.S. Directed Rebellion in Kazakhstan May Well Strengthen Russia

In early 2019 the Pentagon financed think tank RAND published an extensive plan for soft attacks on Russia.

Extending Russia: Competing from Advantageous Ground.

The 350 pages long report recommended certain steps to be taken by the U.S. to contain Russia. As its summary says:

Recognizing that some level of competition with Russia is inevitable, this report seeks to define areas where the United States can do so to its advantage. We examine a range of nonviolent measures that could exploit Russia’s actual vulnerabilities and anxieties as a way of stressing Russia’s military and economy and the regime’s political standing at home and abroad. The steps we examine would not have either defense or deterrence as their prime purpose, although they might contribute to both. Rather, these steps are conceived of as elements in a campaign designed to unbalance the adversary, leading Russia to compete in domains or regions where the United States has a competitive advantage, and causing Russia to overextend itself militarily or economically or causing the regime to lose domestic and/or international prestige and influence.

RAND lists economical, geopolitical, ideological and informational as well as military measures the U.S. should take to weaken Russia.

Since the report came out the first four of the six 'geopolitical measures' listed in chapter 4 of the report have been implemented.


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The U.S. delivered lethal weapons to Ukraine, it increased its support for 'rebels' in Syria. It attempted a regime change in Belarus and instigated a war between Azerbaijan and Armenia. The U.S. is now implementing measure 5 which aims to 'reduce Russia's influence in Central Asia'.

Kazakhstan, Russia's southern neighbor, was part of the Soviet Union. It is a mineral rich, landlocked country three times the size of Texas but with less than 20 million inhabitants. A significant part of its people are Russians and the Russian language is in common use. The country is an important link in the strategic Belt and Road Initiative between China and Europe.


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Since the demise of the Soviet Union the country has been ruled by oligarchic family clans - foremost the Nazarbayevs. As the CIA Worldfactbook notes:

Executive branch

chief of state: President Kasym-Zhomart TOKAYEV (since 20 March 2019); note - Nursultan NAZARBAYEV, who was president since 24 April 1990 (and in power since 22 June 1989 under the Soviet period), resigned on 20 March 2019; NAZARBAYEV retained the title and powers of "First President"; TOKAYEV completed NAZARBAYEV's term, which was shortened due to the early election of 9 June 2019, and then continued as president following his election victory

Over the last decade there have been several uprisings (2011, 2016 and 2019) in Kazakhstan. These were mostly caused by uneven distribution of income from its minerals including oil and gas. The oligarchs in the capital of Astana / Nur-Sultan live well while the provinces which produce the minerals, like Mangistauskaya in the south-west, have seen few developments.

Recently the price for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), used by many cars in Kazakhstan, went up after the government had liberalized the market. This caused another round of country wide protests:

The string of rallies that has torn through Kazakhstan since January 2 began in the western oil town of Zhanaozen, ostensibly triggered by anger over a sudden spike in the price of car fuel. Similar impromptu gatherings then quickly spread to nearby villages in the Mangystau region and then in multiple other locations in the west, in cities like Aktau, Atyrau and Aktobe. By January 4, people had come out onto the streets in numbers in locations many hundreds of kilometers away, in the southern towns of Taraz, Shymkent and Kyzyl-Orda, in the north, in the cities of Uralsk and Kostanai, as well as in Almaty and Nur-Sultan, the capital, among other places.

Few saw scenes as fiery as those in Almaty, though.

Clashes in Almaty continued throughout the night into January 5. After being dispersed by police from Republic Square, part of the crowd headed around two kilometers downhill, to another historic location in the city, Astana Square, where the seat of government used to be located in Soviet times.

While there is little reliable way to gauge the scale of the demonstrations, a combination of on-the-ground reporting and video footage appears to indicate that these protests may be even larger than those that brought the country to a near-standstill in 2016.

While the grievances that sparked the first rallies in Zhanaozen were to do with fuel prices, the sometimes rowdy demonstrations that have followed appear to be of a more general nature. Chants of “shal ket!” (“old man go!”), usually understood as a reference to former President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who continues to wield significant sway from behind the scenes, have been heard at many of the demos.

The protests escalated soon with gangs of armed protesters taking control of government buildings and setting them on fire. There were also attempts to take control of radio and TV stations as well as the airport. Police, which generally did little to intervene, were gunned down.

The actions in Almaty, the country's largest city and former capital, are certainly not spontaneous reactions by a crowd of poor laborers but controlled actions by well trained groups of armed 'rebels'.

Peter Leonard @Peter__Leonard - 9:18 UTC · 6 Jan 2022
Kazakhstan: Very important and intriguing detail with strong shades of Kyrgyzstan 2020. Peaceful people initiate rallies, but shady and violent individuals turn up to sow trouble, and it is never remotely clear who they are or where they came from /1 https://t.co/qYSlUUrMVx

From one account I heard, a similar dynamic played out in Almaty on Wednesday morning. A relatively small and mild gathering formed on Republic Square, opposite city hall. All of a sudden hundreds of extremely aggressive men turned up, threatening all and sundry #Kazakhstan /2

They threatened and attacked journalists standing nearby, ordering anybody who took photographs to delete the images. It was clearly this cohort that was responsible for much of the destruction. And it is a mystery (to me) who they were /3

We have seen similar formations during the U.S. instigated uprisings in Libya, Syria, Ukraine and Belarus.

NEXTA, the U.S. financed regime change media network in Poland which last year directed the failed color revolution attempt in Belarus, announced the U.S. demands:

NEXTA @nexta_tv - 13:52 UTC · Jan 5, 2022
Demands of the Protesters in #Kazakhstan
1. Immediate release of all political prisoners
2. Full resignation of president and government
3. Political reforms:
Creation of a Provisional Government of reputable and public citizens. Withdrawal from all alliances with #Russia

A more reliable source confirms these:

Maxim A. Suchkov @m_suchkov - 14:43 UST · Jan 5, 2022
The list of demands of protestors in #Kazakhstan that's been circulating is interesting, to put it mildly.
While most demands focus on bolstering social & economic support & countering corruption points #1, 7, 10, 13, 16 expose the roots of protest & who's driving them

#1 demands that #Kazakhstan should leave Eurasian Economic union.
#7 demands legalization of polygamy "for certain groups of the population" & prohibition on marriage with foreigners
#10 demands independence for Mangystau region &^that revenues of oil companies remain in Mangystau

Caveat: this list been circulating a lot on telegram - could be fake or not representative of what protestors want, thou it appears protestors are a diverse group that includes genuinely disgruntled people, political manipulators, "prof revolutionaries" (that were in UKR & BEL), etc

The government of Kazakhstan has since lowered the LPG prices. On January 5 President Tokayev relived the 'First President' Nazarbayev of his position as chairman of the Security Council and promised to act tough on armed protesters.

Kazakhstan is part of the Russian led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) as well as the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). On the morning of January 5 Tokayev had a phone call with the presidents of Russia and Belarus. He has mobilized airborne units of the armed forces of Kazakhstan. On the evening of January 5 he requested support from the CSTO against the 'foreign directed terrorists' which are fighting the security forces.

Russia, Belarus and other CSTO members have dedicated quick reaction forces reserved for such interventions. These will now be mobilized to regain government control in Kazakhstan. Russian CSTO forces are currently on their way to Kazakhstan. Belorussian and Armenian troops will follow soon.

They are in for some tough time:

Cᴀʟɪʙʀᴇ Oʙsᴄᴜʀᴀ ❄ @CalibreObscura - 19:50 UTC · Jan 5, 2022
#Kazakhstan: Captured arms from the National Security Committee (equivalent to Russian FSB) building by protestors in #Almaty: At least 2 PG-7V projectiles, possible boxed Glock pistol & (possibly) more in numerous scattered crates, various kit.
Anti-Armour capability in 48hrs...
Image

During the last decades the U.S. and its allies had been relatively quiet about the dictatorial leadership in Kazakhstan.

Mark Ames @MarkAmesExiled - 14:18 UTC · Jan 5, 2022
NATO's cheerleading corner of FSU "experts" already working hard to spin Kazakhstan uprisings as somehow Putin's fault or indictment of Putin—but note how quiet our media-NGO complex has been the past 20 years re: the regime's human rights abuses, corruption & "authoritarianism"

Chevron is the largest oil producer in Kazakhstan and the former British prime minister Tony Blair has previously been giving advice to then President Nursultan Nazarbayev on how to avoid an uproar over dead protesters:

In a letter to Nursultan Nazarbayev, obtained by The Telegraph, Mr Blair told the Kazakh president that the deaths of 14 protesters “tragic though they were, should not obscure the enormous progress” his country had made.

Mr Blair, who is paid millions of pounds a year to give advice to Mr Nazarbayev, goes on to suggest key passages to insert into a speech the president was giving at the University of Cambridge, to defend the action.

Times however are different now as Kazakhstan has continued to strengthen its relations with Russia and China.

The CIA offshoot National Endowment for Democracy is financing some 20 'civil society' regime change programs in Kazakhstan with about $50,000 per annum each. The involved organizations  currently seem to be mostly quiet but are a sure sign that the U.S. is playing a role behind the scenes. On December 16 details of upcoming demonstrations were announced by the U.S. embassy in Kazakhstan.


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It is likely that this pre-planned Central Asia part of the 'Extending Russia' program has been implemented prematurely as a response to Russia's recent ultimatum with regards to Ukraine and NATO. Its sole purpose is to unbalance the Russian leadership in Moscow by diverting its attention towards the south.

I however believe that Russia has prepared for such eventualities. They will not affect its plans and demands.

What is difficult to discern though is what is really happening behind the scenes in Astana/Nur-Sultan. Has Tokayev, who was previously seen as a mere puppet of Nazarbayev, really replaced him? His control of the security forces is somewhat in doubt:

Liveuamap @Liveuamap - 19:18 UTC · Jan 5, 2022
Tokayev dismissed the head of his security guard Saken Isabekov. Also, the President dismissed the Deputy Head of the State Security Service of the Republic of Kazakhstan from his post

But the outcome of the whole game is quite predictable:

Mark Ames @MarkAmesExiled - 14:31 UTC · Jan 5, 2022
The grim likelihood, given all the various "revolutions" in the FSU the past 20 years, is that Kazakhstan's street protests [will be] instrumentalized by a powerful clan to replace the ruling oligarchy with a new oligarchy.

The CSTO troops which are now landing in Almaty will take a few days to end the rebellion. The outcome is not in doubt.

Moscow, not Washington DC, will have a big say in who will come out at the top.

It is quite possible that the results of the whole affair will, like the failed U.S. regime change attempts in Belarus, not weaken but strengthen Russia:

Dmitri Trenin @DmitriTrenin - 7:57 UTC · 6 Jan 2022
#Kazakhstan is another test, after #Belarus, of RUS ability to help stabilize its formal allies w/o alienating their populations. As 1st action by CSTO since founding in 1999, it is major test for bloc. Lots of potential pitfalls around, but can be big boon if Moscow succeeds.

Posted by b on January 6, 2022 at 9:19 UTC | Permalink

Comments
« previous page

Damn my smartphone! It "corrected" Skiffer to "Sniffer"!

Posted by: Jen | Jan 7 2022 19:17 utc | 201

*blows nose in response* to Jen@202, ;)

Perhaps this British historical perspective on Central Asia is precisely the cause for Murray's somewhat warped understanding of processes there and elsewhere.

Posted by: Skiffer | Jan 7 2022 19:31 utc | 202

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 7 2022 1:52 utc | 147

Yes, that about sums it up. Compare this with 17-24 yr olds in, say 1917, or 1941, or 1966. And let's not forget the GI bill: they used to care a bit more about vets in the old empire. Military service offered state-sponsored social mobility, not unlike empires in general which, if they're not stupid, will knit the future of their poor citizens to the interests of the elite at the expense of subject communities (e.g., Athens from 462-413, Rome less successfully from c.133 until Augustus introduced a new model). That core quid quo pro has broken down in the US.

But you also rightly point to other factors: obesity, neoteny and infantilism. These last two are the product of social media and the relentless application of a kind of cinematic fructose. Add to this the vapid emptiness of intellectual training enervated by ideological sickness. Yes the USA is a creaking edifice begging for a latter-day Alexander III to test it, push it over and ransack it.

Posted by: Patroklos | Jan 7 2022 19:55 utc | 203

A glass of wine to the memory of Edvard Limonov.

https://youtu.be/F5ecwaGQ65M?t=275

Posted by: Paco | Jan 7 2022 20:11 utc | 204

Posted by: alaff | Jan 6 2022 22:01 utc | 118

2008: Spurred on by his Western patrons, Saakashvili kills Russian peacekeepers...

2014: An anti-Russian coup d'etat in Ukraine, incited by the 'collective West'...

2020: Western-instigated Maidan attempt in Belarus...

2020: Instigated by the West (the UK by the hands of Turkey), aggravation between Armenia and Azerbaijan...


There is a constant in these events.

No matter what your personal metric may be of what makes an operation succesful, the objective reality here is that the US maintains the privilege of aggressive initiative. Time and time again it demonstrates its ability to walk freely about much of the globe and simply set places on fire.

To me, the way you are looking at the above events is similar to the way people here dismiss Israel's incessant attacks on Syria. A giddy celebration of thuggishness premised on the notion that the aggressor has failed to achieve some supposed goal.

Consider the idea that goal is continental arson. A ring of fire to undermine attempts at continent-wide integration. Permanent ill will between those on either side of the fire and a big pile of resources going up in smoke.

Posted by: robin | Jan 7 2022 20:18 utc | 205

It is reported that Chinese IT specialists provided assistance to the authorities and security forces of Kazakhstan in terms of blocking Internet services and communications. According to a similar scheme, specialists from China helped Lukashenko's team during the protests and riots in Minsk in August 2020.

Hence, Tokayev's separately expressed gratitude not only to the President of Russia (here the reason is obvious), but also to the head of China.

Posted by: alaff | Jan 7 2022 20:24 utc | 206

Posted by: Piotr Berman @ 173

Thanks for clearing up the mystery, Piotr.

Erdogan's behaviour does not inspire any confidence in his innate inner goodness, hence my suspicions.

Posted by: Paul | Jan 7 2022 20:40 utc | 207

Turkologist, Doctor of Political Sciences Vladimir Avatkov on the possible role of Turkey:

Turkey has been present in Kazakhstan for a long time and strongly. In many ways, its influence was associated with the Nazarbayev clan, who at the end of his reign decided to move away from the Eurasian idea and become the so-called aksakal [lit. ‘white beard’; elder — S] of the Turkic world as defined by Turkey.

The building of mosques, various political, educational institutions, scientific projects in Kazakhstan—all of this in recent years has been connected with the Republic of Turkey.

In this regard, Turkey proceeded and proceeds from the notion that Kazakhstan is a part of the Turkocentric subsystem of international relations, and it must move away from its traditions and accept Turkish ones as Turkic traditions and customs. Everything was done to achieve this, primarily in the educational and economic spheres. Turkey was not too happy with the rise to power of Tokayev, who was associated more with Moscow.

In this regard, Ankara would be interested in changing the situation in Kazakhstan in its favor, and it is possible that in addition to Western, Polish and Ukrainian paws Turkish colleagues were also actively involved in the events. This explains their most restrained and careful reaction at the official level at the moment.

Posted by: S | Jan 7 2022 21:00 utc | 208

Posted by: m | Jan 7 2022 7:14 utc | 166

... Kazakhstan is a central Asian land locked country surrounded by countries more or less hostile to the USA and friendly to Russia. How exactly are US weapons deliveries or spies and terrorists supposed to reach their Kazakh designation?

Ship them out of Baku?

It would make sense that the help Azerbaijan received a year ago in Nagorno-Karabakh came at a price. Couldn't that price be a commitment to further NATO projects in Central Asia?

Posted by: robin | Jan 7 2022 21:02 utc | 209

Interestingly, UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss was very measured in her take on the CSTO deployment:

Dr Andrew Murrison (South West Wiltshire) (Con): I very much welcome the statement, but I encourage my right hon. Friend to be far more robust in defence of pro-democracy forces in Kazakhstan and to condemn unequivocally the collective security treaty organisation intervention there in support of a highly questionable regime. What discussions has she had with players in the wider region about the instability that may be caused by Russia’s intervention in mid-Asia, in particular Azerbaijan, in which we have significant interests? What are the implications of what is going on in the region for the recently concluded ceasefire in relation to Nagorno-Karabakh?

Elizabeth Truss: On the subject of the violent clashes in Kazakhstan, as I have said, we condemn those acts of violence, but I think it important to remember that Kazakhstan has a sovereign choice when it comes to whom it chooses as its allies. Any forces deployed must have a clear mission and must act proportionately in any use of force to defend the legitimate security interests in Kazakhstan. It is important that, while regretting these acts and ensuring that our thoughts are with those who have lost their lives, we respect the fact that Kazakhstan has that sovereign choice.

The rest of the debate is filled with all kinds of lies and distortions about Russia, but on this one issue Truss has a very sensible position. I wonder why. “The dog that didn’t bark” comes to mind.

Posted by: S | Jan 7 2022 21:33 utc | 210

S @212--

Thanks for that excerpt! Dr. Murrison sure displays plenty of exceptionalism and arrogance. He's likely on par with Anne Applebaum who displays religious-like belief in her own manufactured lies about Russia as this article proves.

And that's really the font of it all as Putin, Lavrov and many others have stated--the Russophobia that was began by the British during the Great Game and became the basis for genocidal anti-Slav sentiments in the 20th Century that continue with the undying aid and support by the Outlaw US Empire and its Anglo siblings.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 7 2022 23:03 utc | 211

@213 karlof1 Yep, no doubt about it: Murrison's hairy-chested "robustness" was what you would expect from a western politician.

But I think you missed the point: Truss' refusal to respond in kind is unexpected. Measured. Reasonable.

It is as if Murrison tossed her a softball and she responded with a "I'm not touching that with a 10-foot pole".

Has Boris the Clown made a statement yet?

That would be the real litmus test.

If he is also measured in his statement (I know, I know. Boris?) then you know that the Russians have some hard evidence of British hands in the cookie jar.


Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 7 2022 23:55 utc | 212

Hi all,
Has anyone heard any statements from Akezhan Kazhegeldin, the second prime minister of Kazakhstan and exiled political figure?

I'm beginning to think like many people here that Erdogan has a hand in all of this. But what do I know?

It's sad that all this is happening. Here is something nice from Kazakhstan. Amangul Apa - I found it on Ultradiskopanorama on YouTube.

Amangul Apa

Description from Ultradiskopanorama - At the age of 75 this little Kazakh woman's dream finally came true - she became a singer! Her music is a mix between old Kazakh folkmusic and modern dance pop. She grown up during the Soviet regime and there were no chance for her to start a carrier because of beeing a mother and a grandmother, and of course the hard years of war in her native republic of Kazakstan. Her son, Seifulin Zholbarysa, was though a musician and producer, and helped his mother to become a popstar!
Rumour says that she plans to record a full album. She also held a concert in Kazakstan.
Enjoy!

Posted by: lex talionis | Jan 8 2022 0:34 utc | 213

More evidence it was an Outlaw US Empire sponsored event, "White House, Western Media Shift Gears as Kazakhstan’s Tokayev Gets ‘Russian-Backed Strongman’ Label":

"From Venezuela to Ethiopia, countries targeted for regime change by Washington inevitably see their leaders labeled as 'strongmen' backed by 'dictators' in Russia or China. The recent deployment of this term for Kazakh President Kasym-Jomart Tokayev as the US declares its innocence in destructive riots is thus a dark sign of times to come.

"'There are some crazy Russian claims about the US being behind this,' White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said on Wednesday about the riots in Kazakhstan. 'So, let me just use this opportunity to convey that as absolutely false and clearly a part of the standard Russian disinformation playbook we’ve seen a lot of in past years.'

"After events in Kazakhstan took a decisive turn on Wednesday, so did western media’s orientation toward them. Now, Tokayev has become a 'Russian-backed' strongman and the West has found another self-proclaimed opposition leader to drive a wedge into the country’s politics."

Funny how those "opposition leaders" tend to be criminals who escaped prosecution and are unknowingly bankrolled by citizens who would most likely object to abetting criminals. But that's the USA's way!

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 8 2022 0:51 utc | 214

Interesting read at The Saker where there is a summary of a presser by "Colonel General Andrei Serdyukov, commander of the CSTO grouping in Kazakhstan"

He confirms that "trained guerrilla snipers" were operating in Alma-Ata.

That, obviously, is straight out of the color-revolution playbook.

It will be interesting to see how the CSTO special forces respond.

I would imagine that the standing orders is Step 1: Kill all the snipers, pronto.

Just shoot first, then search the bodies for documents.

And if some of those bodies are still twitching, well, off to the interrogation center for you, sunshine.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 8 2022 1:09 utc | 215

@100 William Haught Back in the bad old days of the Soviet Union the KGB used to subcontract out some of the really nasty work to the Bulgarians.

Plausible deniability, and all that....

So even if it is shown that MI-6 is directing this attempt at a color-revolution it really doesn't mean all that much: they wouldn't do this without the blessing of the CIA lest they risk stepping on the toes of the Chevron oil company.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 8 2022 1:16 utc | 216

SecState Blinken is pro-protest in Kazakhstan. . . .i.e. This is NOT an insurrection. . .and let's talk human rights (from the world's leading civilian-killer)

SECRETARY BLINKEN: Thanks. So first, we are very concerned about the ongoing state of emergency that exists in Kazakhstan. We’ve urged authorities to respond appropriately, proportionately, and in a way that upholds the rights of protesters. I spoke with the foreign minister just yesterday. I reiterated our full support for Kazakhstan’s constitutional institutions, as well as the absolute importance of respecting human rights; media freedom, including the restoration of internet service; and to dealing with peaceful protests in a way that protects the protesters, upholds their rights, and is consistent with the rule of law.

So there has to be a rights-respecting resolution to this crisis. And again, that includes protecting the rights of any peaceful protester. At the same time, we’ve made clear that we condemn violence committed by anyone, including violence directed at the institutions of the state and government. We very much value the relationship that we have with Kazakhstan. We’re watching the situation with real concern. And we are encouraging everyone to find a peaceful resolution and constructive resolution to the situation.

When it comes to the CSTO, we have questions about the nature of the request, why it came about. We’re seeking to learn more about it. It would seem to me that the Kazakh authorities and government certainly have the capacity to deal appropriately with protests, to do so in a way that respects the rights of protesters while maintaining law and order. So, it’s not clear why they feel the need for any outside assistance, so we’re trying to learn more about it.

We certainly call on those peacekeeping forces and law enforcement to adhere to international human rights standards to support a peaceful resolution. And again, we hope the government itself can quickly address the problems, which are fundamentally economic and political in nature. That’s what these protests are all about. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 8 2022 1:16 utc | 217

Clearly a non-Western editorial on Kazakh events. The difference in tone and description with BigLie Media is quite noticeable and welcome.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 8 2022 1:25 utc | 218

@219 Blinken seems to have an inexhaustible supply of concern. But he comes across as trying to have it both ways in Kazakhstan. Protest is OK as long as it's peaceful. But he condemns violence directed at the institution of the state and government. Unfortunately he doesn't say how the government of Kazakhstan is supposed to respond to the violence.

Posted by: dh | Jan 8 2022 1:27 utc | 219

I think it is looking more and more likely that this was not really a colour revolution but rather a coup attempt by Nazarbayev, aided and abetted by MI6 (the Machiavellian role) and Turkey. As such, this whole thing may have been against the wishes of the US (hard though that may be for many commentators to believe). The outcome severely weakens the US position ahead of the imminent negotiations with Russia (and commonsense indicates that US would have game-planned possible outcomes and would not have gambled so recklessly) - a severe blow to the US policy [Brzezinski's] of keeping the "World Island" weak and divided.

Sitrep: Summary of Briefing from Colonel General Andrei Serdyukov, commander of the CSTO grouping in Kazakhstan

"Tokayev’s appeal the question of complicity of some high-ranked law-enforcers linked to Nazarbayev (who is still keeping silence) to what happened will be raised, which actually legitimizes the version that the main mechanism of what happened was not gas prices but the struggle of Tokayev and Nazarbayev’s groups for power. We are waiting for Tokayev’s official interpretation of what happened. Nazarbayev remains silent (is he still alive? Is he sick? Is he arrested? Is he isolated?)"

Posted by: ADKC | Jan 8 2022 1:28 utc | 220

@219 Don Bacon quoting some non-entity.

Non-entity: "When it comes to the CSTO, we have questions about the nature of the request, why it came about."

Why it came about? Something to do with Kazakh police officers being beheaded, I would imagine.

Non-entity: "We’re seeking to learn more about it."

Surely a statement that begs for a single-digit response and a quick "f**k off, pinhead".

Non-entity: "So, it’s not clear why they feel the need for any outside assistance, so we’re trying to learn more about it."

Too funny. How dare those guys do something we weren't expecting! How can this happen? Unfair! Unfair!

I would love to see a situation where the dead bodies of mercenary snipers are dropped at Blinken's feet and Lavrov sneers a quick "yours, I believe?"

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 8 2022 1:29 utc | 221

(Bloomberg) -- Putin Sends Message to West as His Troops Turn Kazakh Tide
Ilya Arkhipov 10:35 PM IST, 07 Jan 2022 01:50 AM IST, 07 Jan 2022
-- Vladimir Putin’s lightning deployment of troops took less than a day to help turn the tide against anti-government protesters in Kazakhstan. Ahead of high-stakes security talks with the U.S., i

Vladimir Putin’s lightning deployment of troops took less than a day to help turn the tide against anti-government protesters in Kazakhstan. Ahead of high-stakes security talks with the U.S., it also sent a reminder of just how determined the Russian president is to defend what he sees as his own neighborhood.

"If it made an impression, that’s all for the better,” said Konstantin Kosachyov, deputy speaker of the upper house of Russia’s parliament.

The dramatic operation -- the first of its kind by the Russian-led military bloc Moscow sees as its version of NATO -- came just days before the U.S. and its allies sit down with Kremlin negotiators to try to address Moscow’s concerns about the western alliance’s expansion toward its borders and head off an invasion of Ukraine that the West fears the Kremlin is planning.

Moscow says it’s not, but has massed about 100,000 troops near the border, according to western officials, underlining a fundamental challenge for the U.S. and its allies. While the West would like to see former Soviet states around Russia outside Moscow’s orbit, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization isn’t ready to use force. Putin, as he showed again in Kazakhstan this week, is.

The Russian paratroopers, who were on the ground just hours after Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev requested them Wednesday, helped retake key strategic points like the Almaty airport that had been seized by protesters, whose discontent over rising fuel prices quickly spilled into political demands. By Friday, Tokayev said he wouldn’t negotiate and ordered his security forces to shoot opponents without warning.

"All these events are unexpected but very well timed on the eve of the negotiations with the U.S.,” said Fyodor Lukyanov, head of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, which advises the Kremlin. "Russia has given a reminder of its ability to make quick and non-standard decisions in the military-political sphere to influence events in places in the world that are important to it.”

...

Involving only about 2,000 soldiers, the Kazakh deployment isn’t big enough to distract from Russia’s much larger buildup near Ukraine. But it does provide a guarantee of loyalty, according to Vladimir Frolov, a former Russian diplomat who’s now a foreign policy analyst.

"It ensures their long-term alliance with Russia irrespective of who comes to power there,” he said. "Like the Warsaw Pact states,” he added, referring to the Soviet Union’s allies in eastern Europe in the Cold War, which have all now joined NATO.

"Sending troops raises the stakes” ahead of the negotiations with the U.S., Stanovaya said. "Russia has shown itself that it can do more than it could a year ago.”

"For 30 years we’ve been retreating,” Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, who will lead the talks with the U.S. in Geneva Monday, said in an interview this week. "Excuse me, but it’s finally time to advance.”

https://www.bloombergquint.com/politics/putin-sends-message-to-west-as-his-troops-turn-kazakh-tide

Posted by: daffyDuct | Jan 8 2022 1:36 utc | 222

@220 karlof1

I enjoyed their link to b and this very thread in citing the Rand paper "as noted by astute observers".

~~

Speaking of difference in tone, try this summary of today's briefing from Colonel General Andrei Serdyukov, commander of the CSTO grouping in Kazakhstan. Translations and summaries by Col Cassad [my emphasis]:

1. Citizens of Alma-Ata are urged to stay indoors and observe the state of emergency until the remaining militants are shot. Given the ongoing shooting, this is in the interests of the citizens themselves. Authorities warn that trained guerrilla snipers are operating in the city. More than 3,000 people have been arrested and dozens killed. There are still corpses on the streets which have not been removed.

Stunning language.

Actually, very sensible language to explain to the residents the gravity of outdoors at the moment. Not a propaganda pitch, simply plain speaking, but one wonders if the west hears this language.

I thought Tokayev's address to the nation was very clear and concise also. An attack by 20,000 armed bandits on a large city is a serious event (and I guess I have my answer as to the scale of this thing). The authorities are mopping up a very destructive terrorist attack, very clearly described and understood as such.

Both statements are at Saker (both from Cassad):

Sitrep Kazakhstan: President Tokayev addressed the nation

Sitrep: Summary of Briefing from Colonel General Andrei Serdyukov, commander of the CSTO grouping in Kazakhstan.

~~

As one of the comments over there asked, does the Biden team understand yet that the meeting on Monday is not a negotiation?

~~

And on Tuesday, Tokayev will address Parliament and begin the recriminations, the investigations, and the strengthening of the security state of Kazakhstan, which was obviously deficient. Not to mention, the continued interrogation of those few terrorists lucky enough to live through this restoration of order to the nation.

It will be a week that shows many templates for the region and the future of the world...

Posted by: Grieved | Jan 8 2022 1:45 utc | 223

Blinken winds it up with. . .

And again, on Kazakhstan, I would not conflate these situations. There are very particular drivers of what’s happening in Kazakhstan right now, as I said, that go to economic and political matters. And what’s happening in there is different from what’s happening on Ukraine’s borders. Having said that, I think one lesson in recent history is that once Russians are in your house, it’s sometimes very difficult to get them to leave.

Very difficult to get them to leave!! . . .You can't make this stuff up, considering the continuing US occupation of various countries. . .Japan, Germany, Korea, etc. and also Special Forces units . . .Fun fact: US special ops are in 33 of 44 countries in Europe ...

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 8 2022 1:48 utc | 224

Don Bacon @219

When I read that press briefing what struck me is how assertively Blinken stated the US position on Ukraine and how this contrasted to his feeble response on Kazakhstan. Where was the preplanned script, the detailed knowledge, the condemnation of Russia? Blinken is floundering, in my view, because the while thing has taken him (and the State Department) by surprise.

Posted by: ADKC | Jan 8 2022 1:49 utc | 225

@227 Maybe the beheadings disrupted the program. Not a good look. The peaceful protesters left when they got the gas prices reduced. Now Blinken has to decide whether he wants to support snipers.

Posted by: dh | Jan 8 2022 1:57 utc | 226

@ ADKC
Yes, b got it right on K'stan. Perhaps there will be a thread on Ukraine, especially regarding Minsk 2, and then we can get into it. Short comment: Blinken expects everything from Russia and nothing from Ukraine, when true progress requires the opposite. Russia intends to capitalize on it. . .while the Indo-Pacific takes a back seat, not a problem for China. Russia has the US spinning.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 8 2022 2:01 utc | 227

. . .latest approval polls
Biden 41%
Direction of country 28%
Congress 16% . . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 8 2022 2:09 utc | 228

@ daffyDuct | Jan 8 2022 1:36 utc | 224 with the quote that needs to be repeated

"
"For 30 years we’ve been retreating,” Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, who will lead the talks with the U.S. in Geneva Monday, said in an interview this week. "Excuse me, but it’s finally time to advance.”
"

It is nice to read those words. Humanity has a chance to move away from the God of Mammon cult and I hope it takes it.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 8 2022 2:47 utc | 229

@222 "I think it is looking more and more likely that this was not really a colour revolution but rather a coup attempt by Nazarbayev, aided and abetted by MI6 (the Machiavellian role) and Turkey"

Based on..... what, exactly? That Nazarbayev hasn't commented on the situation?

Really, that's all it takes to build a narrative that he is attempting a coup?

That same presser explicitly says that there are snipers on rooftops, which is right out of the Maiden playbook.

How do you stage a palace coup by getting snipers to shoot into crowds of protestors?

I.... honestly... words fail me.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 8 2022 2:48 utc | 230

Don Bacon | 226

”one lesson in recent[our entire] history is that once Russians US military are in your house, it’s sometimes very difficult[almost impossible]to get them to leave”.

Here’s a cue for tweets asking for US forces to vacate from:
Syria with pics of al-tanf and Deir ez-Zor
Iraq
Cuba | Guantanamo
Diego Garcia
Okinawa
Hawaii | Oahu
And anywhere else who’d like to chime in…..

Posted by: Melaleuca | Jan 8 2022 3:52 utc | 231

Don Bacon @229

B might be right that the US is behind the coup in Kazakhstan but I don't think the evidence is there. I was suggesting that Blinken really didn't know anything about the coup in Kazakhstan until' it happened and that was why he (and the State Department) were so unprepared.

The Rand Report that b relies on does not really support any of the possible geo-political measures (discussed in their report). The most promising of the geo-political measures was Ukraine, which Rand rated as only having a Medium Likelihood of Success (the rest were all Low). Regime change in Kazakhstan is not mentioned at all and the only thing Rand suggest is increased economic links to take Kazahkstan further away from Russian influence.

Posted by: ADKC | Jan 8 2022 3:58 utc | 232

@ADKC | 227
>Where was the preplanned script,
The Russians + CTSO executed a major intercept… the U$A lost the ball and Team U$A playbook just got torn up.
>the detailed knowledge,
Kazakhstan took the internet down and the #KazakSpring hash that was starting to trend died in the arse, as we say here.
Then the Russians + CTSO blocked comms. Blinker idiot and crew have no F|ing idea what’s happening on the ground.
>the condemnation of Russia?
Team U$A has
(i) no idea what intel and assets the Russians now hold. AND/OR
(I) the Russians are holding intel and assets the U$A is gonna need to negotiate back.
>Blinken is floundering,
Yes.
>because the while thing has taken him (and the State Department) by surprise.
Lol. No. What *HAS* taken them by surprise is the rapid loss of assets, narrative, initiative and real time on ground intel.
FUD
FUBAR

Posted by: Melaleuca | Jan 8 2022 4:04 utc | 233

@235 Melaleuca

Yes, and all of this lands on their table on Monday morning - in the globally important meeting of the Great Powers - when all their other preplanned scripts have been thrown out the window over the weekend because their entire scheme is in tatters, and they don't know what to do next.

And this is when the Russians will tell them.

Posted by: Grieved | Jan 8 2022 5:12 utc | 234

Yeah, Right | Jan 8 2022 2:48 utc | 232

The briefing (which has been machine translated) states the following:

"Tokayev’s appeal the question of complicity of some high-ranked law-enforcers linked to Nazarbayev (who is still keeping silence) to what happened will be raised, which actually legitimizes the version that the main mechanism of what happened was not gas prices but the struggle of Tokayev and Nazarbayev’s groups for power." THIS MEANS THAT THERE WAS A COUP ATTEMPT.

"...Nazarbayev (who is still keeping silence)..." THIS SUGGESTS NAZARBAYEV IS DETAINED.

"...a group of unidentified people has been carrying on organized firing squad with the police, guards and the army of Kazakhstan, who have been suffering losses in killed and wounded for three days now." THIS MEANS THAT THERE ARE GUN BATTLES BETWEEN MILITANTS AND SECURITY FORCES.

The briefing does not say that militants are shooting protestors. THIS IS NOT LIKE THE MAIDAN, THIS IS NOT A COLOUR REVOLUTION - THIS IS MUCH MORE LIKE AN OLD FASHIONED COUP.

Your hatred of the US is blinding you to more obvious conclusions.

Posted by: ADKC | Jan 8 2022 5:17 utc | 235

ADKC | 237
> THIS IS MUCH MORE LIKE AN OLD FASHIONED COUP.
Nah. This is signature U$A
They love themselves a bit of “overwhelming force” to open play…
Iraq: Shock and awe campaign.
Syria: 60,000 ISIS in brand new Toyotas blasting across the desert to create a “caliphate”.
Kazakhstan: 20k “peaceful protestors” arrive in Almaty from ?. Armed, organised, strategic and extremely violent.

Posted by: Melaleuca | Jan 8 2022 6:28 utc | 236

An observation from Tatyana on Craig Murray's site
https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2022/01/what-kazakhstan-isnt/#tc-comment-title

"I followed the development, and here is what’s reported:
The Mangystau region is a vast region with 90% of the oil and gas industry. There are many foreign corporations with a share of about 50%; Gazprom, by the way, has only about 5%. Foreign corporations export products out of the country. Foreign management optimizes business in such a way that the local population loses social packages and the latest “optimization” has led to a shortage and an increase in fuel prices in the country.

The strikes lasted for about a year, and the last time they became large-scale. President Tokayev imposed state price fixing for six months, dissolved the government, and arrested the director responsible for raising the fuel price in the region.
But this economic protest quickly turned into a political one. Coordination centers with Ukrainian phone numbers appeared on the Internet, and the Belarusian Nexta supported the political protest too. Then Mukhtar Ablyazov, the ex-Minister of Energy of Kazakhstan convicted of financial fraud and released from prison in France, called himself the leader of the protest.

Protests have engulfed all regions of Kazakhstan, have become violent and organized. People in the streets burn ambulances, city hall buildings, seize the airport, block roads, loot. Cars without registration plates drive up to the square and distribute firearms. There are reports of 8 police officers killed, two of them beheaded.
President Tokayev removed Nazarbayev from the Department of National Security and requested assistance from the allied states. Nazarbayev and his daughters left the country with their families.
Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Belarus, Russia sent their military – this contingent does not engage in combat with the protesters, but guard strategic facilities like airports and military units."

IMO, it seems that this is most likely a "colour" revolution attempt directed by the US through the Ukraine in order to influence the talks between Russia and the US, if not overthrow the government. It is possible that those that instigated the excessive price hike in government are a party to the attempt. Recent history suggests that protests were inevitable and that an opportunity to hi-jack them would present itself.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Jan 8 2022 6:46 utc | 237

@239 Blue Dotterel - I believe I rember that you live in Turkey. Forgive me if I am mistaken. I would be curious to hear you opinion on President Erdogan's potential involvment in this. Kazakhstan is a member of the Turkic Union. This sidelines serious ecomonic problems in Turkey.

Posted by: lex talionis | Jan 8 2022 7:37 utc | 238

@237 ADKC
If this had been a coup than it was a coup by Tokayev against Nazarbayev. Not the other way around.

While Tokayev had been President of Kazakhstan for a while now Nazarbayev until recently still held the office of chairman of Security Council of Kazakhstan. The security council encompasses the heads of the various armed and security forces. That`s the real center of power of Kazakh politics.

Now Tokayev is both president and chairman of the Security Council while Nazarbayev is nowhere to be found.

Posted by: m | Jan 8 2022 7:53 utc | 239

@237 ADCK Thank you very much for the selective quoting. Very misleading.

First things first, this furphy:
"The briefing (which has been machine translated) states the following"
"Tokayev’s appeal the question of complicity of some high-ranked law-enforcers linked to Nazarbayev"

That, of course, is not the briefing - not even close.
It is the blogger's commentary regarding the briefing.

Honestly, even a Kazakhstani President doesn't refer to himself in the 3rd person.
You are so ignorant that you can not even distinguish between a briefing and the commentary ABOUT the briefing.

For everyone else, the source is here: https://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/7355070.html

Note that Nazarbayev is not mentioned ONCE. Not ONCE. Not EVER. Not even by euphemism.

So I stand by what I said: a narrative has been formed that Nazarbayev is responsible for this based ENTIRELY on the fact that Nazarbayev is not being mentioned whatsoever as being involved in these event in any way, shape or form by anyone in a position to decry his involvement.

That you claim otherwise goes beyond bizarre and into the utterly brazen.

But note this bit: "We had to deal with armed and trained bandits, both local and foreign."

Both. Local. And. Foreign.

Sounds mighty like a color-revolution to me.

ADKC: "The briefing does not say that militants are shooting protestors."

BRIEFING: "But terrorists continue to damage public and private property and use weapons against citizens."

Use. Weapons. Against. Citizens.

ADKC: "THIS MEANS THAT THERE ARE GUN BATTLES BETWEEN MILITANTS AND SECURITY FORCES"

BRIEFING: "In Almaty, not only administrative buildings, but also the personal property of civilians suffered at the hands of terrorist bandits. Not to mention the health and lives of hundreds of civilians and military personnel."

CIVILIANS. Military. Personnel.

ADKC: "Your hatred of the US is blinding you to more obvious conclusions."

And you obviously have no problem being a lying sack o' s**t.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 8 2022 7:58 utc | 240

Everything happening in Kazakhstan right now is horrid. But in my opinion it is not between Tokayev and the Nazarbayevs, rather with Ablyazov and Kazhageldin. (and others too ) They may have western helpers, but they don't need them. Autonomy. The wild steppe. On fire.

Posted by: lex talionis | Jan 8 2022 8:30 utc | 241

@237 ADKC Well, that didn't take long.

Sorry to burst your bubble (oh, and Colonel Cassad's bubble) but......

https://news.cgtn.com/news/2022-01-08/Nazarbayev-says-he-is-in-Nur-Sultan-and-in-touch-with-Tokayev-16EFsbbzoJ2/index.html

"Kazakhstan's former president Nazarbayev issued a statement through his office on Saturday, calling on the nation to unite in support of the president to overcome the current challenges and ensure the integrity of the country."

"The statement said that Nazarbayev did not leave Kazakhstan but remained in the Nur-Sultan and was in touch directly with current president Tokayev, and also had telephone conversations with leaders from friendly countries."

"The statement called on the Kazakh public to remain calm and not listen to rumors."

Sound advice, that last bit.
Advice you would be well advised to heed.

It is clear from that statement that Nazarbayev is not behind this unrest and, furthermore, that Tokayev doesn't believe for a second that Nazarbayev is behind this.

You are wrong. You have been wrong from the very beginning.

So wrong, indeed, that it must be a deliberate attempt at propaganda.

This is an attempt at a color-revolution, and the only question is whether this was directed from Langley or if the CIA subcontracted the job out to MI-6.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 8 2022 8:33 utc | 242

@237 ADKC Oh, yeah, and some more:

https://news.cgtn.com/news/2022-01-08/Lukashenko-Nazarbayev-discuss-situation-in-Kazakhstan-by-phone-16E4hZ3J0iY/index.html

"Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko held a telephone conversation with First President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and discussed the state of affairs in Kazakhstan in detail, the presidential press service said Friday."

Doesn't sound to me that "THIS SUGGESTS NAZARBAYEV IS DETAINED" or that "THIS MEANS THAT THERE WAS A COUP ATTEMPT", nor even that "Nazarbayev remains silent (is he still alive? Is he sick? Is he arrested? Is he isolated?)".

Nope, none of the above: Nazarbayev has been working the phones drumming up support for Tokayev and urging CTSO leaders to send troops to squash this color-revolution.

Fancy that, hey, the exact opposite of your lamentable apologia.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 8 2022 8:42 utc | 243

@245 Yeah, Right - Yeah Right! This is shaping up to be a test between CSTO and NATO. If I were a betting human, I would...
I wish for peace and prosperty for the Kazakh people as well as all humanity. I really hope this calms down.

Posted by: lex talionis | Jan 8 2022 8:57 utc | 244

Kazakhstan's former national security chief detained on suspicion of treason
https://news.cgtn.com/news/2022-01-08/Kazakhstan-s-former-security-chief-detained-for-treason-16ExIhZYiyI/index.html

According to Reuters, Karim Massimov, the detained former security chief, is widely viewed as a close ally of former president Nursultan Nazarbayev.
https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/kazakhstan-detains-former-national-security-chief-suspicion-treason-2022-01-08/

Posted by: TN | Jan 8 2022 9:08 utc | 245

One interesting person to keep an eye on is Massimov. My emphasis below, from a Wikipedia entry updated since the 5 January, three days ago. I understood the charge was "high" treason rather than just "treason".

The NSC (Which he runs, equivalent to CIA or FSB etc. - spooks) was said to have NOT notified anyone about the "training camps in Kazahkstans mountains". (I don't know any more about exactly where). Which points to him being a "potential man on the ground".

"Since September 2016, he has been the incumbent, was the head of Kazakhstan's National Security Committee. On 5 January 2022, Massimov was dismissed by Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and later detained on suspicion of treason.

Karim Massimov is ethnically Uyghur and is a born citizen of Kazakhstan. He is fluent in Kazakh, Russian, Chinese, English and Arabic"

He has had dealings with most of the usual suspects including Israel.
****

Note that the US was doing quite well by it's own (capitalist) standards at stripping the assets from the country, flooding it with NGO (including Soros's dirty paws) without having to set it up for a "colour revolution". Even Chevron, who represents the Oligarchs (Shades of Yukos) and they are quite brutal*.
*
(For those of you who have noticed the Donsiger episode. Where the lawyer who got Chevron condamned for Pollution in Ecuador, ended up in prison. By the action of what can only be called a Judge "pourri" - rotten to the core - in the US.)

Posted by: Stonebird | Jan 8 2022 9:20 utc | 246

Yeah-right | 244
> only question is whether this was directed from Langley or if the CIA subcontracted the job out to MI-6.
I’ve got Nuland and crew on my bingo card.

In no particular order:
This BS had Ukraine fingerprints / Ukraine phone numbers for off site coordination
Nuland ran the Ukraine coup
Nuland went to Russia in October and got might pissed at the way she was treated. [Seethe. Plot revenge]
There’s a connection with Nuland + Chevron | the walk-off/ strike at the Chevron Tengiz oilfield at was one of the “go” signals.
There’s pics doing the rounds of VP Joe and son Hunter meeting then prime minister Karim Massimov and oligarch Kenes Rakischew in Kazakhstan (dated 2012 or 2014)

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8849097/As-GUY-ADAMS-uncovers-links-suspect-regime-just-damage-Hunter-Biden-cause.html

Cameo appearance by John Kerry
https://nypost.com/2020/10/17/hunter-biden-reportedly-also-had-business-ties-in-kazakhstan/

Former National Security Committee head Karim Massimov detained
Former Chairman of the National Security Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan Karim Massimov will be kept in detention on suspicion of high treason, Kazinform cites the committee’s press service.

Elbasy Nursultan Nazarbayev is currently in the Kazakh capital, his spokesperson Aidos Ukibai tweeted, Kazinform reports.
Aidos Ukibai took to his official Twitter account to reveal that the First President of Kazakhstan-Elbasy is currently in Nur-Sultan holding a number of consultative meetings and keeping in touch with President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.
Nursultan Nazarbayev spoke by phone with heads of friendly countries.
He urges everyone to help the President of Kazakhstan overcome current threats and ensure Kazakhstan’s integrity.

Posted by: Melaleuca | Jan 8 2022 9:23 utc | 247

TN | 247
In the words of that old super spy, Maxwell Smart…
Beat me by ::: that much [-]
(And stone bird)

Posted by: Melaleuca | Jan 8 2022 9:29 utc | 248

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 7 2022 23:55 utc | 214

...If he is also measured in his statement (I know, I know. Boris?) then you know that the Russians have some hard evidence of British hands in the cookie jar.

If this were the case it would illustrate another lost opportunity to challenge the West's hold of the narrative high ground.

Evidently, Kazakh authorities and allies are moving fast to overwhelm the onset of the coup. One major risk is to see this event drag on, gain momentum and reach the point where the only outcome is either widespread destruction or widespread destruction with change of government. Also, it's important to prevent the evolution of a simple news story into a fully scripted miniseries.

In two days, the tone has already been set and keywords are widely broadcast. I'm hearing "regime, regime, Putin, authoritarian, violent repression, troops, Russian troops, shoot-to-kill, legitimate protests". And the latest parroted theme "once Russian troops are someplace, they never leave".

The implications are that much damage has already been done. Tomorrow, the West can legitimately call for sanctions and withhold assets. In other words, economic warfare has been turned on with the flick of a switch.

My point is that efforts should go beyond simply restoring calm in the following weeks. The narrative front should be addressed in addition to the physical one. If defensive actions are limited to parrying incoming missiles, the enemy will pursue his attacks over and over.

If there is evidence of foreign involvement, it should be paraded in daylight for all to see. Make a bit fuss about it, call a UNSC meeting and turn the spotlights on. Don't drop the affair until everyone is talking about it. Are there bearded meanies involved? If so, that would be a golden opportunity to challenge the narrative on Syria. And Libya, and Iraq and so on.

Breaching this fortress would be a spectacular loss for the Empire.

Posted by: robin | Jan 8 2022 9:37 utc | 249

Tomorrow, the West can legitimately call for sanctions and withhold assets.

Posted by: robin | Jan 8 2022 9:37 utc | 251

===

Withhold assets? The balance of trade is from Kazakhstan, and the current account is wildly in their favor.

The West stands to have their interests in Kazakhstan legitimately nationalized.

Posted by: too scents | Jan 8 2022 10:18 utc | 250

In two days, the tone has already been set and keywords are widely broadcast. I'm hearing "regime, regime, Putin, authoritarian, violent repression, troops, Russian troops, shoot-to-kill, legitimate protests". And the latest parroted theme "once Russian troops are someplace, they never leave".

The implications are that much damage has already been done. Tomorrow, the West can legitimately call for sanctions and withhold assets. In other words, economic warfare has been turned on with the flick of a switch.

Sorry, this is the sort of thinking that we need to dispense with. Bullshit is not a substitute for real action or real discussion. Not a substitute for work. Fifty years ago we had some REAL credibility. Twenty years ago we still had enough to get by. Corks popping everywhere at the millenium. Bush-Cheney threw all that away, Obama made SURE nothing got done about it, and none of the present crop of politicians has the chops to make it better. Now all they have left is the bullshit.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jan 8 2022 10:38 utc | 251

Melaleuca | Jan 8 2022 9:29 utc | 250

Same wavelength.

Off hand I like the professionalism with which communications between Kazahkstan and the rest of the world were cut off. The Russsians are (or already have sent in) units to electronically cut off or/and identify local communications. Identification of the rioters and interception of orders? On trucks ready to be deployed!

Posted by: Stonebird | Jan 8 2022 10:39 utc | 252

>> I understood the charge was "high" treason rather than just "treason".

I am not sure if in Russian there is a distinction between "high treason" and "treason". There is a distinction between "state treason", and "treason", the latter, as far as I know, is not a crime but a possible ground for divorce (betrayal? same word as treason in Polish and Russian).

The words for treason in Polish and Russians are explained as oath breaking, that may be marital oath, or oath of office, thus desertion from military is a treason, but not state treason. The way "state treason" is used in Ukraine is puzzling and inconsistent.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 8 2022 11:00 utc | 253

Withhold assets? The balance of trade is from Kazakhstan, and the current account is wildly in their favor.

The West stands to have their interests in Kazakhstan legitimately nationalized.

Posted by: too scents | Jan 8 2022 10:18 utc | 252

A country with surplus of payments has to have assets abroad that can be sized or "frozen". For example, Trump threatened Iraq with a freeze of reserves in American banks, allegedly 34 billion dollars, would Iraq insist on expelling American troops. And precisely that was done to Venezuela and Afghanistan. Similarly, many individuals in Kazakhstan have assets abroad. That said, the holdings of Chevron and other companies may indeed be seized in retaliation. Creating such interdependencies is an important strategy, not necessarily reliable.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 8 2022 11:08 utc | 254

@253 Bemildred, I am of the mind to agree with Patrick Armstrong's characterization of a color-revolution and how to combat them.

Especially this bit of advice: "Don’t be afraid that you’ll be blamed: you will be anyway. The Western propaganda machine is not interested in facts."

Go in hard, shoot the bastards and go through the pockets later, precisely because they would do the same if they had the chance.

And if anyone complains (and they will) then dump the bodies at their feet and snarl "one of yours, I presume?"

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 8 2022 11:08 utc | 255

Posted by: Bemildred | Jan 8 2022 10:38 utc | 253

...Sorry, this is the sort of thinking that we need to dispense with. Bullshit is not a substitute for real action or real discussion. Not a substitute for work. Fifty years ago we had some REAL credibility. Twenty years ago we still had enough to get by. Corks popping everywhere at the millenium. Bush-Cheney threw all that away, Obama made SURE nothing got done about it, and none of the present crop of politicians has the chops to make it better. Now all they have left is the bullshit.

Not sure I understand what your point is here. Are you suggesting that information warfare isn't real action?

Posted by: robin | Jan 8 2022 11:13 utc | 256

Not sure I understand what your point is here. Are you suggesting that information warfare isn't real action?

I am suggesting it is not a substitute for real action. "Bullshit will only take you so far." The Germans found out all about that in WWII. The Soviets thought a lot of propaganda was a good idea too. For the most part I think deliberately polluting your information space is a bad idea, but I am not suggesting it does not have a poewerful effect.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jan 8 2022 11:17 utc | 257

Piotr Berman | Jan 8 2022 11:00 utc | 255

State Treason.

Inconsistant certainly, but putting two and two together, I make twenty-two as usual.

**There were "foreign elements" in the attackers forces from a "neighbouring country".**

Makes me wonder if they were not Uigher "citizens". Not sent by China, but some of those who could have been trained by the US, or returnees from Syria looking for a new posting. Explains why the Chinese are more vociferous than normal. The mountains are just over the border from Xinjiang. 20'000 is a large group to train in one place.

No supporting evidence so just speculation.

Posted by: Stonebird | Jan 8 2022 11:18 utc | 258

@258 robin I read it to mean that fear of being slapped with sanctions by "the West" is pointless: no matter what you do (or don't do) you are going to be blamed for events as they unfold.

Either way, the "information warfare" waged against you will be the same.

At least if you act then there is a chance that you will prevail, but if you impersonate a rabbit in a spotlight then you are certain to lose.


Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 8 2022 11:22 utc | 259

How does one tell the difference between a people rising up against government oppression and an uprising instigated by the US?

To me it's quite appropriate that Kazakhs burn their government to the ground. Something has to give eventually, the corrupt mafia ruling over them won't yield to peaceful protest.

I don't think it's as simple as brushing it off as just another CIA instigated color revolution.

Even if it is, whoever let things get to this state deserves to see the ruling oligarchy burn to the ground.

And the CSTO now finds itself in the position of merely enforcing the rule of another dictatorial regime over a people already crushed beneath the heel of neo feudalism.

As much as I hate to say it: maybe it's a good thing if the Anglo American empire is stirring the pot in Kazakhstan.

Maybe Central Asian rulers will wake up and understand that they need to do more for their people.

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Jan 8 2022 11:43 utc | 260

RE: Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 7 2022 19:03 utc | 201

“contributing to instability is a stupid strategy. “

Resort to absolutes is generally unwise given strategies are interactions although not perceived to be so by “exceptionalists”.

There are many ways to contribute including by doing nothing, which is deemed to be unmanly/unacceptable by those immersed in some cultures.

“The United States of America” is a complex of coercive social relations where in reflex responses of vindictiveness in frustration are popular – a consequence of encouraging “emotionalism/emoting.”

For those in interaction with “The United States of America” a strategy of doing nothing thereby contributing to instability can be a wise strategy not restricted to judo, whilst an attempt by “The United States of America” to “censor” broadcasts in a widely surveyed environment is never a wise strategy, one example being the datastream below which was believed/thought to be “censored” more than once.

“"It should be “of” not “on” as in the War of Terror."

By your designation you infer that all of the targets are/were terrorised.

That assumption is inherent in the hopes of "The United States of America" which they misrepresent as "strategies", which facilitates the rendering by others of "strategies" into hopes, in emotional reflex to which "The United States of America" increases the amplitude and scope of "terrors" to which some, but not all, respond emotionally "Thats not fair".

From inception some of the opponents of the coercive social relation self-misrepresented as "The United States of America" have referred to the hopes of "The United States of America" as The War on Terriers and other breeds which has been activated from circa 1619 onwards.

"The United States of America" have never been restricted to the use of things that go bang to wage war on terriers and other breeds, nor have they restricted their modes of war on terriers since without local targetting drone warfare is a modified version of carpet bombing, but have also conducted their wars on other breeds, including themselves, as a function of competition thereby precluding unity.

His role in the demystification of the terrorisation quotient of terror on/to terriers and other breeds is a component part of why part of the case against Mr. Assange is held to be the release of confidential intelligence that puts the “drone forces” in peril over and above the risks of cardiac arrest sitting in a chair consuming an “American diet”.

Posted by: NotEuclid | Jan 8 2022 11:52 utc | 261

Yeah, Right @244

You condemn me for referring to the very same "briefing" that YOU refer to @217? However, it turns out that this is not at all a "Summary of Briefing from Colonel General Andrei Serdyukov, commander of the CSTO grouping in Kazakhstan" and The Saker was completely incorrect to refer to it is such. What it is a posting about the situation in Kazakhstan by Colonel Cassad and is not any sort of summary of any 3rd party "briefing" or "statement".

Tokayev's statement (which you mistakenly believe was the original source for Cassad mis-described "briefing") actually supports the idea of a coup:

"There will be a "debriefing" in connection with the actions of law enforcement agencies and the army, as well as their interdepartmental coordination.

"It also turned out that there are not enough special forces, special equipment and equipment. We will address these issues as a matter of urgency.

"It is critically important to understand why the state "overslept" the underground preparation of terrorist attacks by sleeper cells of militants... 20 thousand bandits attacked Almaty.

"Their actions showed a clear plan of attacks on military, administrative and social facilities in almost all areas, well-coordinated actions, high combat readiness and brutal cruelty.

"In addition to the militants, there were specialists trained in ideological sabotage, skillfully using disinformation or "fakes" and capable of manipulating people's moods.

"It seems that their training and leadership were handled by a single command post."

Colonel Cassad has posted another article, Briefly about Kazakhstan. 08.01.2022, which provides more up-to-date information that supports the coup hypothesis:

"1. Former head of the National Security Committee Massimov was detained in the case of high treason. De Facto, this finally legitimizes the existing belief that the reason for everything was the disassembly of the Kazakh clans and their struggle for power, in which Tokayev is now winning. In addition to Massimov, other unnamed high-ranking officials are reported to have been arrested.

"2. Nazarbayev's press secretary stated that he had not yet left Kazakhstan. It was also stated that Nazarbayev had held telephone talks with the leaders of the CIS countries and that he called on everyone to " rally around Tokayev." It looks like an admission of defeat and the establishment of autocracy in Kazakhstan. But here it is better to wait for the video announcements of Nazarbayev himself - so far they are made on his behalf...

"In general, it can be assumed that the events after the entry of CSTO troops and the arrests of officials involved in organizing protests and riots are on the path leading to the stabilization of Kazakhstan, which will now be ruled by Tokayev alone. without looking back at the Elbasy."

Posted by: ADKC | Jan 8 2022 12:03 utc | 262

Bemildred @ 259 and Yeah, Right @ 261

I'm arguing that the West's ability to wage economic, diplomatic and kinetic warfare is dependent on its dominance of that one crucial battlefield that you appear to dismiss rather quickly.

From the citizenry's perspective, global arson isn't intrinsically a desirable product. Expending vast amounts of resources to destroy societies abroad is not a priority. Those resources could be spent to fix things at home. This is why the Empire puts so much effort into selling this product. These are certainly tangible actions.

Don't you see the value in ruining that sales pitch and exposing the product for what it is? It's a shit sandwich, for god's sake! Might as well point out the obvious.

Chipping away at the foundation of the Empire's belligerence strategy should never be dismissed. This too would be a very tangible action.

Posted by: robin | Jan 8 2022 12:04 utc | 263

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Jan 8 2022 11:43 utc | 262

Color revolution typically hijack organic protests with clear reasonable grievances and expand them into something more typically regime change most specifically to change foreign policy to against those perceived empire enemies. Their target of angers should also be more limited rather than expansive into something strategic like internet provider services, airports, military depots.

Posted by: Lucci | Jan 8 2022 12:14 utc | 264

Go in hard, shoot the bastards and go through the pockets later, precisely because they would do the same if they had the chance.

And if anyone complains (and they will) then dump the bodies at their feet and snarl "one of yours, I presume?"
Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 8 2022 11:08 utc | 257

Yeah, I agree, we've seen it a few times now. You notice Lukashenko got involved first thing.

You want to avoid that sort of thing, of course, but when you can't, best not dither too much or hold your tongue.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jan 8 2022 12:15 utc | 265

I dont read much of Russias economic success.
And similarly the problem in sattelite states result from weak economies.
While I gather that Russia has oligarch issues, still economics and finance are something of science. That is the key to lasting power.

Posted by: jared | Jan 8 2022 13:17 utc | 266

Or I should say "sovereignty" rather than "power" but latter sounded more impact.
Is Russia going to surround itself with failed states, again?

Posted by: jared | Jan 8 2022 13:25 utc | 267

Azeri strongman Aliyev has sobered up after seeing the lightning deployment and effectiveness of CSTO troops to Kazakhstan under Pashinyan’s lead. Aliyev had a change of heart and is now calling for serious talks with Armenia for delimiting and seeking normalization of relations. Looks like Turkish pan-Turan track is no longer his best option.

Posted by: Sun Tzu | Jan 8 2022 14:16 utc | 268

Kazakhstan is flush in hydrocarbons, uranium and a bunch of other raw resources the demand for which is growing and will continue to grow. At the same time, the country does not hold a controlling share in these resources -- that honor belongs to Western corporations. With gas, the price-hike of which was stated as the primary reason for unrest, the majority share-holders in the largest Kazakh gas-wells are US Chevron, US Exxon-Mobil, Ita Zenith, Ita Eni, Gbr Shell, Fra Total and so on. Although the decision to deregulate domestic gas prices couldn't be pushed through without at least some government cooperation, it should be fairly obvious that the initiative to do so would have emanated from foreign corporations who care little about the cost to the average Kazakh pleb.

Posted by: Skiffer | Jan 8 2022 14:24 utc | 269

Skiffer | Jan 8 2022 14:24 utc | 271

Pity we are not still in a true nationalist mode; I'd love to see a few Nationalisations" just for old times sake.

Posted by: Stonebird | Jan 8 2022 15:13 utc | 270

So there are (were?) at least 20,000 headchoppers in secret training camps in Kazakhstan. How long could their beer and pretzels hold out after the US was kicked out of Afghanistan? I am guessing not too long. That death squad army was nearing its expiration date and it was use it or lose it time for the Empire of Chaos.

Next, Piotr Berman notes @44:

The [color revolution] textbook is, by now, a common knowledge, so different forces may pull the strings.

Karlof1 expands significantly on this as well. The empire's color revolutions have not been going according to plan these last several years because the targets know they are being attacked now.

Some posters seem to be misunderstanding the role of the empire's NGOs. These organizations' roles in the color revolutions are completely separate from the roles of the empire's headchoppers. The NGOs' job is to foster discontent; to nurture self-pity in portions of the population so that when the empire is ready that portion of the population can quickly be brought out onto the street in protests. You could say that the NGOs "charge up" the butthurt levels in the target society so that society is ready for an explosion of butthurt when the empire pulls the trigger.

This collective outburst of self-pity, by itself, is harmless. The target "regime" need only wait until the butthurt energy levels dissipate for things to return to normal. The role of the headchoppers is to escalate the tension before that can happen, using the protests for cover.

It takes time for the empire's NGOs to "charge up" the discontent in society, but once charged the population can be kept on a hair trigger for quite some time. This is useful to the empire because it also takes time to prepare the media narratives and get their agents in place in the target government to sabotage that government's response; police chiefs need to be paid off and intelligence service director need to be bought with promises of retirement to Miami, and so on.

But, as Piotr Berman pointed out, lots of people understand the color revolution playbook nowadays. If they trigger the protests before the empire is ready to use them then the color revolution will almost certainly fail. It looks like the enormous increase in fuel prices in Kazakhstan were meant as a deliberate trigger to discharge the pent up butthurt from society before the empire was ready to act. Since it was no longer viable to maintain such a large headchopper army in Kazakhstan after the loss of Afghanistan, the only choice the empire could see was to go ahead with the regime change whether the operation was ready or not. Without salaries and sandwiches the headchoppers will wander off to find other things to do, so throwing them into a color revolution that is probably a lost cause doesn't really cost the empire anything extra.

I'm thinking the empire has been outplayed yet again.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jan 8 2022 15:30 utc | 271

A perfect match …

Kazakh policymakers believe that Israel could indirectly assist Kazakhstan’s attempts to increase its oil exports to East Asia. In November 2006, Kazakhstan’s Deputy Prime Minister Karim Masimov announced that Kazakhstan would expand its investments in Haifa’s oil refineries.

Masimov has also called for an extension of the Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan (BTC) Pipeline to Israel. Should the BTC pipeline expand to Israel, Israel’s oil terminals at Ashkelon and Eilat could be used to increase Kazakh oil shipments to Europe and East Asia.

[Source: The Israel-Kazakhstan Partnership |The Diplomat |]

Posted by: Oui | Jan 8 2022 15:48 utc | 272

Muslim Kazakhstan asks Netanyahu for help in war on terror | I24 – 2016 |

"The Kazakhstani army is moving toward developing the mobility and effectiveness of its combat training," the Defence Ministry press service reported. "Studying Israeli experience in applying special forces presents a unique platform for realising the goals we set. Another important field is exchanging information on security."

Netanyahu scores diplomatic home run in Iran’s backyard – visits Azerbaijan-Kazakhstan | TOI – Dec. 17, 2016 |

Posted by: Oui | Jan 8 2022 15:49 utc | 273

THE END

https://twitter.com/peyamakurd/status/1479769602947260418

Posted by: Oui | Jan 8 2022 15:50 utc | 274

. .from Indian Punchline, a concluding paragraph. . .

Kazakhstan has been a member of NATO’s Partnership for Peace since 1994. It was the only Central Asian country to depute a military contingent to fight the Afghan war under NATO banner. Kazakhstan was being groomed as a potential member of the NATO, like Ukraine and Georgia. All that now seems a pipe dream. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 8 2022 16:00 utc | 275

Yeah, Right @245

Nazarbayev is not the hero you think he is.

He has ruled Kazakhstan as a dictator since independence in 1991, with a semblance of democracy (which is an obvious sham).

During his rule Nazarbayev has distanced Kazakhstan from Russia, encouraged discrimination against Russians and the Russian language.

In the last 10 years this distancing became more prononuced when Nazarbayev began to ally with Turkey and abolished Cyrillic script to fit in with Turkey's ambitions for the region.

In 2016 Nazarbayev informed shocked Russian business leaders that Kazakhstan was going to adopt British commercial law. Imagine how shocking this was for Russians to hear?

Kazakhstan is a very rich country. It has a large sovereign wealth fund. 10 years ago the wealth of individual Kazakhs was comparable to individual Russians but since then Kazakhs have become significantly poorer than the average Russian. Why is this? It's not because Kazakhstan got any poorer? And the Sovereign Wealth Fund has not been used to improve the situation of average Kazakhs. Why is that? In my view a process of wealth extraction was going on.

In 2019 there were protests in Kazakhstan and Putin used this to leverage Nazarbayev out of the Presidency. Nazarbayev wanted his daughter to take over but Putin was having none of it. Imagine how demeaning this was for Nazarbayev?

But Nazarbayev was still allowed to hold important positions, some honorific, but others like the Chair of the Security Council allowed him to still wield significant control (it us likely that he still would have been to able to exert considerable influence even if he held no position).

It likely that Nazeryev was behind the hike in gas prices; there was no need to implement it so suddenly. Nazarbayev was effectively running the Government. In my view, Nazarbayev was trying to unseat Tokayev and get back "his" position as President and he did this with the help of MI6 and Turkey.

Regardless, the whole thing is a disaster for the US and they are unlikely to ever recover their position in the region.

Posted by: ADKC | Jan 8 2022 16:03 utc | 276

Craig Murray only denied that the CIA was involved. He said nothing about MI6.

Posted by: Lysias | Jan 8 2022 16:19 utc | 277

Posted by: Melaleuca | Jan 8 2022 9:29 utc | 250

You or Stonebird could have beaten me by ::: that much. I was lucky. :-)

Posted by: TN | Jan 8 2022 16:23 utc | 278

Excellent essay my Matt Taibbi regarding Jan 6 2021 - a day that will live in infamy:
https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/WhctKKXPbfJbFgRBjGQDCXBCWTvthctpgtpwTQMJZjTVRHNwWvnxxcbHpKjNqMwDkvrMwfQ

For those not subject to american politics its a good to get up to speed.

And the US supreme court is preparing to over-turn much of Biden's vaccine mandate - kind of global news as we wind down the pandemic and move on to next global upset (I heard what it will be but I forget now, anyway get ready).

Posted by: jared | Jan 8 2022 17:04 utc | 279

getting down & dirty
...from my 226, Blinken....

There are very particular drivers of what’s happening in Kazakhstan right now, as I said, that go to economic and political matters. And what’s happening in there is different from what’s happening on Ukraine’s borders. Having said that, I think one lesson in recent history is that once Russians are in your house, it’s sometimes very difficult to get them to leave.

...from Reuters, a Russian response

If Antony Blinken loves history lessons so much, then he should take the following into account: when Americans are in your house, it can be difficult to stay alive and not be robbed or raped," the [foreign] ministry said on its Telegram social media channel.. .We are taught this not only by the recent past but by all 300 years of American statehood. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 8 2022 17:17 utc | 280

@82 Blinken thinks insulting Russia is always the best wat towards a peaceful resolution.

And the BBC are on the case. They can be counted on to expose a brutal crackdown.

https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-asia-59906702

Posted by: dh | Jan 8 2022 17:25 utc | 281

@278 ADKC

Thanks for that. Yes, from the data seen so far I don't think we can conclude that Nazarbayev was - all along - on side with Tokayev. But Nazarbayev always struck me as a canny operator, and obviously this is how he survives.

And I'm not sure that I've seen precisely that Nazarbayev was all along rallying regional leaders to Kazakhstan's aid. I think CSTO was already well primed and waiting for the formal invite from the elected president, Tokayev.

It also strikes me that Nazarbayev may have chaired the Security Council but Tokayev - so I surmise - always held the formal power to remove him, which he now exercised. I'm not sure if Tokayev's powers actually changed in this emergency.

Tatyana's comments over at Craig Murray that were cited in a comment here up-thread, are very useful to understand some of the clan dynamics at work here and the rivalries between Tokayev and Nazarbayev. I think we can see from hard results on the ground who is winning that rivalry.

~~

All that said, I was sorry to see the clash between you and Yeah Right. It's clear to all of us that neither of you is trying to spread deliberate disinformation, but simply, like all of us, trying to tease out the reality from the data at hand during the fog of action. I appreciate both your efforts equally - as well, obviously, as all others here and in other sites.

Posted by: Grieved | Jan 8 2022 17:26 utc | 282

Today I have seen a video loosely related to the events in Kazakhstan. It seems that there exist quite a number of armed group with murky financing and strange training locations, e.g. near Poznan, Poland. They include Ukrainian fascists, Belarus nationalists, Kazakh's whatever etc. The group discussed most in the video included all three kinds (typically, with criminal background, the leader was an accomplice in a brutal double murder at the tender age of 20). Once there is a smell of blood, they gravitate to it like ravens and vulture. Some perhaps because of an instruction and a bag of money, some for fun or "just in case". There is a certainty of some loot and a prospect of becoming a hero of the revolution (like the main character in the video).

Kazakhstan has a lot of roads and good flowing, some illicit (e.g. from Afghanistan to Russia and beyond), enterprises need protection, it possesses a criminal demimonde like "any country". Neighborhood gangs too. "Even in USA", legitimate protests may be followed with looting and arson, although I never hear about looting arsenals for weapon (but why would Americans loot weapons rather than collect weapons?).

What I am trying to say is that "20,000 gangsters invading Almaty/Alma Ata" was probably a bit exaggerated in terms of numbers, and a person shown on TV was definitely a local gangster. The individuals responsible for starting the mayhem were not publicly identified yet. It could be "Erdogan recipe", trigger a plot that was genuinely organize by someone else, and follow with a purge to consolidate you position.

There is also a story of training camps for fighters in mountains of Kazakhstan. Tokayev was not involved in security "vertical" (as they call it in Russian), so it could point to Masimov (a bit strange from his biography, but possible) and by extension, to Nazarbayev. How Nazarbayev could benefit from riots with "down with the fossil" slogan is hard to imagine, more likely the strings were passed to some other hand.

The possibility of penetrating armed groups and directing their actions in a way inconsistent with the current needs of the original sponsors creates infinite ways of creating trace and are genuine and false in the same time -- the essence of Erdogan recipe. (My strong suspicion is that Erdogan was at the very least forewarned of 2016 coup, and he definitely milked the occasion to the max. Russian style is more subtle, I would not expect that much, but we will see.)

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 8 2022 18:09 utc | 283

Piotr Berman

I think it was Escobar that mentioned the "spontaneous" protests that began at the same time in different parts of the country and continued working as a group even after the internet was taken down.

A quiet little headline that hasn't appeared in western MSM.
"US approves voluntary departure of some consulate staff from Kazakhstan"
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/asia/us-approves-voluntary-departure-some-consulate-staff-kazakhstan-2422436

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 8 2022 18:23 utc | 284

Another glass of wine in memory of Limonov, he would have been an exceptional witness of present events. Deeply missed.

https://www.tout-sur-limonov.fr/412678070

From ForeignPolicy:

Yeltsin was hardly alone in making rhetorical claims to northern Kazakhstan. With the region remaining majority ethnic Russian, other Russian nationalists followed Yeltsin’s lead. Luminaries like dissident writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, who claimed northern Kazakhstan was rightfully Russian, and author and ultra-right political activist Eduard Limonov, who was later arrested for fomenting a separatist plot in the region, all joined the chorus.

https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/01/06/kazakhstan-protests-russia-intervention-troops-ethnic-separatism-secession-ukraine/

The whole link so the archiving criteria might get a little smile.

I do not think Russia wants pieces, Russia wants good neighbors and respect for the numerous Russian and German! among other minorities. It would be interesting to know what's the reaction in Germany, they have solid human links with Kazakhstan.

Posted by: Paco | Jan 8 2022 18:27 utc | 285

Grieved @284

I don't have a problem with Yeah Right, he may well be right about US involvement! Part of the issue lies with The Saker incorrectly describing an article (a link and correction was only posted by a commentator on The Saker a few hours after we both referred to the article). At present, the article has still not been corrected by The Saker.

The incorrectly described article led me to give it more weight than I should have. The article was definitely NOT a summary of a briefing from "Colonel General Andrei Serdyukov, commander of the CSTO grouping in Kazakhstan". However, Colonel Cassad is still quite reliable though the article is HIS opinion and not a summary of anything official.

It may be that the US are really behind what has happened (I mean more involvement than a few rogue elements) but, if so, I am staggered at how inept they have been. If the US embarked on this exercise then they should have realised they could not afford to fail because their whole strategy with regard to Russia and, more importantly, China and OBOR, would be in tatters. From the US strategic viewpoint, they NEEDED to ensure that they would win or NOT DO IT AT ALL. It would also mean that the US even went against the suggested strategy in the Rand Report (which recommended closer economic ties). That is why I can't see that the US did this, I just cant believe they are such total idiots, but I'm content to wait on evidence that proves otherwise. (BTW, MI6 are absolutely the kind of idiots that would do such things, e.g. Litvienko and Polonium-210, Skripals and the film prop novichock, Novalny and a bottle of water, ex-pat Russian oligarchs being disposed of after they have served their use, the Syrian chemical bomb(s) debacle, etc. - they just can't do anything right, but, they are dangerous and reckless and they are outside of effective political control - plus, they have watched far too much James Bond.)

Regardless, (imo) the whole world has changed. The US (whether they did it or not, whether they realise or not) have lost the region. In time, US and western companies operating in Kazakhstan will be replaced by Russian and Chinese entities. The US will not be able to prevent the "World Island" being in control of itself and becoming the dominating economic block and cultural entity of next 100 years.

The US and others (like the UK) are at risk of being relegated to the periphery, cast to the very margins of the world economy, our people being impoverished. But, it doesn't have to be like that. The US and Americans (and Europeans) need to wake up and take a full part in the "One Belt, One Road" project; it is the best economic future on offer. The Climate Change agenda, de-growth and depopulation policies and the bankrupt western financial system are not viable for the future of mankind.

I think are role should be to help our respective countries choose the future offered by OBOR.

Posted by: ADKC | Jan 8 2022 19:53 utc | 286

@264 robin "I'm arguing that the West's ability to wage economic, diplomatic and kinetic warfare is dependent on its dominance of that one crucial battlefield that you appear to dismiss rather quickly."

I completely disagree.

The "West's" (really, the USA) ability to wage economic, diplomatic and kinetc warfare is entirely dependent on the position of the US Dollar as the world's reserve currency.

Economic: If trade is denominated in dollars then you need dollars, and the USA can cut you off from that spigot.
Diplomatic: See above. The Nixon Doctrine applies: once you have them by the balls then their hearts and minds will follow
Kinetic: The US can pay for its military by simply printing money and then exporting the resulting inflation.

It has next to nothing to do with US dominance of the airwaves, and especially not when most of the world's population *isn't* in "the West" and *doesn't* speak the language.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 8 2022 23:12 utc | 287

@287 ADKC The problem I have with you is that you are letting Colonel Cassad do your thinking for you.

So you are basing your argument on HIS interpretation of events, and not on what the actual actors in this pantomime are saying and (more importantly) doing.

Very unwise.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 8 2022 23:34 utc | 288

Idiocrates @190
I can't remember where it came from (quite possibly Douglas Adams), and don't hold me to too high a level of exactitude, but "If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, you in all probability are looking at a winged creature of the family Anatidea.

Posted by: Jon_in_AU | Jan 9 2022 6:45 utc | 289

@AKDC the chinese realize the science of physics is not a plot, too, which is why they are spending much more on switching to renewable energy than the US. re "the Climate Change Agenda". in other news, the US landed on the moon.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jan 9 2022 7:07 utc | 290

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 8 2022 23:12 utc | 288

The "West's" (really, the USA) ability to wage economic, diplomatic and kinetc warfare is entirely dependent on the position of the US Dollar as the world's reserve currency.

Economic: If trade is denominated in dollars then you need dollars, and the USA can cut you off from that spigot.
Diplomatic: See above. The Nixon Doctrine applies: once you have them by the balls then their hearts and minds will follow
Kinetic: The US can pay for its military by simply printing money and then exporting the resulting inflation.

It has next to nothing to do with US dominance of the airwaves, and especially not when most of the world's population *isn't* in "the West" and *doesn't* speak the language.


I completely agree with your breakdown of the different aspects of power. This notion is fundamental to
understand power balance in an objective manner.

Another important notion is that of the field of battle. The battlefield of kinetic warfare is obvious. You don't send rapid reaction forces to the middle of the steppe if you have determined that the biggest risk lies at the airport and the cosmodrome.

The same can be said of diplomatic and economic warfare. If the experts have done their work, they know exactly where and when it is most effective to apply pressure, sanctions, make threats and so on. Not much point in calling for sanctions on the shipping industry of a landlocked country.

As for narrative power, it too has its field of application. On a tactical level, localized propaganda was determinant in the success of colour revolutions. Today, the incredible leverage of social media has out-staged the traditional airwaves broadcasts such as Voice of America. The idea is to get people in the streets, direct their slogans and purpose, watch the movement grow and hope for something to give at the government level. The field of battle is local here.

That being said, if power is a necessary means for belligerence, it isn't the sole determinant. A country may be powerful in every aspect we have discussed, top-shelf defence forces, diplomatic clout, vigorous industry, and yet, if there is no political will to wage wars of choice, then the story stops there.

The point I'm making is that the weakness in the Empire's belligerent strategy is that it must expend a lot of energy to ensure the tacit acquiescence of its own citizenry. Note where the field of battle lies in this case. From what I'm seeing, one side is clearly dominating this particular field. Very localized indeed but crucial nonetheless.

Posted by: robin | Jan 9 2022 9:12 utc | 291

Kazakhstan can stop the Belt Road Initiative BTI - if sided with Russia & West/US.
This could be a preemptive play designed at this + also taking RU attention away from Ukraine / spreading their resources. Especially before the upcoming negotiations

Posted by: Bobson | Jan 9 2022 10:41 utc | 292

It has next to nothing to do with US dominance of the airwaves, and especially not when most of the world's population *isn't* in "the West" and *doesn't* speak the language.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 8 2022 23:12 utc | 288

I dunno why you bother. These "we make our own reality" people are not amenable to being talked down. They think they have everything all figured out, and they like that, they aren't going to give it up.

But even the US public is not listening like it once did, a shrinking audience for official media of all sorts, the result of information pollution throughout. No Walter Cronkite these days, not even Brooks & Shields anymore, it's all Chad's and Britneys now. One hundred percent marketing bullshit. People rely on the likes of Twitter and this little blog to find out what is really happening.

I just today got an email trojan intended to run unauthorized code on my desktop here, by claiming I could get a PS5, consumer marketing madness. You click on it, and off it goes. No idea what it does, likely not to run on my OS, but ...

I have trained my wife not to click on email links, ever.

The very reputable businesses I patronize are constantly at me to sell this or that useless financial crap, or a loan, or something. Everybody is assumed to have nothing better to do that respond to deceptive advertising all day.

It will not get better until they stop lying all day.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jan 9 2022 12:14 utc | 293

@ 27 and 79
The other sources that I muffed is Vladimir Platov with the NEO - Ru and Eng. He has written a few articles on this " Sampson type option" of having 20 to 30 BioWeapons labs surrounding Russia. Personally, I feel that we could have another Victory Day , if Russia were to cut loose with around 30 new Zirconium Specials, but for some strange reason - they - the Military - hesitate. Which shows a very serious flaw in the Kremlin.

Posted by: GMC | Jan 9 2022 17:59 utc | 294

Posted by: Bemildred | Jan 9 2022 12:14 utc | 294

...But even the US public is not listening like it once did, a shrinking audience for official media of all sorts, the result of information pollution throughout. No Walter Cronkite these days, not even Brooks & Shields anymore, it's all Chad's and Britneys now. One hundred percent marketing bullshit. People rely on the likes of Twitter and this little blog to find out what is really happening.

Hey, no argument here. People do not listen. Perhaps they did in the past, I don't know. However, I am pretty sure that the Karl Roves of today like it that way. Masses of vain, incurious, self absorbed zombies apathetic to worldly events.

Not listening but hearing. That's the key.

Listening implies given attention. This could lead to curiosity which could then lead to further discussion, research and ultimately to situational awareness. Not a desirable quality in a target audience.

I don't think the Skripal circus could have made all those rounds if people had been truly attentive.

Posted by: robin | Jan 9 2022 18:46 utc | 295

Yeah, Right @289

I am sorry you feel that way, but you yourself quoted from the very same article @216 believing, as I did, that it was a summary of a briefing/presser by "Colonel General Andrei Serdyukov, commander of the CSTO grouping in Kazakhstan" when it was nothing of the sort. Even now, The Saker has not corrected the very misleading heading of the article or amended the article in any way since it was first published on the 7th.

Colonel Cassad is not ruling out the involvement of the US, he was just pointing to the evidence implicating Nazarbayev. As more is revealed about what happened the indications that Nazarbayev was involved in the coup have become stronger (IMO).

I doubted the involvement of the US and I suspected MI6 and Turkey acting in concert. But, I have to concede that the scope and scale of what appears to have happened indicate that the US must have been heavily involved. I am hoping that Pepe Escobar will provide more evidence in a pending article.

So, can we agree that the indications are that I am correct about Nazabayev involvement and wrong about the US role, but there is still much more to be revealed before we know for certain what happened?

Posted by: ADKC | Jan 11 2022 11:46 utc | 296

the url says is all kazakhstan-victims-of-bloody-january

google translate:

The victims of the January events Freedom List

Kazakh authorities say 227 people were killed in the January violence. These include the military and police, as well as those the authorities call "terrorists" and civilians. However, the authorities did not disclose the full names of the dead. This work was taken over by the Ar.Rukh.Khaq Foundation and other active members of civil society, led by human rights activist Bakytzhan Toregozhina. RFE / RL plans to do the same. The editorial office will develop a project to remember people who lost their lives during the riots. In this regard, if you have a relative or acquaintance among the dead and he is not on the open data list, please contact RFE / RL by e-mail or WhatsApp and share this information about the deceased.

followed by a long list of names

Posted by: annie | Feb 2 2022 17:10 utc | 297

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