The magnitude crisis in Kazakhstan has surprised many, including myself. Some compared what happened to the Euromaidan in Kiev, but that is very bad comparison, if only because the Euromaidan happened on one square of one city whereas the violent insurrection (because that it was it was!) in Kazakhstan began in the western regions but quickly spread to the entire country (which is huge). Just by the sheer magnitude of the insurrection (about 20’000 well organized and trained combatants all over the county) and its extreme violence (cops had their heads cut off!), it was pretty obvious that this was not something spontaneous, but something carefully prepared, organized and then executed. The way the insurgents immediately attacked all TV stations and airports, while bigger mobs were trashing the streets a looting stores, shows a degree of sophistication Ed Luttwak would have approved of!
To me, this is much more similar to what happened in Syria in the cities of Daraa, Homs, Hama,Aleppo, Damascus and many more.
I will admit that my initial reaction also was “wow, how could the Kazakh and Russian intelligence services miss all the indicators and warnings that such a huge insurrection was carefully prepared and about to explode?”. Then came the news that President Tokaev appealed to the The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), which up until now was a rather flaccid organization and that same evening Russia began an air bridge to move forces to Kazakhstan, including the 45th Guards Separate Special Forces Brigade, 98th Guards Airborne Division and 31st Guards Airborne Assault Brigade. Russian military transporters also transported small contingents of Armenian, Kyrgyz, Tadjik special forces. Most interestingly, the Belarusians also sent one reinforced company from their elite 103rd Separate Guards Airborne Brigade (that is the famous Vitebsk Airborne Division, one of the best Soviet Airborne Divisions). Considering the current tensions with the West over the Ukraine, the speed with which these forces were sent to Kazakhstan indicated to me that this was clearly a prepared move.
In other words, at least the Russians had advanced warning and were fully prepared. If so, I doubt they said anything to their colleagues from the CSTO, with the possible (likely) exception of the Belarusians.
Okay, so let’s explore the implications of the above.
If the Russians knew, why did they do nothing at all to prevent what just happened?
Here we first need to revisit what recently happened in Belarus.
President Lukashenko had pretty much the same foreign policy as President Tokaev: something they call a “multi-vector” foreign policy which I would summarize as follows: pump all the aid and money from Russia, while suppressing pro-Russian forces inside your own country and and trying to show the AngloZionist Empire that we can be bought, just for the right price of course (this is also what Vucic is doing in Serbia right now). Now let’s recall what happened in Belarus.
The Empire and its vassal states in the EU tried to overthrow Lukashenko who had no other choice than to turn to Russia for help and survival. Russia, of course, did oblige, but only in exchange for Lukashenko’s “good behavior” and comprehensive abandonment of his “multi-vector” foreign policy. Lukashenko prevailed, the opposition was crushed, and Russia and Belarus have already taken major further steps towards their integration.
Now I know that there are those out there who love to accuse Putin (personally) that he “showed weakness”, “let the US and NATO blow up countries on the Russian periphery”, etc. etc. etc. To those inclined to this, I ask a simple question: compare the Belarus before the insurrection and after. Specifically, from the Russian point of view, was the multi-vectoring Belarus preferable to the fully aligned Belarus of today or not? The answer, I submit, is absolutely obvious.
Now let’s look at Kazakhstan. Potentially, this is a much more dangerous country for Russia than Belarus: it has a huge border, a strong pan-Turkic underground (supported by Turkey), an equally strong Takfiri underground (supported by various non-state and even state actors in the region), ethnic tensions between the Kazakhs and the Russian minority and very important security ties to Russia. To have the Empire take over Belarus would have been very bad indeed, but the Empire taking over Kazakhstan would have been even much worse.
Yet, as a direct (and, I submit, predictable) consequence of the insurrection, Tokaev now knows that his fate depends on Russia, just like Lukashenko’s. Is that a bad or a good outcome for the Kremlin?
I will toss in another name here: Armenia’s Pashinian, who was a notorious russophobe until the Azeris attacked at which point he had no other choice but to turn to Russia for help and, frankly, survival. That is also true of Erdogan, but he is an ungrateful SOB who can’t ever be trusted, not even for minor matters.
Now remember all those dummies who were screaming urbi et orbi that the CSTO is useless, that the Russians just let the Azeris beat the crap of Armenia and could do nothing about it? As soon as Russia got involved, the war stopped and the “invincible” Bayraktars stopped flying. Is that a good or bad outcome for Russia?
And now, oh sweet irony, the self-same Pashinian happens to be the formal head of the CSTO (more like Stoltenberg really, a official mouthpiece with no real authority) and he had to “order” (announce, really) the CSTO operation into Kazakhstan.
So we have Lukashenko, Pashinian and now Tokaev all ex-multi-vector politicians begging Russia for help and getting that help, but at the obvious political price of ditching their former multi-vector policies.
I don’t know about you, but for me this is a triumph for Russia: without any military intervention or “invasion” (what the TV watching infantiles in the West scare themselves at night with), Putin “cracked” three notorious multi-vectorist and got them to be nice, loyal and very grateful (!) partners for Russia. By the way, Russia also has a very deep “penetration” into all the other “stans” whose leaders are not stupid and who, unlike the western journos and “experts” all read the writing on the wall. The impact of what just took place in Kazakhstan will reverberate all over Central Asia.
About the CSTO operation itself. First, the Russian and Belarusian forces (about 3’000 Russians and 500 Belarusians): they are truly elite, top of the line, battle hardened, professional, highly trained and superbly equipped forces (the other smaller contingents are more for “PR decoration” than for anything else). Officially, their mission it only to protect key official (Kazakh and Russian) facilities but these forces would be more than enough to make minced meat of out any western or Turkish trained Takfiris or nationalist, even if their numbers are much higher than the 20’000 estimate. And, in the worst case, these forces happen to be in control of key airports were Russians (and Belarusians) could send in even more forces, including at least two Russian airborne divisions. That would be a force nothing in Central Asia can even dream of taking on. I should also mention that Russia has a strategically crucial military base in Tadjikistan which has trained Takfiri terrorism for decades now and which could also support any Russian military operation in Central Asia.
So the objective of these forces are:
- To free up Kazakh security and military forces to put down the uprising (which they are doing)
- To send a political message to the Kazakh security forces: we got your back, no worries, do your job.
- To send a political message to the insurgents: you will either lay down arms, flee abroad or die (which is what Putin ordered in both Chechnia and Syria, so these are not empty threats at all).
- To send a political message to the US and Turkey: Tokaev is our guy now, you lost him and this country!
- To send a political message to the entire Central Asia and Caucasus: if Russia has your back, you will stay in power even if the idiots at CIA/NED/etc. try to color-revolutionize you.
- To send yet another message to folks like Erdogan or Vucic – all that multi-vectorness will end up very badly for you, use your head before it is too late (for you, not for us – we are fine either way!).
Some have suggested that the timing of the insurrection Kazakhstan was some kind of attempt by US/NATO to “hurt” Russia in her “weak underbelly” and to show Russia that she has to back down from her ultimatum to the West (negotiations are supposed to start tomorrow, in an atmosphere of general pessimism). Well, I don’t have any info out of Langley or Mons, but if that was the US plan, then this entire project not only collapsed, but has backfired very very badly indeed.
Remember, the PSYOP narrative was that Putin is either stupid, or weak or sold out to the West, yet when we look at the “before and after” thingie, we see that while the West “almost” (or so they think) “got” Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan and, now, Kazakhstan, the reality is that in each case it appears that the narcissistic megalomaniacs running the West have confidently waltzed into a carefully laid Russian trap which, far from giving the Empire the control of the countries it “almost” acquired, made them lose them for the foreseeable future.
Can you imagine the level of impotent rage and frustration in Langley and Mons when the watch that kind of footage: oy veh!!
Of sure, the AngloZionist propaganda machine and the clueless trolls (paid or not) who parrot that nonsense won’t say a word about all this, but just use your own common sense, use the “before and after” thing, and make your own conclusions.
Speaking of conclusions: how about all those who bitched about the CTOS being a toothless wannabe copy of NATO which can get nothing done? You still find it so toothless now?
How does it compare to NATO, no, not on paper, but in terms of combat operations capability?
The West wanted to turn Kazakhstan into a “Russian Afghanistan” (same plan for the Ukraine, by the way). Turkey wanted to turn Kazakhstan into a Turkish run vassal state. The Takfiris wanted to turn Kazakhstan into some kind of Emirate.
In your opinion, how do you evaluate the effectiveness of a collective security treaty which could foil all of these plans with only a brigade-sized force and in just a few days?
One more thing: there is something else which Kazakhstan and Syria have in common: there were A LOT of CIA/MI6/Mossad/etc agents around Assad, this became quite clear by the number of high level Syrian officials who either backed the insurrection, or even lead it. Most later fled to the West, some were killed. But the point is that the “apple” of the powers structure in Syria was quite rotten. The same can be said for Kazakhstan were a huge purge is taking place, with the head of the security services not only demoted, but arrested for treason!
So in plain English, the SVR/FSB/GRU now have a free hand to “clean house” the same way the Russians “cleaned house” around Lukashenko and Assad (in this case with Iranian help): quietly and very effectively,
Again, I can hear the hysterical and desperate wailing out of Langley and Mons. That what you get for believing your own stupid propaganda!
As for those who bought that silly “Putin losing countries all over the former Soviet Union space” PSYOP narrative, they probably feel quite stupid right now, but won’t ever admit it. Speaking of stupid,
No, Putin is NOT, repeat, NOT trying to “re-create” the Soviet Union.
And while that mediocre non-entity Bliken warns about how the Russians are hard to get out once they come it (coming from a US Secretary of State this is both quite hilarious and a new, even higher, level of absolute hypocrisy!), the truth is that most CSTO force will leave pretty soon, if only because there will be no need to keep them in Kazakhstan. Why? Simple: the hardcore trained terrorist and insurgents will soon be dead, the looting rioters will get off the streets and hope that they don’t get a visit from the Kazakh SSC (State Security Committee), the traitors in power will either leave the country for the EU or be jailed and the Kazakh security and military forces will regain control of the country and maintain law and order. Why would the Russian paratroopers and special forces need to say?
Furthermore, Russia has no need, or desire, to invade or, even less so, administer poor, mostly dysfunctional countries, with major social problems and very little actual benefits to offer Russia. And now that Lukashenko, Pashinian and Tokaev know that the serve at the pleasure of the Kremlin, you can rest assured that they will generally “behave”. Oh sure, they will remain mostly corrupt states, with nepotism, tribal affiliation and religious extremism all brewing at some level, but as long as they represent no threat to a) the Russian minority in these states and 2) to Russian national security interests, the Kremlin will not micro-manage them. But at the first sign of a resurgence of “multi-vectoriality” (possibly inspired by western corporations working in Kazakhstan) the chairs upon which these leaders currently sit will immediately begin shaking pretty badly and they will know whom to call to stop this.
Speaking of weak “idiots” who “lost” countries to the Empire, does anybody care to make a list of countries the Empire as ACTUALLY snatched away from Russia (or any other adversary) and succeeded in keeping? Syria? Libya? Afghanistan? Iraq maybe? Yemen? And that is after the “Mission Accomplished” declaration by a “triumphant” US President 🙂
Ah, I can hear the voices chanting “the Ukraine! What about the Ukraine!?”. Well, what about the Ukraine?
There is a Russian saying (цыплят по осени считают) which can be roughly translated as “do not count your chickens before they are hatched“. Right now, NOBODY can confidently predict what will happen with the Ukraine further down the road. Not only has the Ukraine become a country 404 deindustrialized shithole, it now is run by an entire class (in the Marxist sense) of Nazis whom, apparently, nobody has the will or the ability to de-Nazify (Russia could, but has exactly zero motive to do so, as for the US/NATO, LOL!!). Even if Russia and the US agree to some kind of neutral status for the Ukraine, this will not remove a single Nazi from power and, if anything, will create the conditions for an even bigger breakup of the country (which is what I think will eventually happen anyway, but very slowly and very very painfully).
The one thing which the Ukraine does have in common with Kazakhstan is that these are both invented countries created by the rabidly russophobic Bolsheviks: not only are their current borders meaningless (and I mean totally completely meaningless), but these borders bring under one totally artificial political “roof” completely different regions and ethnic groups. The big difference is, of course, that the Ukie leaders, all of them, were, and still are, infinitely worse than either Nazarbaev or Tokaev ever were. Also, Ukie nationalism is the most hate filled and demented on the planet, they can only be compared with the Hutu Interahamwe in Rwanda. Yes, there is definitely a nationalist streak in the Kazakh society (lovingly nourished and fed by the West for decades), but in comparison with the Ukronazis, these are soft spoken and mostly mentally sane humanitarians. In my personal, and therefore admittedly subjective, experience, Kazakhs and Russians get along much better than Ukrainians and Russians.
Last, but not least, it will take decades to de-Nazify the Ukraine, and God only knows who will be willing and capable of doing that (certainly NOT Russia!) whereas Kazakhstan’s insurgents are already being killed, in large numbers, by Kazakh security forces. As for the Kazakh oligarchs and officials who assisted them, they are either dead, or in jail or already abroad.
Did I mention China? It is a very important actor in Kazakhstan. On one level, China and Russia are economic and even political competitors in Kazakhstan, however China absolutely and categorically cannot allow Kazakhstan to be taken over by either the US/NATO, or the Takfiris or the pan-Turkists. The Chinese have not flexed their military muscle (yet), but they could, and you can rest assured that they will flex with (immense) economic muscle to prevent such an outcome. So while the poor Ukraine has Poland as a neighbor, Kazakhstan has both Russia and China which are absolutely determined not to allow any hostile force (anti-Chinese or anti-Russian, these are the same forces) to color-revolutionize Kazakhstan and turn it into the kind of nightmarish shithole the Empire turned so many countries in to, from the US-occupied EU to the Nazi-occupied Ukraine (before eventually losing them anyway!).
The bottom line about the Ukraine is this: let’s wait and see what kind of chickens the Ukie eggs will hatch and whether the eventual outcome will be worse or better for Russia. And, by “outcome” I do not refer to the roaring statements coming from western politicians and the talking heads on the idiot box, I mean actual outcomes, which in such matters can take months or even years before becoming fully apparent. (I know, those dead set on the “Putin is weak” thing will ignore my advice or any facts or logic, I am mostly addressing these suggestion to those who hear that narrative and want to figure out for themselves whether it is true or false).
What just happened in Kazakhstan was both a full-scale insurrection AND an attempted coup. There is overwhelming evidence that the Russians were aware of what was coming and allowed the chaos to get just bad enough to give only one possible option to Tokaev: to appeal for an CSTO intervention. The extreme swiftness of the Russian military operation took everybody be surprise and none of the parties involved in that insurrection+coup (the US, the Takfiris and the Turks) had any time to react to prevent the quick deployment of (extremely) combat-capable forces which then made it possible for the Kazakh military and security forces to regroup and go on the offensive. Having Pashinian “order” this CTOS operation was beautiful, karmic, cherry on the cake 🙂