Wednesday January 12, 2022
The year 2022 started with Kazakhstan on fire, a serious attack against one of the key hubs of Eurasian integration. We are only beginning to understand what and how it happened.
On Monday morning, leaders of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) held an extraordinary session to discuss Kazakhstan.
Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev framed it succinctly. Riots were “hidden behind unplanned protests.” The goal was “to seize power” – a coup attempt. Actions were “coordinated from a single center.” And “foreign militants were involved in the riots.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin went further: during the riots, “Maidan technologies were used,” a reference to the Ukranian square where 2013 protests unseated a NATO-unfriendly government.
Defending the prompt intervention of CSTO peacekeeping forces in Kazakhstan, Putin said, “it was necessary to react without delay.” The CSTO will be on the ground “as long as necessary,” but after the mission is accomplished, “of course, the entire contingent will be withdrawn from the country.” Forces are expected to exit later this week.