The new year in Kazakhstan has started with terrible riots. This has created unrest in the region and has also put the security of the country at risk. According to initial reports, the reason for these riots is the increase in the price of natural gas. The government lifted the price control on LPG at the beginning of the year. Due to this the prices of LPG increased and protests started in the country against it. In the former Soviet republic’s largest city, Almaty, police used tear gas and force to clear hundreds of protesters.
More than two hundred people have died in this violence, hundreds are injured. The most impact of the violence has been seen in the capital Almaty, where more than a hundred people have died. To deal with the situation, President Kasim Jomart Tokayev has called two and a half thousand soldiers of the Russian-led coalition to Kazakhstan. Meanwhile, slogans were also raised against former President Nur Sultan Nazarbayev. President Tokayev has blamed the terrorists trained abroad for this violence that broke out in the country. If so, then the situation in this country seems to indicate something else.
Whatever happened in Kazakhstan in the New Year raises many questions. Kazakhstan is the largest country in Central Asia. The world’s ninth largest country in terms of area, about five times larger than Britain, but a quarter of its population. Not just population, but its geo-political situation makes it more important. To its north is Russia, with which it has a border of more than seven and a half thousand kilometers.
In the east, it shares its border with China. When Central Asia was under Russia until 1990, Kazakhstan was the most important territory for Russia militarily. From nuclear test sites to space stations were here. Even today, Russia is dependent on Kazakhstan in many respects. Not only this, Kazakhstan and Belarus had a real role in the formation of the Eurasian Economic Union in 2015.
Russia’s role in whatever happened in Kazakhstan was and will continue to be so. There are many examples of this. About four million people in Kazakhstan, with a population of about 20 million, are of Russian origin. Most of the Kazakhs run to Russia in search of jobs and jobs. Russian is still the language of the school and intelligentsia.
They have a hold in the corridors of power. The second important role is that of the Security Council, under which five more countries are included with Russia, but the government runs by Russia. This time also when the riots in Almaty began to take hold and the army there seemed to be failing, Russia sent the army and to crush the demonstrations, people were fired upon, hundreds of people were injured, thousands were thrown in jails. Russia believed that the troublemakers were not internal, but external forces.
Therefore, the question is being raised time and again whether it was only external forces who carried out this violence in a planned manner, or was it the result of years of smoldering fire within the country itself. There are many such stories.
But this time the story begins with the arrival of the new year. LPG is the main transport fuel in this country. The western part of Kazakhstan has vast reserves of natural gas. What happened is that the government recently abolished subsidies from LPG and handed over its sale completely to private companies. Fuel prices doubled overnight. After this, protests started in the country. However, this is being seen as an immediate cause.
There are other reasons behind what has happened in Kazakhstan. The biggest reason is the totalitarian political system of the country, which has been running continuously since 1991. At the center of power is the role of the first President of Kazakhstan, Nazarbayev. From 1991 to 2019, the reins of power were completely in his hands. There were several political rebellions during his tenure, but with the help of Russia, he crushed them every time. For example, in 2015, there was a rebellion after the country’s currency went down to the lowest level. In the year 2016, the land of the people there was arbitrarily handed over to China and rebellion broke out against it.
Then in 2017, the public took to the road in protest against the Auto Expo. After this, in 2019, Nazarbayev transferred power and Tokayev was made president. But Nazarbayev himself remained a key body of power behind the scenes as director of the National Security Council. But the conspiracy to separate him from power was getting angry from within, and this anger has now come to the fore in the form of violence.
The second reason for the unrest in Kazakhstan was the increasing poverty and unemployment in the country. Young people are believed to make up the bulk of Kazakhstan’s population. Unemployment is at its peak. The situation of Corona epidemic has made it more serious. Then there is corruption in Kazakhstan and nepotism in power. As it is understood, every budding country will have its own identity, it will have a sense of nationalism, in which every civil society will play an important role. But this was not allowed to happen here. The totalitarian system consolidated the power to the individual and the family and in three decades the rulers here throttled the aspirations of the common people.
Actually, the matter is not limited to Kazakhstan only. The interference of external powers in the issue of geographical portage has also been going on in Kazakhstan for a long time. From 1991 onwards, America’s eyes were on Kazakhstan. The exercise that the US started from 1993 regarding the nuclear deal with Kazakhstan continued even after 2000.
American interference in the economy of Kazakhstan also increased. Also, after the year 2000, the participation of China in this country also started increasing. Kazakhstan became a major part of China’s Belt and Road project. For this land acquisition was started. The lands of the Kazakh people were handed over to China.
As the strongest external power, Russia is still in the heart of Central Asia. Russia determines the structure of Kazakhstan’s security. This has deepened the fear among the Kazakh people as to whether Russia is creating a maze to annex the northern part of Kazakhstan. The fundamental reason for this fear is that in 2019 the Russian Parliament had warned about it.
The recent uprising has been described by the government of Kazakhstan as a coup plot. But international observers are seeing it as the beginning of a new revolution. The era of revolutions in the countries of the Middle East that started in 2011, the latest events in Kazakhstan are also reminiscent of the same. The truth is being covered up under a totalitarian political system. But this spark can again spread like wildfire.
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