Kazakh President Tokayev sent a clear message to citizens on Friday: “There will be no negotiations with terrorists,” and drastic measures are now being taken against all demonstrators. How do you assess the recent incidents?
President Tokayev wants to suppress any protest movement. In reality, however, the former President Nursultan Nazarbayev is behind his actions. It is clear to everyone. Therefore, during these protests, people chanted, “Go away, old man”, referring to the departure of Nazarbayev. We mainly saw young people on the street. The demand has not changed: the authoritarian Tokayev / Nazarbayev regime must go. Those who took to the streets peacefully for a just future are now being discredited by Tokayev as alleged terrorists.
The troops of the military alliance CSTO have already arrived in Kazakhstan.
Putin should immediately stop interfering in the affairs of the sovereign state of Kazakhstan. The CSTO troops must be withdrawn immediately. It is obvious that Putin controls this alliance. And it was he who sent the CSTO troops to Kazakhstan to kill civilians.
The government has resigned and Nazarbayev was relieved of his duties as chairman of the Security Council. Isn’t this a success for the demonstrators?
That is the superficial view from the outside. The former president remains Chairman of the Security Council for life. According to the current constitution, no president can depose him, since the office of chairman of the Security Council takes precedence over the status of president.
Protesters set fire to cars, killed police officers and beheaded civilians in Almaty. According to President Tokayev, there are 20,000 terrorists in the former economic metropolis of Almaty alone who must now be fought. Some of them should not be able to speak the Kazakh language.
This is pure government propaganda. Government-controlled criminal groups and provocateurs loot, burn and destroy. The wave of protests began on January 2nd when more than 10,000 people protested in Zhanaozen. This is confirmed by ample video evidence from the demonstrators themselves. However, no riots have been reported in Zhanaozen so far. People hope that the Nazarbayev regime will disappear. But every day Wahhabis (members of a strictly Islamic group) approach them from abroad and threaten them with violence if they do not break up their peaceful protest.
There were mass riots and arson in two cities in particular: Almaty and Shymkent. The most violent movements can be observed there. The government has deliberately allowed anarchic conditions.
Why do outbreaks of violence and mass vandalism occur?
The riots were instigated by state-controlled criminal gangs and provocateurs to provide the authorities with an excuse to brutally suppress peaceful demonstrations. This is how the government justifies the introduction of external forces that have already arrived.
The former president’s nephew, Kairat Satybaldy, has close Wahhabi ties. They bring weapons, cause unrest and demoralize the demonstrators. They are the real marauders and they are sabotaging our peaceful protests. In various cities, peaceful demonstrators tried to keep provocateurs at bay. They often saved police officers and soldiers from attack. Protesters are fighting not only against the existing regime, but also against anarchy. Anarchic conditions play into the hands of the government.
Who has influence on the protest movement?
On the one hand, there is the violent interference of the Wahhabis in various regions, especially in Almaty. The Wahhabis have been accused of instigating pogroms to discredit all demonstrators. This practice has already proven itself abroad and is now unfortunately being repeated in Kazakhstan. Nazarbayev’s nephew, Satybaldy, is said to be a member of this radical Salafist movement himself.
On the other hand, I see a second danger, a “non-physical” influence from abroad, possibly from Russia. In Telegram groups alone, bots are reported on a large scale. They flood groups with misinformation and incite violent actions. However, the government has curbed communication channels in the country. Locals hardly have the opportunity to use the Internet.
Will protesters continue to gather?
Yes I’m sure. All peaceful demonstrators face sentences ranging from eight years to life. There is no turning back for them. Although President Tokayev started the fight against his own population on January 7th, the demonstrations do not stop. There is a home and we don’t want to lose it.