CSTO peacekeeping units have been brought in to suppress protests in Kazakhstan

Briefly about recent events

 The indignation of people of the Republic of Kazakhstan about high prices for liquefied gas has led to the resignation of the government. Earlier, we have already talked about the reasons for the flare-up of conflict. Despite the fact that the president of the state, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, has instructed to carry out the reform and postpone the transition to electronic gas trading on exchanges for a year, riots on the streets of Kazakhstan continue. In view of the current situation, the president of the republic has applied to the allies in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and appealed to the heads of state to assist in overcoming the «terrorist threat». Russia, Armenia and Belarus have already sent troops to Kazakhstan. ROT FRONT summarizes the background, cause and effect. We have released a material in which we analyze the events taking place in Kazakhstan.

The strikes started at the end of 2021 are real working-class protests. Initially, they arose in Zhanaozen, then in the Mangystau oblast and rather quickly spread to the Karaganda oblast, Atyrau oblast and to some large regional centers.

At the beginning the protests have been spontaneous, now the protests are partly controlled by big capital — this have become noticeable after the appearance of groups of armed nationalists in the ranks of the protesters. Armed people robbed shops and beat shop windows in Alma-Ata, and the instigators of the riots at each stage were heading to the central square in an organized way.

The coordination demonstrated by the protesters in large cities shows very clearly that these events were prepared in advance; probably even before the beginning of labour strikes. According to available information, in many cities the security forces did not receive an order to act harshly. For example, the authorities has limited the use of special equipment to stun grenades and rubber bullets. It is possible that this is precisely why the security forces in a number of cities retreated under the onslaught of protesters.

And yet, we are all aware that Kazakhstani big business will stop at nothing to drown the people’s protest in blood. This is borne out by the events in Zhanaozen ten years ago when the Kazakh Government authorized the enforcement action involving the use of firearms against striking oil workers. As a result, dozens of protesters were killed and wounded when authorities cracked down on the protests. And as far back as 2016, officers of the private security company “Mys-Orda”, providing security services to Mining and smelting works “Kazakhaltyn”, opened fire with shotguns on the workers of the gold mine “Novaya”.

So, these days security forces are acting not yet as aggressively as they used to — regarding the usual patterns of behavior in Kazakhstan. According to one theory, one of the reasons for what’s happening is that the clan around the president in office of Kazakhstan is attempting to evade former president Nursultan Nazarbayev’s influence with the help of anti-government demonstrators. A monument to Nazarbayev in the city of Taldykorgan has already been toppled by rioters. At the same time, Tokayev declared himself the head of the Kazakhstan Security Council instead of Nazarbayev, while the municipal buildings, police stations, and the local airport in Almaty were vandalized by protesters.

(UPD. The situation has since changed: a few days later – once the protests got some objectives met and results obtained — President Tokayev gave the military his “shoot-to-kill” order. Since then, alleged targeted killings of “suspected terrorists” have regularly been reported from Kazakhstan.

The job is done – public order should be restored. To do so, Tokayev turned to his partners from CSTO to “help Kazakhstan overcome this terrorist threat” and obtained the necessary political and military support.

Of course, this time the protests will not achieve the hoped-for result, there will be no restructuring of the clan-based state and improvement of the living conditions. However, the alternative is to keep living in fear and keep silent.

Kazakhstan does not yet have a strong organization capable of defending the interests of workers in real life. There was no such thing in Ukraine and there is no such thing in Russia, either. The labor movement must learn to defend itself both from open enemies and from false friends. A very high level of organization and understanding of their direct class interests is required: the very subjective determination has to be present — organization. If there has no long and laborious preparatory work been done, then all the future unrests will be used only by various groups of big business in their interests, and any people’s uprising will only lead to a change from one ruling clan to another.