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Chaos in Kazakhstan

January 6, 2022

Episode Notes:

Protests over spiking gas prices turned into demands for political reform and attacks on government buildings over the past week in Kazakhstan. The demonstrations were an unprecedented sign of opposition to the regime of Nursultan Nazarbayev, the country’s de facto ruler for life who stepped down in 2019 but remained influential, and President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Nazarbayev’s hand picked successor. At Tokayev’s request, the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization — which also includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan — is sending troops to suppress the demonstrations.

To discuss the latest from Kazakhstan, we’re joined today on the Warcast by Dr. Nargis Kassenova. Nargis is a senior fellow and director of the Program on Central Asia at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard and an associate professor at the Department of International Relations and Regional Studies of KIMEP University in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

[ 01:20 ] Current situation in Kazakhstan

[ 02:00 ] Political and economic triggers of protests

[ 04:28 ] Historical context

[ 12:30 ] Russia and allies intervene

[ 15:12 ] Looking ahead

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