GUIDANCE

The Response to Kazakhstan’s Crisis Sets the Stage for Future Unrest

MIN READJan 7, 2022 | 22:24 GMT

Servicemen and their military vehicles block a street in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on Jan. 7, 2022, following violent protests in the city.

Servicemen and their military vehicles block a street in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on Jan. 7, 2022, following violent protests in the city.

(ABDUAZIZ MADYAROV/AFP via Getty Images)

The protests in Kazakhstan will likely wind down amid a Russian-led intervention, but the methods used to overcome the crisis will challenge the country’s governance model and strain its government’s pro-Russian geopolitical alignment. On Jan. 6, the leaders of the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CTSO) agreed to invoke the organization's Article 4 obligations to send "peacekeeping" forces to Kazakhstan following a request from the country’s president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on Jan. 5. The current contingent of CSTO forces is no larger than 2,500. But more troops could be deployed if necessary, according to the alliance’s Secretary-General Stanislav Zas, who said that troops’ mission and locations would be dependent on the situation in the country, but the deployment is not expected to last more than “a few days or few weeks.” With cable and mobile internet access still intermittent in most regions, accurate reports regarding the protests remain limited. But available...

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