Kazakhstan has seen an unprecedented rebellion against inequality, corruption and the ruling elites morph into something even more complex. Criminal elements and elite infighting are now also in the mix.
With the end of the Nazarbayev era having truly come, the government response has been swift and brutal. Protestors found themselves up against a country-wide internet shutdown, trigger-happy state security forces and approximately 2,500 Russian paratroopers backed by CSTO ‘counterterrorism’ forces.
For the immediate future, the Tokayev government will now navigate the line between concession and crackdown. In the longer term, Russia has surely gained more of a foothold in this relatively prosperous and strategically important Central Asian country – conceivably at the West’s expense.
Speakers explore what all this means for society, how political elites are expected to respond, and the implications for the international relations of Kazakhstan.
Kate Mallinson, Associate Fellow, Russia and Eurasia Programme, Chatham House
Bruce Pannier, Correspondent, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)
Dossym Satpayev, Director, Kazakhstan Risk Assessment Group
Chair: Annette Bohr, Associate Fellow, Russia and Eurasia Programme, Chatham House