After the Failed Coup in Kazakhstan, Tokayev Takes on the “Billionaires”

Following the attempt to launch to launch a regime change operation in Kazakstan earlier this month, much more information has emerged on how the international operation worked (cf. SAS 2/22). Once the popular protests, originally directed against soaring gasoline prices, turned violent, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev quickly called on the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) to help quell the well-prepared riots, which they did. The CSTO is a regional alliance comprised of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, and Tajikistan. By Jan. 13, their forces had begun withdrawal.

At a virtual meeting of the alliance on Jan. 10 called to review the situation, it became clear that those countries were not caught unprepared by the attempted coup d’état. President Tokayev explained that the synchronized attacks on government buildings, law enforcement agencies, etc., together with the blocking of firefighters and ambulances, testified to the undeniable and extensive planning of the coup.

Since the withdrawal of Western forces from Afghanistan, it is known that the many terrorist organizations and Islamist extremists that were trained and based there, and before that, in Syria and Iraq, have moved out into Central Asia.

President Putin noted for his part that “well-organized and well-controlled groups of militants were used,” including those who had apparently been trained in terrorist camps abroad. He mentioned the “Maidan technologies” that served to support rioters and share information, with a view to undermining a nation.

Now that the “color revolution” has been foiled, the Kazakh government is ready to address the very real economic hardship that prompted many citizens to take to the streets in protest movements. In a speech to the national legislature on Jan. 11, Tokayev took up the disparity of wealth built up over the past 30 years in a country with vast mineral resources which have benefited a phenomenally wealthy elite, but not the people. Therefore, he announced the creation of a new “National Fund” to be funded by the billionaire circle around former President Nazarbayev, whom he had dismissed from his position as head of the Security Council on Jan. 5.

The fund is designed “to solve real problems in the areas of health care, education and social services”. He expects “meaningful and regular contributions to the fund on the part of businesses. Thanks to the first president [Nazarbayev], there is a group of very profitable companies in the country and a layer of people who are rich even by international standards. I think that the time has come to pay back the people of Kazakhstan and help them on a systematic, regular basis.” His government will now draw up a list of eligible companies that should “donate” to the fund, along with a calculation of the annual sums each should “contribute”.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email