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Friday, January 14, 2022
ANBOUND's Observation: Kazakhstan's Situation Continues to Evolve
Chan Kung

Observation on January 6, 2022:

There appears to be subtle changes in Kazakhstan. On January 9, the press secretary of Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said that the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) would stay in Kazakhstan for about a week. After the anti-terrorism operation is over, the CSTO peacekeepers would leave the country. This statement is obviously hard to come true, because the army does not come and go at will. This is an indication that the internal conflicts in Kazakhstan are becoming more and more complicated and intensified, and they have reached a level that can no longer be concealed. It would not be surprising if there are news of clashes between the Kazakh army and the Russian army.

After the situation in Kazakhstan has stabilized, Russia might continue to increase its troops in Kazakhstan. This is probably related to Vladimir Putin's strategic goals, and not entirely based on the need for the Central Asian country's internal stability. In fact, it can be seen from the above thread that Russia entered Kazakhstan to support the Kazakh President at his request only after the main Armed Forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan began to firmly intervene in the chaos. At that time, Almaty had actually been gradually controlled by the Kazakh troops.

Observation on January 14, 2022:

It is quite normal to have different analytical logics for the same matter, yet among these various logics, there will only be a single correct one that can be tested by facts. The same is true with regard to the withdrawal of CSTO force. Earlier ANBOUND has mentioned that the situation will be a complicated one, and now it is Kazakh President Tokayev who wanted the troops to withdraw, despite of the improbability. Sure enough, on January 12, he once again announced that for CSTO peacekeeping force, the anti-terrorism and peacekeeping tasks had been completed. He also announced the decision to withdraw the CSTO peacekeeping force from January 13. However, on the evening of January 12, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that when the CSTO will withdraw is coordinated by the CSTO Council, and Russia cannot decide it unilaterally. In other words, Russia denies the withdrawal has started.

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu also publicly stated that the CSTO peacekeeping force will continue to perform its tasks in Kazakhstan, and it will not withdraw from the country until the situation is completely stabilized.

One thing is certain at this point, Tokayev's so-called "troop withdrawal" order was issued without prior coordination with Russia. This shows there is contradiction between Kazakhstan and Russia, leading to the possibility of Russia threatening the latter's independence. Such contradiction has been completely made public, but it has yet to reach the level of the end of the relations between the two countries.