The series of protests that have unfolded in Kazakhstan since the beginning of January were unexpected despite signs of visible discontent regarding the economic and political situation. The quick escalation of violence in Kazakhstan and the involvement of CSTO forces in trying to break the unrest will have lasting consequences on the country’s political system as well as for the region’s geopolitical order.
In this panel, we will try to unpack the nature of the protests, the demonstrations’ regional variations as well as the identity of the protesters. Whereas protests turned violent and were marked by looting in Almaty, in the western cities of Aktau and Zhanaozen, where it all started, the protesters continued to mobilize peacefully. Panelists will also address the nature of the authoritarian regime and the power shifts that are being played. Finally, we will also address the consequences of CSTO’s and Russia’s involvement for regional stability and authoritarian survival.
Moderator: HélÃ¨ne Thibault (Nazarbayev U, Kazakhstan)