America Must Stay Away from Kazakhstan’s Troubles

Source: Responsible Statecraft
by Anatol Lieven

“Despite Russian hints, there is no evidence that the United States was involved in the latest violent protests in Kazakhstan. However, there now exists a strong temptation for America to get involved — and it is a temptation that must be firmly resisted by the Biden administration. Aspects of the latest unrest remain unclear. It has been suggested that it was partly caused by struggles within the Kazakh elites between supporters and opponents of former President Nur-Sultan Nazarbayev, who until this week retained considerable power over the government. The most important underlying reason for the unrest however is entirely clear. It lies in the gross mismatch between Kazakhstan’s huge revenues from energy exports (more than $30 billion in 2021), the vast wealth of its elites, and the poverty of the mass of its population, with an average household income last year of only $3,200.” (01/10/22)