February 2022

Could the Kazakh Events Happen in the West? Lessons I learned in Almaty

This narrative reflects the author’s recent experience of witnessing the bloody January 2022 upheaval in Kazakhstan. Drawing on personal observations, interviews with locals in Almaty and state media sources, it problematizes ongoing speculations over the dynamics of the unrest and power struggles within the government. Furthermore, it highlights it being another case of cutting off a whole country, including the megapolis Almaty, from the internet in the wake of a counterinsurgency operation. Given strong social grievances and centrifugal processes, the Kazakh example could be followed by Western democracies.

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