DISINFO: Western special services involved in Kazakhstan protests
The degree of organisational, logistical and operational coordination of the protesters indicates that there is a high probability foreign funds were used and Western special services were involved.
There is no evidence to support claims about a foreign interference in the unrest in Kazakhstan. Instead, growing evidence points to an ongoing power struggle in the country as a driving cause in the radicalisation and expansion of the protests, which started peacefully after the government lifted price controls on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), in an already volatile context in the country.
This claim is advanced as part of a push suggesting a US policy of staging “colour revolutions” worldwide with the aim of destabilising Russia. In this case, the allegations seem to have been tailored to justify the Russian-led intervention of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation in the country.
On 06 January, one day after the protests extended all over the country and became more violent, CSTO troops arrived to Kazakhstan, acting under the organization’s Article 4, which states: “In the case of aggression (an armed attack threatening safety, stability, territorial integrity and sovereignty) against any Member States, all other Member States at request of this Member State shall immediately provide the latter with the necessary aid, including military.” To further cement this narrative, Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs officially portrayed the unrest as “externally provoked attempts at disrupting the security and integrity of the state through violent means, including trained and organised armed groups”. Four days later, Vladimir Putin described the events as a “colour revolution” and the use of “Maidan technologies”.
However, the narrative is not based on facts and contains many gaps and inconsistencies. In fact, there are more deep-rooted causes for the protests in a country that suffers from lack of democracy, corruption and economic difficulties despite being rich in economic resources. For example, Kazakhstan ranks 128 out of 167 countries in the 2020 Democracy Index, and also ranks 94 out of 180 countries in the 2020 Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index (CPI).
See also the statement by the EU High Representative here.
See other examples of similar disinformation narratives in our database, such as claims that US-sponsored Kazakhstan protests aimed to undermine CIS stability, that protests in Kazakhstan are a new Western attempt to organise a colour revolution, that events in Kazakhstan are another Western-made colour revolution or that EU and US aim to generate a new wave of anti-government protests in Belarus.