A Color Revolution or a Working-Class Uprising? An Interview with Aynur Kurmanov on the Protests in Kazakhstan (LeftEast – Zanovo-media)

Fonte: LeftEast, 6 gennaio 2022

LeftEast gratefully acknowledges Zanovo-media, where this article was originally published in Russian.

Today all post-Soviet mass-media and TV channels are riveted to the protests that suddenly engulfed Kazakhstan. To some they arouse hope, to others – horror and rejection. There are contradictions and different interpretations of what is happening: righteous people’s protest, clan wrangling, conspiracy of pro-Western and pro-Turkish forces or even “Islamist reaction”. But what is really happening? A Zanovo-media correspondent interviewed Aynur Kurmanov – one of the leaders of Socialist Movement of Kazakhstan.

A model republic

Kazakhstan is one of the biggest post-Soviet countries, which is only second to the Russian Federation in that system of political and economical relations, which was built after Soviet collapse. And this is not just because Nursultan Nazarbayev was one of the architects of the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States). The Kazakh model of smooth transformation of former party and Soviet nomenclature into a capitalist oligarchy with “an Asian face” was seen by many as a model. Indeed, this model had superficially attractive features not only for the ruling elites in other republics, but also for the average citizen: a high economic level, the presence of formal attributes of democracy, and few restrictions on Western culture. Large reserves of natural resources, including oil, and the industrial potential inherited from the socialist period proved a good launching pad for the young state. At the same time, the official propaganda of the Russian Federation and the CIS channels liked to set Kazakhstan as an example of preserving “the union traditions”, honoring the memory of the Great Patriotic War, the absence of nationalism, and so on.

Almaty, Kazakhstan’s metropolis, is a modern, developed city

Mass protests broke out immediately after the New Year holidays, on January 2. The reason for protests was the rise in price of liquefied gas for cars, from 60 tenge to 120 tenge per liter. The first unsanctioned demonstrations began in the west of Kazakhstan, in the Mangistau region, the heartland of large oil-producing enterprises. It is here that the notorious Zhanaozen is located, where ten years ago a workers’ strike was brutally suppressed: 15 strikers were killed and hundreds injured in Zhanaozen.

Continua a leggere A Color Revolution or a Working-Class Uprising? An Interview with Aynur Kurmanov on the Protests in Kazakhstan (LeftEast – Zanovo-media)