Hands Off Kazakhstan


6th January 2022

On 2nd January 2022, mass protests broke out in Kazakhstan in reaction to the rising cost of living. Without centralized leadership, party political posturing or external geopolitical pressure, the protests erupted into a truly popular and spontaneous movement of revolutionary proportions. Putin's new Russian Empire responded predictably, carrying out an invasion of their Central Asian neighbor to suppress the Kazakh people.

The following are two statements by the Russian anarcho-communist group Autonomous Action, standing with the protestors against the imperialist coup.

First Statement:
The protests in Kazakhstan, which escalated into street clashes with the police, began due to a sharp jump in prices for liquefied gas, which is not only a means of heating, but also fuel for cars (from 70 to 120 tenge per liter), which would lead to an increase in prices for all products. The residents of Zhanaozen were the first to take to the streets, their protest began on January 2, but quickly spread to other large cities.

The protesters are outraged by the fact that in the country, which is one of the largest suppliers of gas for export, it has become a deficit: "The gas that we produce is no longer available to us!" Economic demands quickly turned into political ones.

Clashes began with the police. The police shot at people with stun grenades, in response they attacked police cars and destroyed them with the help of improvised means. The authorities clearly underestimated the strength of the street fury and the ability to self-organize. Eyewitnesses note the absence of clear leaders and the collective demonstration of the protesters. Russian pro-government resources, as usual, blame the machinations of the State Department and provocateurs. It is too early to say how this night will end now, but it is clear that people are driven to despair.

Now in some cities of Kazakhstan mobile Internet is disabled, in others the main instant messengers are blocked. A state of emergency has been declared in Alma-Ata and Mangistau Oblast.

Second Statement:
Kazakhstani elites are trying to stay in power at all costs. As the police and army began to defect to the side of the rebellious people, President Tokayev resorted to the last argument of all authoritarians: to ask the dictator-neighbor for help. Formally, this is an appeal to the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), but in fact it is a cry for help to the Kremlin: apart from Russia and Kazakhstan, there are simply no other states in the CSTO with an army strong enough to be sent to suppress an uprising in a neighboring country... Neither Tajikistan, nor Kyrgyzstan, nor Armenia, nor Belarus will certainly send their soldiers to Kazakhstan. Tokayev clearly hopes that Putin's troops will save him from his own insurgent citizens.

It seems that for the Kazakhs this should mean the final loss of any legitimacy by the Tokayevs. A president who calls his own people "terrorist gangs" is a low blow, even by the standards of the post-Soviet authoritarian "republics."

But what does this mean for the people of Russia? The CSTO formally agreed to Tokayev's "request"; Russian military airfields are preparing to send a "temporary contingent" to Kazakhstan. In fact, this is a forceful invasion of another country on the side of the government that has lost the confidence of the people. This will mean an endless reproduction of the scenario "Russia is a prison of peoples" and will be on a par with the suppression of the Hungarian revolutions in 1848 and 1956, with the tanks on the streets of Prague in 1968 and with the invasion of Afghanistan in 1979.

Now it is important to prevent this, or at least show the world that not everyone in Russia agrees with such a shameful act. A petition has been launched against the introduction of troops into Kazakhstan, but, of course, these signatures are unlikely to be very important for Putin. Nevertheless, this is at least some kind of action, and we urge you to sign this petition.

In addition, it is important to establish contacts with the Kazakh diaspora in your cities and, if possible, go to the embassies and consulates of Kazakhstan to demonstrate your position. The people of Kazakhstan can and should decide their fate independently, without the "help" of foreign soldiers.

No war!

Autonomous Action

First Statement: https://avtonom.org/news/kazahstan-vyshel-na-ulicy-policiya-bezhit
Second Statement: https://avtonom.org/news/protiv-vvoda-v-kazahstan-voysk-stran-chlenov-odkb

We'd also direct you to read the pieces by other comrades, both of which provide excellent coverage, history and political undrstanding of the ongoing situation. We will continue to expand this article as appropriate.

"Colonialism of the twenty-first century"

"The Uprising in Kazakhstan"

"A Color Revolution or a Working-Class Uprising?: an Interview with Aynur Kurmanov on the Protests in Kazakhstan"

"Statement on the situation in Kazakhstan"

Related Media
Police in Akobi - Western Kazakstan announce they will no longer act against the protestors.

The LiveUAmap is keeping track of the ongoing situation: https://centralasia.liveuamap.com/ They also have a twitter feed here: https://twitter.com/Liveuamap/status/1478303987921305601

Twitter account Bad Immigrant has been keeping track of events with an array of footage and media.

And here's the account of Abdujalil Abdurasulov BBC journalist that's currently the only known english language reporter on the ground (at this time 06/01) in Kazakhstan.

Our solidarity goes out to the working class of Kazakstan as it takes a stand against injustice and the throttling of their government and the looming menace of the Russian state.

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