‘Yesterday Georgia, today Ukraine, tomorrow Kazakhstan?’ – Kazakhs respond to Moscow threats

Credit: depositphotos 

International, Opinion

Moscow publicists, outraged Kazakhstan is not backing Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine, are sending clear signals that the Kazakhs will be subject to the same treatment unless their government changes course (see Topcor.ru and Jamestown.org).

Indeed, one Russian commentator, Vladimir Prokhvatilov, pointedly entitles his article on Kazakhstan’s position regarding the war in Ukraine “What Side of the Iron Curtain Does Kazakhstan Want to Be On?

Related: Kazakhstan plans to expand use of Caspian route to bypass Russia in trade with the West

To make his point, Prokhvatilov illustrates his article with a picture showing a Kazakh woman holding a sign reading “Yesterday, Georgia; Today, Ukraine; and Tomorrow, Kazakhstan?” and quotes a Kazakh commentator, Petr Svaik, as saying that Ukraine is an obvious “warning” to Kazakhstan that it must take seriously.

Related: Except for Belarus, all of Russia’s ‘allies’ in the EAEC and OCST have failed to support Moscow on Ukraine

What makes this kind of comment so disturbing is that it is exactly the kind that Moscow outlets featured about Ukraine earlier, including all kinds of threats to exploit the problems ethnic, economic and otherwise that that country faces. (For examples in the Kazakhstan case, see Casp-geo.ru, Topcor.ru and Ia-centr.ru).

Related: Some in Moscow and Nur-Sultan see Kazakhstan becoming ‘another Ukraine’

Moscow clearly hopes such threats will prompt the Kazakhs to demand that their government change direction, but there is a good chance, as the case of Ukraine shows, that the Russian verbiage will have exactly the opposite effect, further alienating Kazakhs from Russia and helping to complete their formation as a political nation defined at least in part by opposition to Moscow and its pretensions.

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