Staunton, July 18 – When Russian commentators talk about unwelcome outside interference in the former Soviet republics, they typically focus on the United States, the UK, or the West in general. That makes the suggestion by Andrey Areshov that Kazakhstan is the most important outside actor in the Karakalpak rising.
On the one hand, this represents a display of greater realism as Kazakhs do have a long history of involvement in a place that was once part of their republic; but on the other, it reflects the deterioration of relations between Moscow and Nur-Sultan and an increased Russian willingness to present Kazakhstan as an enemy and threat.
In an article for the SCO portal, InfoSHOS, the Russian analyst says that there are already clear signs that what happened in Karakalpakstan involved not just an explosion of popular anger but external interference, in the first instance by Kazakh nationalists (infoshos.ru/ru/?idn=31001).
One Kazakh nationalist, Dos Koshim, for example, as the protests began, openly declared that “it was a mistake that Karakalpakstan was taken from the Kazakh ASSR and handed over first to the RSFSR and then Uzbekistan” because “by culture and language the Karakalpaks are close to the Kazakhs,” not the Uzbeks.
Other examples of Kazakh support for the Karakalpak protests include comments on the Bese Telegram channel and the YouTube channel of the same name of the Kazakh husband and wife team, Aydos and Natalya Sadykov, who are now living in Kyiv, Areshov continues.
But the Russian analyst concludes in what are for Moscow conventional lines. According to him, this Kazakh interference reflects the desires of their Western sponsors who want access to the oil and gas in Karakalpakstan.