…from Anti-Spiegel – Jan 10, 2022
On January 10, a summit of the heads of state of the CSTO took place on the failed coup attempt in Kazakhstan. Here I summarize and translate the most important statements.
Since German media such as Der Spiegel published only very short articles about the meeting of the CSTO heads of state, which was held via video conference, I will go into detail here about the meeting and the most important statements. The Kremlin has published over an hour of the conference, so you can see the statements of the heads of state in detail.
Der Spiegel has only brought a short summary, in which statements were taken out of context and classified in such a way that the statements made sound unbelievable. Therefore, I will first summarize the statements here and then translate them in detail.
Since the video released by the Kremlin lasts over an hour, I cannot translate it completely, especially since the elaborate pleasantries at the beginning of each statement, which are customary at such meetings, are not of much informational value. Nevertheless, this has become a very long article.
At the meeting, Kazakh President Tokayev gave a detailed account of the events of the last few days in his country and also pointed out why he is now talking about a coup attempt organized from abroad.
Spiegel omits these details, which is why the accusation that foreign countries organized a coup attempt in Kazakhstan sounds implausible to Spiegel readers and more like an attempt to deflect attention from their own guilt. I will translate in detail how the Kazakh president justifies his statements.
After the Kazakh president, the Belarusian president Lukashenko spoke, who gave a very interesting and, above all, self-critical speech in which he – in my opinion – gave a very good overview of the situation. He went into the fact that there have been many such foreign-directed riots in the post-Soviet space in the past, and he pointed out the striking similarities, which has been very interesting.
After that, the Russian President Putin spoke, whose statements I will not translate, because after his previous speakers he could not contribute anything new in the matter, in terms of content everything was already said.
Putin merely pointed out once again that the events in Kazakhstan have parallels with the Maidan and other color revolutions, that it is the right of a member state of the CSTO to ask its allies for help, and that the CSTO peacekeeping forces will remain in Kazakhstan only for a limited time until the situation there has finally calmed down.
The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), which few in Germany may have heard of before the events in Kazakhstan, is a defense alliance that currently includes the following countries of the former Soviet Union: Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. The current joint deployment of CSTO peacekeepers was the first serious operation of the alliance, which has thus shown that it exists not only on paper but actually works in practice.
I must make special reference to this here, because the U.S. has already communicated that it considers the legality of the deployment of CSTO peacekeepers to be questionable, and it is possible that the Western media will pick up on this narrative.
These statements from the U.S. are exposing because each country can decide for itself if and when to call soldiers of allied countries to help, after all that is the principle of NATO
And since the U.S. has sent soldiers to many countries to fight wars without any invitation from the countries concerned, these statements from the U.S. are cynical and above all exposing: They show that the U.S. is unhappy that the coup attempt in Kazakhstan did not work, and if you remember all the color revolutions orchestrated from the U.S., this is quite an indication that the U.S. is not entirely innocent of what happened in Kazakhstan.
Now we come to the statements of Presidents Tokayev (Kazakhstan) and Lukashenko (Belarus), which I have translated, and then I will comment briefly on some of the statements mentioned. Since my aim is to provide comprehensive information on this so that everyone can make up his or her own mind, this will be a very long article.
The key statements of the Kazakh President Tokayev
First of all, I will translate the key statements of President Tokayev so that you can learn his arguments, which the German media are concealing.
Start of translation:
Now I would like to inform you about the current situation in our country and the events of the last few days. Having formed a complete picture of the events, I can justifiably declare that all the events since the beginning of the year are links in a single chain. They are subordinated to a single destructive plan, the elaboration of which has taken a great deal of time. How long it has taken – a year, two or three years – the investigation will show.
Time and again, destructive forces have tried to undermine stability and stir up trouble. The state has been tested for stability and resilience. (Translator’s note: President Tokayev is talking here about earlier protests, for example in 2020, which did not make headlines in the West, but which he sees in retrospect as test runs for current events.)
All these actions were resolutely repulsed, but the organizers did not give up their plans and proceeded to preparations for armed uprisings. They used as a pretext the discontent of the population in several regions over the increase in the price of gas.
Rallies were held in which participants made socioeconomic and sociopolitical demands. (Translator’s note: In Kazakhstan, which itself has large gas reserves, many people fuel their cars with gas, and the price increases for this gas triggered the protests).
They were all heard and met by the government. The government has resigned, the prices of LPG have been frozen at the previous level. We announced a series of concrete social and economic measures and a clear plan for social and political reforms.
But for the organizers of the aggression against Kazakhstan, this no longer had any meaning. Under the guise of spontaneous protests, a wave of mass unrest unfolded. As if on a single command, religious radicals, criminal elements, unscrupulous bandits, looters and petty rioters appeared. Socioeconomic and sociopolitical demands receded into the background and were forgotten. The hot phase followed, and the armed militant groups that had only been waiting for it.
The main goal, to undermine the constitutional order, destroy government institutions and seize power, became obvious. There is talk of an attempted coup d’état. Now it is already obvious that all these hostilities were coordinated from a single center, a carefully planned operation has entered its decisive phase.
This is evidenced by the synchronous, and I stress synchronous, attacks on regional government buildings, security agencies, remand prisons, strategic facilities, banks, television towers, and television stations. Airports were occupied, roads and railroads were blocked, ambulances and fire departments were prevented from working.
In attacks on military units and army checkpoints, the gangs attempted to capture weapons and military equipment. Real fighting broke out in Almaty and other cities. For example, fighting around the Interior Ministry building in the city of Almaty continued for two nights. Police officers repelled terrorist attacks. In Almaty alone, seven weapons stores were looted. These were attacks by well-trained professionals, including snipers with special rifles.
The terrorists used their own means of communication and wore military and police uniforms. They cynically used the demonstrators as human shields. The bandits, outnumbered at least five to one, attacked police officers and soldiers, beating them up particularly savagely and beheading two soldiers. There were barbaric attacks on hospitals.
In order to splinter the resources of the state, the organizers of the attack relied on the broadest possible front. The aggression covered eleven regions at the same time, but the main attack was directed against Almaty. As you know, this is our largest city and the financial center of the country, where the main transport and communication hubs are located.
The fall of this city would have paved the way for the capture of the entire densely populated south and then the entire country. The terrorists were counting on drawing the security forces to themselves so that they could then attack the Kazakh capital. We saw groups of fighters around the president’s residence. Basically, it was a full-fledged terrorist war waged against our state using various methods.
This required unprecedented measures from us. The Kazakh security forces managed to mobilize in a very short time to repel the attackers and bring the situation under control. Unfortunately, the price was very high – there were casualties among the law enforcement forces and the civilian population. Sixteen members of the security forces were killed and more than 1,300 were wounded. Unfortunately, there were also civilian casualties – the exact number is still being clarified.
Across the country, 1,270 businesses were damaged. More than 100 shopping centers and banks were looted. Around 500 police vehicles alone were damaged and burned. Enormous material damage has been done, the extent of which is being investigated by a special government commission.
I am sure that terrorists, including foreign fighters, were directly involved in the aggression against Kazakhstan. It is no coincidence that the bandits raided mortuaries at night and took the bodies of their dead accomplices. They also took the bodies of their fighters directly from battlefields. This is a common practice of international terrorists of known origin: this is how they cover their tracks. There is clearly a plan to create a zone of chaos on our territory and then seize power.
Following a decision by the Kazakhstan Security Council, based on a comprehensive analysis by law enforcement and intelligence agencies, the situation was classified as a terrorist threat and an aggressive act. Events in Kazakhstan were critical. Almaty and nine regional centers fell into the hands of bandits. We declared an anti-terrorist operation.
Kazakhstan asked the CSTO for assistance. This request came at the right time. When they learned of the arrival of three military transport planes in the capital, the militants abandoned their plans to capture the presidential residence. This gave us the opportunity to send additional forces to Almaty and liberate the city from the terrorists.
In accordance with the decision of the Collective Security Council, a collective peacekeeping force of the CSTO with 2,030 people and 250 vehicles has been deployed in Kazakhstan and has begun to carry out its tasks. They provide protection and security of airports, military camps and other strategic facilities. We will soon hear a report from the CSTO Secretary General on the situation and the tasks carried out.
End of translation
After further remarks about the CSTO, Tokayev summarized the reactions of foreign countries to the deployment of the CSTO in Kazakhstan, which I have also translated.
Start of translation:
We can already see that there are questions about the legitimacy of the deployment of the CSTO troops. This is happening because of a lack of reliable information and a lack of understanding of the overall situation. In some cases, the international community, including the foreign media, has completely misrepresented both the deployment of the CSTO troops and the assessment of the situation in Kazakhstan.
Despite all these facts, some sources claim that the authorities in Kazakhstan are cracking down on peaceful demonstrators. This is absolute disinformation. We have never used armed force against peaceful demonstrators and will not do so in the future.
Knowing this, the organizers of the attack on Kazakhstan prepared several waves of attacks. In the first phase, as I said, there were peaceful protests. Then political rallies were held, especially in Almaty, and then armed militants entered the city from three directions like a huge pack of hyenas. At first they pretended to be peaceful protesters, deceived the law enforcers and even the residents of the city, and then began what will go down in history as the Almaty tragedy.
Incidentally, the United Nations Charter recognizes the inherent right of every state to individual – and I emphasize collective – self-defense in the event of an armed attack from outside.
In the near future, after the completion of the preliminary investigation, we will present to the world community further evidence of the preparation and execution of the terrorist attack on our country. End of translation
The statements of Lukashenko
Afterwards, Belarusian President Lukashenko spoke, whose speech I consider particularly interesting, which is why I have translated it almost in its entirety.
Beginning of the translation:
First of all, I would like to thank the distinguished Kassym-Yomart Kemelevich Tokayev for the detailed information about the situation in the republic.
For today, the President has proclaimed national mourning in the country. On behalf of the Belarusian people, please accept our condolences on the death of police officers, military personnel and civilians in Kazakhstan.
Of course, the analysis of the events in Kazakhstan shows that there is an external factor. Their scenario has a recognition effect, as the President of Kazakhstan just said. One need not go far to find analogies: Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Afghanistan, and not long ago Belarus experienced a similar combined attack.
Certainly, these countries have their own peculiarities, but the common signature is obvious. Yes, we are talking a lot about outside interference now, and the Kazakh president is right: it will take some time before the names, addresses, passwords and statements of these people become known.
But one thing must be understood: The external factor will never be the only one; behind all external factors, one must also see the internal ones. This is the lesson we have learned from the events in Belarus. It is necessary to understand that there are too many people who want to blow up the situation in the Central Asian post-Soviet republics close to us and the state of Kazakhstan. Recently, Afghanistan has been added to the list.
I emphasize once again that this is our inescapable conclusion: there are many international terrorists who have accumulated on the borders of Kazakhstan, and the events have shown that. That is the first thing.
Second. It is impossible to overcome these negative tendencies in our post-Soviet republics, in this case Kazakhstan, if we want to solve the problem only within the framework of Kazakhstan, no matter how huge the country is.
The way we see it, and I am absolutely convinced of this, the peoples of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, who are so close to us, must jointly try to solve the difficult problems inherited from Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan and also created by themselves in the post-Soviet period.
The lessons that have been much talked about here need to be learned and, forgive me for saying so, Uzbekistan in particular. If those lessons are not learned, according to our information – and you can see that on the ground there already – they will target Uzbekistan as well.
But the most important thing is the lessons. The lessons that the Kazakh leadership has to deal with today: external ones that have already been mentioned – they will draw the appropriate consequences in the near future – but also internal ones.
Analyzing the situation in Belarus, we assume that the President of Kazakhstan, apart from the external reasons – in our country they were clearly visible, now in Kazakhstan not so much – is trying to get to the bottom of it.
I am sure that he will do that. However, based on what happened in Belarus, we must not forget that there were also internal reasons. This is true for other republics as well. It is important to understand this clearly. If we fail to recognize this and blame only external factors, we may end up with a repetition of events.
I would remind you that the distinguished President of Tajikistan has repeatedly spoken about the risks and dangers associated with the emergence of terrorist sleeper cells, quote, and extremists in the Central Asian region that could awaken in one fell swoop. We took note of that, but we probably underestimated the risks.
Let’s face it, sometimes we thought we would be spared this calamity. Now we see that professional terrorist fighters are the backbone of the protesters in Kazakhstan. This is a very dangerous trend. We need to find out who organized and led them.
I am confident that the organizers and leaders of the events in Kazakhstan are deeply hidden. But I firmly believe that we will come to the same starting point both in Belarus and in other countries, and also in Kazakhstan.
As colleagues have already said, I would like to emphasize that the decision to deploy CSTO collective peacekeepers in Kazakhstan was made at the right time and quickly. I am confident that our efforts have had a sobering effect on the destructive elements and have demonstrated to the world the close alliance of allies and the capabilities and capacities of the organization.
Based on our experience, we must improve the leadership of the CSTO as well as the forces we are prepared to engage. Serious challenges await us in the future. It is necessary to strengthen the CSTO and quietly and systematically develop all its components, especially its peacekeeping potential.
It is very important to maintain mobility and effectiveness of actions, and we should not be too shy in this regard with regard to the West, America or some other states – figuratively speaking. If we just look around for them, we’re going to get our necks twisted. So we have to deal with our own problems and take care of our own security.
When they have small problems, they don’t think about democracy, they don’t look at us, they act according to their own interests. We should also take that into account. We acted hard right from the first minutes and the result is visible.
Judging by the activities of Western politicians, they are watching the situation closely. At first, they took a break of two or three days – maybe it was because of the holidays, maybe it was because of something else – to get organized. After two or three days – we talked all the time with the Russian president about what we planned, how we saw it they started to make statements, the usual statements: “democracy,” “freedom,” “no harsh measures,” and so on.
It is obvious that the deployment of the collective peacekeeping forces of the CSTO has thwarted the plans of those who ordered and executed the provoked conflict. This once again confirms the correctness of our decision.
In this context, I would like to note that it is imperative that we monitor the situation and take preventive action to contain the possible causes that may lead to such consequences. The Kazakh President did the right thing when, on the very first day, he sharply confronted those who allowed the first signs of these events to occur. Strange that the prices of natural gas, of which Kazakhstan has so much that it does not know where to put it, were allowed to increase by two or three times?
In this regard, one should be proactive in the field of information: One should not allow the peacekeeping contingent to be portrayed as an occupier. We are aware that such attempts are already being made. We are not occupiers in any way, we did not go there on our own, we were invited by our brother, our friend, who is responsible for this huge country, and we gave the support that he asked us to give. This is a lesson for everybody, a precedent – a good precedent.
More than ever, distinguished colleagues, it is necessary to strengthen political cooperation and coordination of positions within the organization on the international stage. The forms and methods of hybrid influence on our countries are qualitatively improving.
Within the framework of the CSTO, it is necessary to develop appropriate response measures without looking at others, as I said earlier. Information exchange should be improved, the analytical component should be qualitatively improved. Increasing tensions also force us to revise joint counterterrorism and counter-extremism measures.
This is a good opportunity to meet now on short notice and talk about Tajikistan. The President of Tajikistan has been asking us for years for material support, especially military equipment, and we need to do that so that it doesn’t cost us more in the future, as it did with Kazakhstan.
With how many – almost 200 flights – we had to move huge amounts of equipment, which went thanks to Russia, which agreed to it. I don’t want that to happen in Tajikistan. It is better to help it now and it will cope with these problems. This is true for other republics as well. We should draw conclusions.
We have paid much attention to the fight against international terrorism, perhaps underestimating the danger posed by extremism in all its forms. It is necessary to expose in time those forces which, under certain circumstances, are capable of crossing the red line on the road to violence and to rigorously stop their destructive activities.
As for Belarus, dear colleagues, you can always count not only on mutual understanding, individual explanations and support, but also we will always abide by the agreements reached.
End of translation
It can be seen, therefore, that the heads of state of the CSTO states are certain that they are dealing with a coup attempt coordinated from abroad. Lukashenko’s remarks make it clear that they are in no way deflecting attention from internal problems that exist in every country in the world.
On the contrary, they are calling on the people to listen more to their own people and to find out in good time where their problems lie in order to prevent such problems from being instrumentalized by forces from abroad for an attempted coup.
Help for the coup attempt from the Kazakh apparatus?
There are some very interesting issues in the protests in Kazakhstan that have been raised here. Lukashenko asked, not for nothing, how it can be that a country that literally does not know where to put all its natural gas suddenly stops subsidies and makes gas more expensive, which was bound to lead to protests. Certainly, the Kazakh government will now be looking very closely at how this decision came about.
In this context, it is also interesting to note that the head of Kazakhstan’s intelligence service has been arrested because it is hard to explain how so many heavily armed fighters were able to infiltrate the country unnoticed and form sleeper cells. Thus, there is a suspicion that the organizers of the riots had highly placed accomplices in the Kazakh apparatus.
The coordinated actions
It is difficult to disagree with the conclusion that we have seen an externally directed coup attempt in Kazakhstan. The actions of the “protesters” were too well coordinated, looked too much like a coordinated military operation.
Uncoordinated protesters do not proceed in a coordinated manner and simultaneously block road and rail links and also occupy the airport at the same time – this is the way military forces proceed when they want to cut off the enemy’s supplies. It is also consistent with this that communications facilities such as television stations and even television towers were stormed in a coordinated and simultaneous manner.
And the fact that a large number of armed fighters – 20,000, according to the Kazakh president – appeared out of nowhere and that they handed out weapons from cars to anyone who wanted a weapon in the open street – as shown by countless videos – is further proof that there were financially strong backers and that the unrest was prepared long in advance, because the weapons must have come from somewhere. And it takes a lot of money to distribute thousands of rifles and pistols on the open street like leaflets.
The fight against color revolutions
The meeting of the CSTO heads of state shows that they are already actively engaged in the fight against and prevention of color revolutions. Unnoticed by the (Western) public, this has become an important issue in many countries. In Russia, there are already professors at universities who research color revolutions and their methods. I had the interesting pleasure during a conference I attended in November to talk at length with one such professor during the coffee break.
I will go into the importance of the topic in a separate article, but the topic of color revolutions is now as important in these countries as the area of military defense, as the U.S. has moved in the last decade to rely less on military intervention when it wants to overthrow unpopular governments, and instead to rely on color revolutions. This is cheaper and, unlike open warfare, can be sold to the population as a “democratic revolution.