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Global Geopolitics

Eurasia

EURASIA

  • CHINA- KYRGYZSTAN: China is willing to strengthen strategic coordination with Kyrgyzstan in regional and international affairs, and warned it´s oppose to any external forces interfering in Kyrgyzstan’s internal affairs. Kyrgyzstan, for its part, will continue to fully support China on issues related to the country’s core interests such as Taiwan, Xinjiang, Tibet, Hong Kong and separatism.

SOURCE: BELT AND ROAD NEWS

 

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Global Geopolitics

Central Asia

CENTRAL ASIA

  • KYRGYZSTAN: Kyrgyzstan´s political instability (protests erupted following Kyrgyzstan’s disputed election) could affect the relationship between these countries with external actors, mainly Russia and China, experts warned. They also warned that if political or social instability spread through Central Asia “the strategic, energy, political and security interest of China and Russia will be affected, especially the regional security architecture, which is based on Russia as a security provider. China, because of its Belt and Road corridor in the region.

SOURCE: IWPR

 

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Global Geopolitics

Eurasia

EURASIA

  • RUSSIA AND PARTNERS: Russian President Vladimir Putin has said -during an online summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization– “attempts to exert foreign pressure” in Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, and Moldova are “unacceptable.” Regarding Belarus, he assured they are experiencing unprecedented pressure, stand against sanctions and provocations unleashed on them through an information and propaganda war.

SOURCE: RFERL ORG

 

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Expert Analysis

Why Wasn’t There Any Post-Election Turmoil In Tajikistan?

Why Wasn’t There Any Post-Election Turmoil In Tajikistan?

16 OCTOBER 2020

Why Wasn

Unlike fellow former Soviet Republics Belarus and even neighboring Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan’s latest elections didn’t result in any turmoil even though one might have expected it to have due to some similarly discernible risk factors, but that wasn’t the case (at least not yet) for five primary reasons.

Tajikistan’s latest elections came and went without any turmoil unlike the recent ones in fellow former Soviet Republics Belarus and even neighboring Kyrgyzstan, the first of which is now in the midst of an ever-intensifying Color Revolution while the latter just experienced a successful regime change operation which led to the president’s resignation. Some observers expected Tajikistan to follow in their footsteps, especially since it has some similarly discernible risk factors such as a long-serving ruler, an impoverished population (even before the onset of World War C), and a history of internationally criticized election results (to put it mildly). The very fact that this wasn’t the case, however (at least not yet), can be attributed to five primary factors:

* Lucid Memories Of The Former Civil War Deter Regime Change Scenarios

Tajikistan’s former civil war from 1992-1997 was a complex conflict with regional, clan, and religious dimensions. It’s estimated to have killed at least 65,000 people and internally displaced 20% of the population. President Rahmon, who first took office at the beginning of the conflict, still rules the country to this day. Although some members of the population might still be unhappy with him or eventually became fatigued after his nearly three-decade-long rule, they all remember what a tragedy the civil war was and few want to risk doing anything that could repeat it, such as unleashing a Color Revolution or returning to anti-state militancy.

* Afghanistan’s ISIS-K Threat Reminds Everyone Why Stability Is So Important

Even among those “well-intended” members of society who might silently wish for profound political change, they’re keenly aware of the ISIS-K terrorist threat in neighboring Afghanistan. In the event that Tajikistan is destabilized because of post-electoral unrest, the world’s most notorious terrorist group might be able to more easily exploit events in order to establish a territorial foothold in Central Asia. Lucid memories of the former civil war already act as a powerful regime change deterrent for many, but for the most “passionate” among them who might still clamor for change, then the threat of ISIS-K might deter all but the most radical “activists”.

* The “Islamic Renaissance Party” Is Banned & Foreign-Linked NGOs Are Regulated

The “Islamic Renaissance Party” (IRP) played a key role supporting the opposition during the civil war and resultantly earned the right to be legalized as the only such Islamist party in the region after the conflict ended. It was once again banned five years ago and subsequently linked to several terrorist attacks in the country. Some Westerners argue that banning it radicalizes its members, but one can also argue that the IRP was already becoming a front for radical goals. Tajikistan’s regulation of foreign-linked NGOs complemented its crackdown on the IRP by reducing external influence over its domestic political processes, thus stabilizing the state.

* Tajikistan’s “Strongman” System Keeps Regional & Clan Conflicts Under Control

Objectively speaking, Tajikistan’s contemporary politics are a textbook example of a “strongman” system. President Rahmon has thus far succeeded in keeping regional and clan conflicts under control unlike neighboring Kyrgyzstan which jettisoned its “strongman” model after its Color Revolutions in 2005 and 2010. As can now be seen, so-called “democratic” Kyrgyzstan (as described by its many NGOs’ Western patrons) is much more unstable than “strongman” Tajikistan, which vindicates many of the controversial moves that President Rahmon made during his time in office. To his credit, he’s kept the peace for almost a quarter of a century.

* Russian Intelligence Likely Has Greater Freedom To Thwart Hybrid War Threats

Tajikistan is Russia’s first line of defense from Afghan-emanating Hybrid War threats, both those related to ISIS terrorism and also the “Weapons of Mass Migration” which might be driven from the Central Asian region to the Eurasian Great Power due to the first-mentioned trigger factor. It’s likely a lot easier for Russian intelligence to thwart these threats by cooperating real closely with its political allies within a “strongman” system compared to a “democratic” one like in Kyrgyzstan. It therefore can’t be ruled out that Russia played a leading role behind the scenes in ensuring that there wasn’t any post-election turmoil in Tajikistan.

——————–

The five primary factors that were elaborated upon above help explain why Tajikistan didn’t become destabilized after its latest election unlike Belarus and Kyrgyzstan. That said, instability might eventually erupt in the country if the younger generation has little to no memory of the civil war and becomes politically and/or religiously radicalized through the internet. It’s difficult for a faraway observer such as the author to measure those variables, though they mustn’t be discounted in principle since they represent latent threats that could spiral out of control if left unchecked. One should assume that there are domestic and external forces interested in exploiting them, but the speculated role that Russian intelligence plays in securing the country’s political stability should hopefully suffice for ensuring that no such dark scenarios transpire anytime soon.

Tags: Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus, Russia, Central Asia, Regime Change, Hybrid War.

EgjymzKXcAEZe3b 

By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst


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Global Anti-Goverment Protests

Thailand

THAILAND

  • Bangkok saw its fourth large-scale protest in as many months. Tens of thousands began demonstrating gathering at the Democracy Monument before marching toward Government House. Protests clashed with pro-monarchy demonstrators gathered close by. Thousands of protesters were still occupying the roads, despite a newly issued state of emergency declaration by the government banning gatherings of more than four people.

SOURCE: THE DIPLOMAT

 

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Global Anti-Goverment Protests

Kyrgyzstan

KYRGYZSTAN

  • Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov resigned, saying he wanted to prevent clashes between security forces and protesters who have demanded his removal, after days of unrest following a disputed election. It was not immediately clear who would take control of the country, a Russian ally which considers the former Soviet space its sphere of influence.

SOURCE: THE GLOBE AND MAIL

 

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Belt And Road Initiative

Central Asia

CENTRAL ASIA

  • Analysts say it could be a long time before Chinese investors are confident about doing business in Kyrgyzstan, where political uncertainty has made it one of the least attractive partners in its Belt and Road Initiative (a parliamentary election on October 4 triggered mass protests and the occupation of the parliament building amid allegations of vote rigging).  Among the Chinese targets, protesters tried to occupy a Chinese-owned oil refinery.

SOURCE: SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

 

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Global Anti-Goverment Protests

Kyrgyzstan

KYRGYZSTAN

  • Pro-Russian leader Sooronbay Jeenbekov has extended a state of emergency in the capital Bishkek amid violent protests broke out after the October 4 parliamentary election, which handed victory to two establishment parties. Jeenbekov ordered troops deployed in Bishkek last week and had his fiercest foes detained.

SOURCE: TRT WORLD

 

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Expert Analysis

The Kyrgyz Compromise: Submitting To The Color Revolution Or Pragmatic Move For Peace?

The Kyrgyz Compromise: Submitting To The Color Revolution Or Pragmatic Move For Peace?

 
7 OCTOBER 2020

The Kyrgyz Compromise: Submitting To The Color Revolution Or Pragmatic Move For Peace?

The Kyrgyz government’s decision to annul the results of the latest elections which were exploited as the “trigger event” for the preplanned Color Revolution against it might be interpreted by some as submitting to that regime change operation even though the argument can also be made that it ‘s a pragmatic move for peace undertaken as a last-ditch effort to stave off a seemingly impending civil war.

Shuffling The Cards”

The author claimed on Tuesday that “The Kyrgyz Color Revolution Crisis Intensifies The US’ Hybrid War Containment Of Russia” after regarding it as the third unconventional front of aggression against the Eurasian Great Power after the ongoing regime change operation in Belarus and Armenia’s efforts to drag Moscow into the South Caucasus cauldron. That analysis still stands even though an attempt at compromise appears to be in the works in the Central Asian country after the government’s decision to annul the results of the latest elections which served as the “trigger event” for the preplanned unrest. The Prime Minister also resigned and was replaced after a parliamentary vote by a former Prime Minister who was jailed for corruption but released by rioters the day before. The previous speaker of parliament also resigned and was replaced by an opposition lawmaker too.

Russian Pragmatism

In response to this “shuffling of the cards”, Kyrgyz President Jeenbekov said that he’s ready to talk to the opposition, suggesting that the “possible way out of the crisis might be organization of new elections or division of power between political forces” but also warning that “There are risks that the country will fall victim of not only internal but also foreign forces.” It’s because of the latter concerns as expressed in the author’s earlier cited analysis that the Russian airbase in the country was put on high alert and the Russian Foreign Ministry “call[ed] on all political forces at this critical moment for the republic to show wisdom and responsibility in order to preserve internal stability and security.” The rapidly unfolding events in this historically unstable country are now moving in the direction of a “political solution”, one which appears to be a Russian-”supervised” “phased leadership transition” in the best-case scenario.

As the author wrote in his earlier piece, “Moscow might succeed in mitigating the blow to its geopolitical interests in the scenario of a regime change in Bishkek since it had previously worked real closely with Atambayev (who’s the most likely candidate to seize power, either directly or by proxy), though only if it can prevent a civil war from breaking out first.” He also advised that “The Kremlin will therefore have to carefully weigh its options in Kyrgyzstan” in order to avoid “the risks that any well-intended Russian military stabilization intervention via the CSTO could entail, perhaps explaining why one never happened in 2010 during more dangerous times.” Unlike in the Belarusian scenario where such an option is largely unrealistic due to the nature of its “national democracy”, Russia seems both able and willing to engage with the Kyrgyz opposition largely considered to be under the control of former President Atambayev.

The North-South Fault Line

There are reasons to suspect that the opposition either coordinated with and/or received unclear degrees of support from Western patrons (through both NGOs and foreign embassies) in executing its regime change operation earlier this week but that doesn’t in and of itself exclude Russia from having pragmatic relations with it in the interests of peace, primarily in order to avoid a disastrous civil war between Kyrgyzstan’s northern and southern halves. This fault line had previously been exploited during its 2005 and 2010 Color Revolutions since it’s a simplified model for explaining its clan competitions. It also adds a geopolitical dimension to the country’s many crises, one which suggests the possible solution of federalizing the state along this axis and incorporating Bosnian- and Lebanese-like “power-sharing” guarantees into the constitution for managing this centrifugal factor. This solution is admittedly imperfect, even fatally flawed one might say, but it’s a solution nonetheless.

Stopping A Civil War Before It Starts

It must be remembered that a civil war should be avoided at all costs because of the very high chances that it could destabilize Central Asia and its neighboring Great Powers of Russia and China. With this in mind, even the most imperfect and perhaps fatally flawed solutions should be seriously countenanced in order to at least buy enough time to bring the country back from the brink of collapse. While some might describe President Joonbekov’s interest in negotiating with the Color Revolution forces as a submission to this preplanned regime change operation, others could just as rightly describe it as a pragmatic move for peace. Russian support for this development would suggest that the country is quickly learning from the five constructive criticisms of its grand strategy that the author outlined over the summer and also imply a willingness to experiment with the equal number of practical recommendations that were proposed, including engaging with its allies’ opposition.

Giving Credit To The Critics

For as optimistic as well-intended observers might want to be, the hard reality of the situation must be accepted by all. Kyrgyzstan is once again on the brink of civil war, and the Western-backed opposition might interpret President Joonbekov’s interest in talks as a sign of weakness presaging the fall of his “regime” (as they and their foreign supporters might describe it) as long as they just “push a little harder” like the EuroMaidan forces did in February 2014 when they toppled President Yanukovich. Critics of the Kyrgyz President’s peacemaking approach might argue that he should show a strong hand, not extend an olive branch (let alone consider the author’s federalization proposal), but this “solution” runs the risk of making civil war inevitable. With the opposition having already recruited so many willing “human shields” (politically sympathetic peaceful civilians) to protect its most radical elements from the security forces’ kinetic responses to their provocations, the collateral damage that this scenario could entail might create a self-sustaining cycle of Hybrid War unrest.

SCO-Supported Federalization Might Be The Best Solution

It’s therefore difficult to judge the Kyrgyz government for its peacemaking outreaches to the opposition, both in terms of its President’s willingness to talk to them and the replacement of its Prime Minister and speaker of parliament with their representatives, since the alternative might arguably be an inevitable civil war. If the latter assessment is accurate, then it suggests that the authorities lost the Color Revolution even before it began since they failed to anticipate events, take appropriate preemptive action, and properly respond to its kinetic manifestation on the night when rioters torched the seat of government and broke two opposition leaders out of prison (the former President and Prime Minister). These dynamics make it natural that the government might now seek to “accommodate” some of the opposition’s demands, but it should be done with the intent of not leading to an all-out lustration of sitting officials, nor any irresponsible developments that could inadvertently provoke the civil war scenario (albeit driven by the incumbent government’s supporters).

The Kyrgyz political system is broken because of the authorities’ inability to keep clan-related politics in check, the proliferation of Western NGOs, and the history of unrest this century which made some members of society hated enemies of one another. Its perpetuation without any meaningful reform will only delay the inevitable repeat of unrest. Although the proposed solution of federalization is basically the “peaceful Balkanization” of the country in practice, it might still be able to avoid a future civil war scenario and help make Kyrgyz politics more manageable for its citizens as well as the regional stakeholders in that country’s stability. The author is therefore suggesting that the government table this proposal, hold new elections within the constitutional timeframe for doing so under these circumstances, and have all candidates commit to constitutional reform in this direction after the end of the vote. The SCO might even be requested to mediate and/or host these discussions in order to maintain civility between all sides as they partake in this sensitive process.

Concluding Thoughts

In one way or another, the Color Revolution already won in Kyrgyzstan, and it can be argued that it was predetermined to win given what’s known in hindsight about the state’s failure to anticipate this scenario, take appropriate preemptive action, and properly respond to its kinetic manifestation following the “trigger event” of a contentious election. That said, it’s not so much “submitting” to it which motivates the Kyrgyz President’s peacemaking outreaches to the opposition, but his well-intended and pragmatic desire to promote peace instead of what seems to be an impending civil war if the situation continues to spiral out of control. Even if there’s a Russian-”supervised” “phased leadership transition”, it’ll only postpone this crisis to a later date since the Kyrgyz political system is broken beyond repair and needs radical reform in order to avoid regularly repeating this scenario. That’s why the best-case scenario would be for government to declare constitutional reform as its priority, get all political forces to agree to it, and then request SCO support in this respect.

EgjymzKXcAEZe3b 

American political analyst

 

 

Tags: Kyrgyzstan, Color Revolution, Regime Change, Central Asia, Russia, SCO.


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Global Anti-Goverment Protests

Kyrgyzstan

KYRGYZSTAN

  • China and Russia expressed concern as protests spread across the country against the results of a parliamentary election. Kyrgyzstan has slid deeper into chaos as rival opposition factions made grabs for power, forcing the prime minister to quit and the parliamentary election to be annulled.

SOURCES: TRT WORLD REUTERS

 

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