What Is Happening in Kazakhstan?

Event Format

The riots that erupted on January 5, 2022, in Almaty and then spread to Kazakhstan’s other cities have taken the government by surprise, but signals of unrest were present since Nazarbayev left the presidency in 2019. The dismissal of the Cabinet, the removal of Nazarbayev from the Security Council presidency, the storm of the Parliament and the Almaty airport, as well as police violence will, without a doubt, mark a turning point in the history of Kazakhstan. At a more geopolitical level, the impact will be decisive too, as the CSTO has, for the first time in its history, sent peacekeeping troops at President Tokayev’s request. 

Who are the protesters? What do they want? What are the genuine grassroots aspects and the instrumentalization of popular resentment by some elites for internal struggles? How can the regime survive such clashes? What will be the regional impact of the crisis in what was until then the most stable and prosperous country of Central Asia?

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Join us for a special event co-sponsored by the Central Asia Program at The George Washington University, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, the Oxus Society for Central Asian Affairs, and RFE/RL.


The Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact us at 617-495-4037 or daviscenter@fas.harvard.edu in advance of your participation or visit. Requests for Sign Language interpreters and/or CART providers should be made at least two weeks in advance if possible. Please note that the Davis Center will make every effort to secure services but that services are subject to availability.