The unfolding of mass nationwide rallies and subsequent violent crackdown on the first week of 2022 in Kazakhstan intrigued Azerbaijanis too, citizens of another post-Soviet and Turkic-origin country. Easy to expect, pro-government media and analysts undermined Kazakh protestors, while oppositionists expressed solidarity with them.
Vusal Mammadov, editor-in-chief of pro-government news outlet Azvision.az and analyst at TV channel REAL TV, tweeted this:
Main takeaways from events in Kazakhstan are these: State must be strong. It has to be able to protect itself from threats. Otherwise, [they] will take advantage of it when there is a slightest bug. There must be no bug. No one must be allowed to influence public mind.Vusal Mammadov
His tweet attracted responses from politically active segment of Azerbaijani Twitter, most being sarcastic and dismissive of Mammadov’s message.
The rest on social media was divided on whether the sequence of events, which peaked with deployment of Russian army to Kazakhstan in the role of peacekeepers, was orchestrated by Russia in the first place or not.
Natig Jafarli, economist and politician from Republican Alternative Party, wrote on Facebook that in Kazakhstan “either Belarus or Ukraine scenario” will be repeated and in any of the either cases, the winner will be Russia.
My guess is that in late December in an unofficial summit of Independent States Union Nazarbayev did not accept to follow some strict demands of Putin. In turn, Tokayev is fed up with staying on the shadow of “the elderly”, so he promised Moscow to do whatever Nazarbayev would not otherwise do.Natig Jafarli
Jafarli’s post was also mocked by many, who accused him of providing conspiracy theory into explanation of Kazakhstan events and underestimating free will of Kazak people.
Analyst Shahin Jafarli provided his own analysis on Facebook: “I can say for sure that Russia doesn’t organize revolutions in other countries, doesn’t have such a model. By contrast, it hates the demise of regimes as a result of mass movements. Especially in the post-Soviet space, it considers such processes as serious threat against its own interests.”
Social media observer Javid Agha tweeted that Azerbaijani segment of social media is “divided equally” between those who took the side of the protestors and the Kazakh government.
“As one might expect, simple, day-to-day workers and politically literate people are pro-opposition. Though plaza workers, art world, statists are all lecturing people about how Kazakhstan is going to turn into Syria and gospel about how stability is only way to live in,” he wrote.