Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Kazakhstan – Russia’s next target

11 February 2015


Apparently Mr Putin has once said that the fall of the Soviet Union is Russia’s biggest mistake ever. So far I have not been able to google that quote. Nevertheless, it would explain a lot about current and past events.

When comparing Russia with the former Soviet Union then three different geographical areas spring into view:

1. the 3 rather small countries in the south-west: Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia;

2. the 6 Baltic and Slavic countries in the west: Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova and Ukraine;

3. the 5 Muslim countries in the south: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan usually referred to as Central Asia.

On 8 August 2008 Russia launched a full-scale military operation in Georgia ostensibly to protect its peacekeepers and nationals who were facing attacks and persistent persecution in Georgia’s breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia (source:

Late February 2014, Russia began to send troops and military equipment into Ukraine following the February 2014 Ukrainian revolution and Euromaidan movement, including the contentious ousting of President Victor Yanukovych (source: Wikipedia).

Kazakhstan is by far the largest country of Central Asia and has ample borders with Russia. Late August 2014, Mr Putin said: “I am confident that a majority of its population supports development of close ties with Russia”. “Nazarbayev is a prudent leader, even the most prudent in the post-Soviet space. He would never act against the will of his country’s people.” Kazakhstan, he said, was “part of the large Russian world that is part of the global civilisation in terms of industry and advanced technologies. I am confident that that’s the way things are going to be in the medium – and long-term.” Nazarbayev had “done a unique thing. He created a state in a territory that had never had a state before. The Kazakhs had no statehood.” (source: the Guardian).

It is also noteworthy that the Central Asian region, along with Russia, is also part of ‘the great pivot’ as per the Heartland Theory of Halford Mackinder, which says that the power which controls the Central Asia – richly endowed with natural resources – shall ultimately be the Empire of the world (source: Wikipedia).  

Kazakhstan has a mixed shiite and sunni population which could be an advantage but is probably a disadvantage as a Russian invasion is more likely to divide and paralyse the Islam world and leave Kazakhstan without support.

I really don’t understand why people claim that they fail to understand the Russian moves. Its strategical intentions are clear and its military actions are fully in line. 

Denying presence until proven victory (e.g., Crimea) makes perfect sense to me: if you can’t beat them, confuse them.


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