Violent acts in Kazakhstan, Belarus, Ukraine, and the Caucasus engulfed the entire Eurasian Region

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Violent acts in Kazakhstan, Belarus, Ukraine, and the Caucasus engulfed the entire Eurasian Region

  • The unexpected violent protests in Kazakhstan and the crackdown that followed last week, which saw more than 160 deaths and 6,000 arrests, are part of a larger turmoil.
  • It enveloped Eurasia that runs across the great steppe from Central Europe to Manchuria.
  • Each of the current crises in Belarus, Ukraine, the Caucasus, and Kazakhstan might have a specific logic and trajectory of its own, but together they are reshaping the geopolitics of Eurasia.
  • Russia, with its geographic spread across Eurasia, is at the very centre of that restructuring.

About Eurasia

  • The author argues that the term “Eurasia” is merely a convenient way of referring to what had been Soviet territory.
  • Eurasia is the largest continental area comprising 93 countries of Europe and Asia.
  • It Covers about 36% of the world’s continental landmass & home to over 5 billion people.
  • Collective arrangements like the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), Conference of Interaction and Confidence-building measures in Asia (CICA), and China’s Belt & Road initiative (BOR) can catapult the region to a ‘super-continent’.

Broad themes of restructuring

  • 5 broad themes for rearrangement of Eurasia
  • : The bumpy internal political evolution of Eurasian states,
  • : The weaknesses of economic globalisation,
  • : The limitations of regional institutions,
  • : The constraints on powers to shape the post-Russian space,
  • : Russia’s shifting great power relations.

Present Geo-political Situation of Eurasia

  • Recent Developments : Increase in geopolitical competition on the Eurasian landmass.
  • The geopolitical competition is marked by a weaponization of resource and geographical access as a form of domination, practised by China and other big powers.
  • Russian Centrality in Eurasian Geopolitics:
  • Russia, with its geographic spread across Eurasia, is at the very centre of that restructuring.
  • Moscow’s military intervention in Kazakhstan and its recent negotiations with the US on European security underline the Russian centrality in Eurasia.
  • Rising Chinese Interventions: The Chinese willingness and capacity for military intervention and power projection are growing far beyond its immediate region.
  • Declining US Influence : American military footprint has shrunk dramatically on the core Eurasian landmass.
  • While the U.S. had over 2,65,000 troops under its European command in 1992, it now has about 65,000.

Protest in Kazakhstan & How is Russia getting involved

  • The protests that broke out in Kazakhstan on January 2 over a fuel price hike.
  • It turned into the biggest political crisis the oil-rich Central Asian country’s leadership has faced in over three decades.
  • Dozens of people, including citizens and police officers, have been killed as protests continue to rage in Kazakhstan, the worst street unrest since the country gained independence 30 years ago.
  • Thousands have reportedly been arrested in Almaty and of the hundreds injured, at least 60 are in intensive care.
  • Peacekeeping forces sent from Russia and neighbouring states had arrived on his request.
  • The Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) reportedly has about 2,500 soldiers.

About Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO)

  • It is an intergovernmental military alliance (six countries) that came into effect in 2002.
  • Its origin can be traced to the Collective Security Treaty, 1992 (Tashkent Treaty).
  • The headquarter is located in the Russian capital of Moscow.
  • The objectives of the CSTO is to strengthen peace, international and regional security including cybersecurity and stability, the protection on a collective basis of the independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty of the member states.
  • Current CSTO members are Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Russian Federation and Tajikistan.


  • Although Russia is the weightiest actor in Eurasia, it can’t simply reconstitute the former Soviet space unilaterally.
  • An accommodation on European security with the West covering areas such as -
  • : Ukraine’s independence and neutrality,
  • : The de-escalation of the military confrontation in the heart of Europe through arms control,
  • : The development of a cooperative agenda on global security.
  • The above steps significantly improve Moscow’s chances of leading a new Eurasian geopolitical order.