By Svante E. Cornell
January 2, 2024
In January 2022, Kazakhstan experienced its most serious internal crisis since independence. Popular protests over energy costs turned into riots that in turn took on the shape of an attempted coup d’état that required President Tokayev to request support from the Collective Security Treaty Organization. Kazakhstan’s outlook appeared bleak. While some elements of the January events are still being investigated by the Kazakh law enforcement, the overall picture of what happened is clear. Overall, however, the events led to a gradual purge of older elements within the state institutions, a further distancing from Russia, and a redoubling of the overall reform process in the country.