ANALYSIS OF THE PROTEST MOOD IN THE WESTERN REGION OF KAZAKHSTAN
Kadyrzhan SMAGULOV, Gulnar NASIMOVA
Kadyrzhan Smagulov, Ph.D. (Political Science), Senior Lecturer, Department of Political Science at Al-Farabi Kazakh National University (Almaty, Kazakhstan)
Gulnar Nasimova, D.Sc. (Political Science), Head, Department of Political Science at Al-Farabi Kazakh National University (Almaty, Kazakhstan)
Since 2011, Kazakhstan has been riddled with terrorist acts, whereby the country’s western region has become the hotbed of this activity. And whereas the first terrorist acts involved the murder of representatives of the defense and security structures, in 2016, the terrorists in Aktobe (Western Kazakhstan) chose gun shops and a military base as their targets. This shows the striving of terrorist groups to get their hands on weapons of war, as well as the growing radical mood in their ranks. The terrorist acts in Aktobe this year occurred on the rising wave of protest among the people of Kazakhstan against the government’s initiative to sell and rent land to foreign citizens. This protest was also aggravated by the general drop in the population’s standard of living due to the global economic crisis. It is also caused by the problems in Kazakhstan’s economy, such as the cutback in industrial production and export, devaluation of the national currency, increase in inflation, decrease in purchasing power, etc.
This article analyzes why the protest population in Western Kazakhstan has moved toward the use of extreme forceful measures.
Keywords: terrorist acts, Western Kazakhstan, protest population, radicalization.