Moscow Expert And Russian Blitzkrieg Mentality: Russia Is Able To Annihilate Kazakhstan In A Matter Of 2 Months – OpEd


 In the post-Soviet era, such mindset has seemingly become an integral part of the Russian way of thinking and the Kremlin propaganda machine. Shortly before the first Russian-Chechen war in 1994-1996, the then Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev had claimed the Chechens would be swept away in ‘a bloodless blitzkrieg’ with minimal forces. But the Russian forces of going on to Grozny in four directions were far from minimal, counting elements from seven motorized rifle regiments and one independent brigade mounted in wheeled BTR-80 armored personnel carriers and tracked BMP-2 fighting vehicles, two tank battalions with T-72 and T-80 main battle tanks, and two parachute regiments.

What happened next is well known. It took almost three months of heavy fighting before the Russian Army was able to capture Grozny.  But the fighting continued unabated. The Russian side apparently was hoping for a quick victory but ended up getting entangled in a 2-year bloody war. Russia then proved to be unable to come out of it as a winner. Shortly before it was ended with the signing of the Khasavyurt agreements and the conclusion of a peace treaty, Pavel Grachev was dismissed from the post of Defense Minister.   

It seems that Moscow learned no lesson from this history. In 2014, Vladimir Putin said Russian forces could conquer the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, in two weeks if he had so ordered. On 24 February 2022, Vladimir Putin sent the Russian military forces into Ukraine. The Russian-Ukrainian war has been going on for almost fourteen months. The Russian taking of the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, seems less likely now than a year previously. In Russia, there, however, is a blitzkrieg mentality still. The desire for conquering, submitting and even burying others in a matter of days, weeks or months and in one way or another seems to persist., in an article entitled ‘Andrey Grozin: Russia and China will not allow turning Kazakhstan into a second Ukraine’, quoted Andrey Grozin, the head of the Central Asia and Kazakhstan department in the Commonwealth of Independent States Institute, as saying the following: “Russia in case of anything can just bury Kazakhstan in a matter of two months, not even sending in its military forces. To do this, it will be enough for the Russian Federation to cut off all transit communications in and out [of the Central Asian country]”. This material attracted interest from other media outlets. A number of publications quoted the comments by Andrey Grozin about Kazakhstan’s foreign policy and how can Russia influence it (here and here , among others). 

Those words by the well-known Russian political expert may not be as harmless as one would think. Early 2022, just over a year ago, Andrey Grozin believed that it was more important for Russia to resolve first the Kazakhstani issue, than the Ukrainian one. He then said: “The problem is that [Kassym-Jomart] Tokayev is being seen as a person who wants to be friends with everyone and is afraid to ruin relations with everyone.

Ukraine, with all its nonsense, is a kind of nuisance, but you can live with it. And Kazakhstan, which is run by Russia’s enemies or is not run by anyone at all (the latter is the most likely one of the bad scenarios), is something, we mustn’t even think about. Should that happen, we will have to deploy not peacekeepers to the [neighboring Central Asian] country, but a real military contingent, in order to take control of the logistics hubs simply so that we retain access to the south [the other four States of Central Asia]. Or else there will be, if you will permit the vulgarism, a complete and total ass.

 We will somehow get through with the insane Ukrainian authorities, if not this year, then next. Yet this is just a small piece of geography. [While] Kazakhstan is the ninth largest country in the world in terms of area. There is the 7,500-kilometre (4,750 mi) of unguarded border between them [the Republic of Kazakhstan] and us [the Russian Federation]… 

We can’t wall ourselves off from Kazakhstan, even if we wanted to. Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova are countries, which are important to Russia. I mean, in terms of ideology, economy and military potential. As for Kazakhstan, it is different. It is kind of like Ukraine presented in a concentrated form”.

It is important to emphasize in this quotation the following words: “Should that happen, we will have to deploy not peacekeepers to the [neighboring Central Asian] country, but a real military contingent, in order to take control of the logistics hubs simply so that we retain access to the south [the other four States of Central Asia]”. It turns out that, by and large, Russia, if anything, ‘will have to’ send its armed forces into Kazakhstan, rather than simply ‘cut off all transit communications in and out [of the Central Asian country]’.

The above is a great example of how the Russian expert thought and propaganda works when the question arises of how to treat the neighboring Central Asian country. It’s rather usual for them to easily allow themselves to do with regard to Kazakhstan what they would not do in relation to other post-Soviet countries. Most of the latter have proved themselves able to induce the Russian side to reckon with them. It’s quite another thing when the largest country in Central Asia and its indigenous population are involved. Moscow and those representing it continues to behave with respect to Kazakhstan and ethnic Kazakhs as if the Central Asian State is one of the autonomous republics of Russia and the Russians can freely afford to insult its native population the same way they do this to the ethnic minorities of East Asian origin in the Russian Federation, such as the Buryats, Tuvans, Yakuts, Khakas and Kalmyks. Buryats and Kalmyks, by the way, say that the heads of their autonomous republics are unable to openly defend their peoples. The question arises of what is the situation in this aspect in Kazakhstan. 

Here is just one illustration in this respect. According to, in spring last year, Maxim Yakovchenko, a native of West Kazakhstan province, had issued the following comment in social networks: “URALSK, PETROPAVLOVSK, PAVLODAR, ETC. SHOULD BE GIVEN TO RUSSIA”. He next had called the Kazakhs ‘monkeys’. In the autumn of that year, he was charged under Penal Code, sections 174 (‘inciting hatred’) and 180 (‘separatism’). Maxim Yakovchenko left for Russia. He was declared wanted and detained on December 1 in Rostov-on-Don. As reported by the press, Maxim Yakovchenko has been granted refugee status in Russia and can’t be extradited.

As they say in Russia, ‘There is no extradition from the Don’. Kazakhstan’s Deputy Prime Minister – Foreign Minister Murat Nurtleu recently said that Russia is a reliable ally for Kazakhstan. But that does not change the fact that the Russian Federation has taken the one who called the Kazakhs ‘monkeys’ under its protection. The example of those Russians, who insult Kazakhstan and ethnic Kazakhs with impunity, seems to be finding its followers in other post-Soviet countries. website just recently published an article entitled ‘How were the Kazakhs brought to the human level’. The very title of this piece says it all, so further comment is unnecessary.

Akhas Tazhutov, a political analyst

Akhas Tazhutov

Akhas Tazhutov is a political analyst from Kazakhstan.

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