Russia, China, and Iran Close Ranks Amid Unrest in Kazakhstan

Russian media highlights allegations against former Kazakh officials

Bottom Line Up Front:

  • Russia’s focus on the success of the CSTO’s intervention conveys its role as power broker in Central Asia.
  • Unfavorable coverage of Nazarbayev and an increasingly positive portrayal of Tokayev demonstrates Russia’s support for Takoyev’s marginalization of the Nazerbayev clique during the unrest.
  • Russian leaders explicitly accused the West of fomenting the unrest, citing “external interference” in their justification for intervention
  • China parroted the Russian narrative with Xi referring to the unrest as a “color revolution” and CCP publications calling the protests “acts of terror”

What Happened:

  • Russia declared victory in Kazakhstan following the deployment of CSTO forces to quell unrest. Russian senator Vladimir Dzhabarov called the protests a “color revolution” and Russian media lauded the CSTO role in suppressing a “new type of rebellion”.

What Russia Said About Kazakh Leadership:

  • Kazakh President Tokayev was given the spotlight in Russian media as the primary individual responsible for returning order to Kazakhstan. Russia’s favorable portrayal of President Tokayev cast the leader as one determined to honor the demands for peace by the people of Kazakhstan.
  • In coverage of former Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Russian media blamed him for creating the economic conditions that led to the protests and suggested individuals close to Nazarbayev were involved in a seizure of power.

What China Said:

What Iran Said:

How are Audiences Responded:

  • Russia’s audience was predominantly neutral in their response to coverage of Kazakhstan and its leadership, despite a mildly negative portrayal of events by Russian media.
  • China published far less content on Kazakhstan than Russia, but similarly received a neutral response from its audience.
  • While Iran expressed a neutral perspective in its content, Iran’s audience responded favorably to its portrayal of events.




Omelas stops the weaponization of the Internet by malicious actors

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

SC order on MCC violations scrutinises EC leniency and seeks action

Rape and Indian culture, teen’s 6-day ordeal after assault, Akbar case

Lok Sabha Elections 2019, Phase 3: Key highlights

Even before Modi govt asked, Hotstar took down John Oliver show. It’s a dangerous new trend

Why should farmers get subsidies?

Is Uganda’s Current Level Of Public Debt Sustainable?

Supreme Court rejects February ’18 RBI circular: Was it the right move?

The Last Calm before the Storm

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store


Omelas stops the weaponization of the Internet by malicious actors

More from Medium

In Russia, Bear (Market) Hunts You

My Basic Training Experience

Above all the prejudices

Are Aerial Mines Finally an Idea Whose Time has Come? — A Solution to The Problem of No-fly Zones