Discover more from The View from the Front. By Stan R. Mitchell.
The 1/7/22 dispatch.
Happy Friday, everyone! Hope everyone has had a great week.
The tension in Ukraine took a backseat this week to the violence happening in Kazakhstan. An uprising there is being forcefully put down by the country’s president, along with troops from Russia and neighboring states.
There are plenty of videos on Twitter of troops shooting at protests, and the president there has ordered security forces to "fire without warning.”
You can read the full story, as well as see a map of the country and the city where the unrest is happening, by going to this link: Kazakhstan unrest: Troops ordered to fire without warning.
In an opinion piece in The Washington Post, two professors say that Kazakhstan reminds Putin what he really needs to fear.
Russia is deploying troops to Kazakhstan, where a sharp increase in fuel prices and the rising costs of food and other necessities have triggered mass protests. So far, dozens of people have died. Government buildings have been torched, statues of former president Nursultan Nazarbayev toppled. President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s position is shaky. Unable to quell the protests on its own, the Kazakh leadership asked for assistance from the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a Russia-led regional security alliance.
Yet Kazakhstan’s problems are not unique to itself. Ominously, prices of staple foods and other vital goods are rapidly rising in Russia as well. Over the past year and a half, the Kremlin has introduced price caps, export quotas and other restrictions, all to little apparent effect. Unlike their southern neighbors, Russians have not yet taken to the streets. But the potential for protest is high.
Ironically, Putin himself is largely responsible for soaring food prices. When in 2014 the United States and the European Union imposed sanctions on Russia for the annexation of Crimea, the Kremlin responded by banning food imports from the West. The measure shielded Russian agribusiness from competition and served Putin’s goal of achieving self-sufficiency in food. Other industries soon followed, and import substitution became a cornerstone of the Kremlin’s policies. But import bans also made ordinary Russians hostages of domestic big businesses, which, shielded from competition, had no incentives to increase efficiency or reduce prices.
The authors argue that “in the long term, however, the Kremlin’s strategy is destined to fail. As long as Russia is engaged in conflict with the West and limits imports, prices will not go down. Large-scale subsidies aimed at keeping prices low are likely to drain the state budget … Price hikes will eventually lead to mass mobilization and violence.”
Story link below:
Two other items about the issue worth sharing. First, this fantastic video from the Telegraph.
And secondly, this excellent point by a professor/analyst.
One cool historical thread I came across is the one below. It’s worth the quick read if you have a moment.
And that’s going to be it for this week’s newsletter. I’ve been fighting some kind of sickness and have been pretty lethargic, so it’s going to be a short one today.
But you know we need to end with plenty of motivation.
That’s it for this edition. And as a reminder, please be kind and endeavor to love and support your fellow Americans. The vast majority of Americans are decent, loving, great people.
Please don’t name-call the other side on social media, such as Twitter, Facebook, etc. They are mothers and fathers and folks not much different than you.
As always, please share this post if you enjoyed it, as well as comment below.
Stan R. Mitchell
P.S. Don’t forget to check out my books. I write fast-paced military and mystery thrillers. You can find all ten books here: amazon.com.