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Russia-led CSTO to hold three military drills in Tajikistan this month | Source: Asia Plus

The Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) plans to hold three military exercises in Tajikistan this month due to the ongoing situation in Afghanistan. The CSTO’s presidents have already agreed to make further efforts to build cooperation in countering the challenges and threats from the territory of Afghanistan. CSTO members include Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan.

Source: Asia Plus


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Russia-led CSTO bloc ready to apply resources to ensure security in case of Afghan threats | Source: TASS

Members of the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) have issued a joint statement to reaffirm that they stand ready to apply resources to maintain security of their countries from any threats that come from Afghanistan. The Taliban (outlawed in Russia) launched a large-scale operation to regain control over Afghanistan after the United States announced the withdrawal of its military personnel from the country.

Source: TASS


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central asia

Russia-Led CSTO Starts Military Drills In Kyrgyzstan Due To Situation In Afghanistan | Source: Ghandara

Russian and Kyrgyz troops take part in a military drill at the Edelweiss military training ground.

The Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO, include Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan) has started military exercises in Kyrgyzstan it says are needed in response to the ongoing situation in Afghanistan. Last month, Russia held two separate joint military drills with Tajikistan and Uzbekistan near the Afghan border. Central Asians states bordering Afghanistan are concerned about security threats emanating from the war-torn country and the potential for tens of thousands of refugees to pour over the border.

Source: Ghandara


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Expert Analysis

Anti-Russian Attacks In Kazakhstan & Kyrgyzstan Are A New Hybrid War Threat

Anti-Russian Attacks In Kazakhstan & Kyrgyzstan Are A New Hybrid War Threat

23 AUGUST 2021

Anti-Russian Attacks In Kazakhstan & Kyrgyzstan Are A New Hybrid War Threat

These countries’ leaderships appreciate their strategic relations with Russia and are also keenly aware of the serious Hybrid War threat that those provocations pose to their domestic stability.

Some “nationalist activists” in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan have recently taken to attacking those of their compatriots who address them in Russian, prompting condemnation from Moscow and stern responses from their governments against this worrying Hybrid War threat. Kazakhstan is a much more multicultural society than Kyrgyzstan due to its significant Russian minority while the latter can best be described as a constellation of various clans who mostly all share the same ethnicity (except in the Fergana Valley where many of the Uzbek minority reside). Both of these Central Asian Republics (CARs) are Russia’s mutual defense allies through the CSTO and also participate in the Moscow-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). Russia is therefore very concerned about its ethnic compatriots and others who speak its language being brutally attacked there.

It remains unclear whether the “nationalist activists” responsible for these crimes are connected to foreign NGOs or intelligence agencies, but they nevertheless constitute a serious regional security threat which could advance American strategic interests if it isn’t soon checked before spiraling out of control. The brief Trump Era was characterized by a resurgence of nationalist sentiment across the world, the origins of which predated his ascent to power and its consequences will long outlast his departure because it embodies preexisting trends in countless societies. It’s first and foremost a reaction to the previously unchecked liberal-globalist processes that swept the planet during the short period of unipolarity but varying degrees of support have been provided to different movements by foreign actors over the years in order to advance their divide-and-rule interests.

In the Central Asian context, the US has every reason not to want this geostrategic region in the middle of the Eurasian Heartland to serve as the convergence point of the many multipolar processes jointly pioneered by Russia and China, particularly connectivity ones related to synchronization of Moscow’s EAEU and Beijing’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI). There have already been some violent Sinophobic incidents in reaction to what some claim (whether truthfully, falsely, or in an exaggerated manner) are the local economic consequences of many low-cost Chinese products entering their marketplaces and certain BRI contracts being carried out by Chinese workers instead of their own compatriots, but locals haven’t ever really had a problem with Russia’s legacy of influence there.

This is a pretty new phenomenon, especially in multicultural Kazakhstan, which is why Russia is so concerned. Provocations such as these can quickly spiral out of control since the actors participating in them are presumed to be autonomous and can therefore behave in unpredictable ways. Furthermore, the proliferation of cell phones and social media mean that even relatively minor incidents can spark larger crises, especially if the footage or photos are deceptively misportrayed to the public. Kyrgyzstan is particularly vulnerable to this considering its clan-centric society wherein even the smallest of slights against one group can quickly explode into major clashes between each party’s extended network of supporters. These preexisting socio-technological dynamics make Central Asia especially vulnerable to these sorts of “nationalist”-driven Hybrid War threats.

Considering the mutually beneficial relationship between those countries and Russia, as well as the role that the Russian language plays in both of those CARs for facilitating intercultural communication and enhancing one’s job prospects (especially abroad in the Kyrgyz case since many of its citizens migrate to Russia for work), it can be concluded that these so-called “nationalist activists” do not genuinely represent the grassroots will of their societies. Rather, they’re ultra-radical manifestations of preexisting nationalist trends within their countries and are obsessed with provoking inter-ethnic and consequently international crises on this ideological basis. They hope to place their governments in a dilemma whereby they either submit to these extremists and lose Russian support or defend multiculturalism and then be accused of “selling out” their people.

Nur-Sultan (the recently renamed capital of Kazakhstan formerly known as Astana) and Bishkek have thus far responded to these provocations properly by declaring the perpetrators’ actions to be unacceptable. They’re sending unambiguous signals that they won’t be tolerated whatsoever at all but fiercely suppressed anytime and anywhere they occur. These countries’ leaderships appreciate their strategic relations with Russia and are also keenly aware of the serious Hybrid War threat that those provocations pose to their domestic stability. Investigations should be commenced to determine determine whether these “nationalist activists” are connected to foreign NGOs or intelligence agencies, the outcome of which will show that these are either “lone wolf” radicals or another country’s proxies and thus help to fine-tune the state’s response to them.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Eurasian Union, CSTO, Hybrid War, Central Asia.


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Geopolitics and Terrorism

Putin ready to help Tajiks against the Taliban | Source: Asia News

Russia is ready to help Tajikistan against the Afghan Taliban, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. The Kremlin offered its support in the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), which in addition to the Russian Federation includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan itself.

Source: Asia News


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Russia vows to assist Tajikistan in case of mounting terrorist threat | Source: Tass

Russia will provide any necessary assistance to Tajikistan under its commitments in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in the event of mounting terrorist threats from Afghanistan as the US pulls out its troops from that country. They cautioned that some terrorist groups would be airlifted by the aircraft of European countries and the United States from Iraq to northern Afghanistan.

Source: Tass


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Debunking The Top Five Fake News Narratives About Nagorno-Karabakh

Debunking The Top Five Fake News Narratives About Nagorno-Karabakh
 
28 SEPTEMBER 2020

Debunking The Top Five Fake News Narratives About Nagorno-Karabakh

This weekend’s resumption of hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh has led to an explosion of fake news narratives about the conflict, hence the reason for writing this piece in order to debunk the top five ones that have since proliferated across the Alt-Media Community.

Nagorno-Karabakh is back in the news after this weekend’s resumption of hostilities. The author wrote about the latest clashes in his piece about how “Azerbaijan’s Counteroffensive Is Legal But Might Inadvertently Spiral Out Of Control”, which also cites three recent analyses from over the summer that were published after the clashes during that time. All four articles are important to read in order to obtain a deeper understanding of this complex conflict’s background and contemporary context. The present piece, however, focuses solely on debunking the top five fake news narratives that have proliferated across the Alt-Media Community about this issue. Each one begins with a paraphrased summary of the false claim in question, which is then concisely debunked. Without further ado, here are the five most popular fake news claims about this conflict:

1. “Nagorno-Karabakh Is Armenian”

Most of the inhabitants of Azerbaijan’s former Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast are ethnic Armenians who aspired to separate from their country in order to join their nearby titular nation in the last days of the Old Cold War. The resultant conflict that this sparked led to the region’s occupation by the Armenian Armed Forces as well as the occupation of some of the surrounding environs that were never originally part of the former autonomous oblast in question. To this day, not a single country in the world — Armenia included — officially recognizes Nagorno-Karabakh as “independent”, though Armenian Prime Minister Pashinyan hinted on Sunday that he might consider doing so. Nevertheless, as it presently stands at the time of writing, there is unanimous acknowledgement in the international community of the fact that Nagorno-Karabakh is part of Azerbaijan despite being mostly inhabited by ethnic Armenians.

2. “Azerbaijan Started An Illegal War Of Aggression Against Armenia”

Four UNSC Resolutions (822853874884) have been passed demanding that Armenia withdraw its military forces from Azerbaijan, which it refuses to do to this day. Armenia is therefore the internationally recognized aggressor state in this conflict which continues to occupy its neighbor’s territory. Azerbaijan has the UN-enshrined legal right to defend itself and remove foreign military forces from its land. Although Armenia and Azerbaijan accuse one another of provoking the latest round of violence, it’s irrelevant who actually fired the first shot this time since there’s no question that Armenia is the occupying force on internationally recognized Azerbaijani territory. The truth is that Armenia is the one that started an illegal war of aggression against Azerbaijan decades ago, though its proponents portray it as a “humanitarian intervention”. Although everyone is entitled to their own opinion, the indisputable fact is that the UNSC doesn’t agree with Armenia’s version.

3. “Russia Will Defend The Armenian Forces In Nagorno-Karabakh”

Russia and Armenia are mutual defense allies through the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), but Moscow doesn’t recognize Nagorno-Karabakh as anything other than Azerbaijani territory. Its security guarantees are therefore limited only to protecting internationally recognized Armenian territory from foreign aggression, not intervening in Nagorno-Karabakh. It shouldn’t be forgotten that Russia is also a member of the same UNSC which voted four separate times to demand Armenia’s withdrawal from Azerbaijani territory. The CSTO is therefore only relevant insofar as serving as a deterrent to Turkish military intervention against Armenia in Azerbaijan’s support or the scenario of Azerbaijan attacking internationally recognized Armenian territory as part of its counteroffensive. Even then, however, Ankara and Baku can argue that they were taking preemptive action to stop Armenian aggression against their own territories, thus creating a legal dilemma for Moscow.

4. “Turkey Provoked The Latest Hostilities As Part Of Its Neo-Ottoman Strategy”

There’s no doubt that Turkey has become much more regionally assertive over the past decade through what many have described as its “Neo-Ottoman strategy”, but the country is already caught up in such a wide range of conflicts at the moment (Iraq, Syria, Cyprus, Greece, Libya) that it doesn’t have any interest in getting involved in another one. This is even more so the case when considering that Armenia is Russia’s CSTO ally and that the worst-case scenario involves an Armenian-Azerbaijani war becoming a CSTO-NATO proxy war or even a direct one. Turkey is also close strategic partners with Russia nowadays despite occasional differences of approach to some regional issues such as Syria and Libya. They cooperate real closely on military-technical issues such as the S-400s and energy ones like Turkish Stream. Jeopardizing this relationship and risking the worst-case scenario of a CSTO-NATO war just for the sake of regaining imperial-era glory is irrational.

5. “Azerbaijan Is An Israeli Ally So All Anti-Zionists Should Support Armenia”

Azerbaijan sells energy to “Israel” and also purchases military equipment from it, but Armenia is also on pretty good terms with the self-professed “Jewish State”. In fact, it can be argued (though importantly without endorsing it) that Azerbaijan has a more balanced relationship with “Israel” than Armenia does. After all, Armenia recently opened an embassy there despite previously promising not to ever do so unless “Israel” recognized the events that Armenia and a few dozen other countries across the world including Russia regard as the “Armenian Genocide”. Yerevan reversed its own prior policy in this respect even though it didn’t receive anything tangible in return, thus making Tel Aviv the indisputably dominant partner in that relationship. Armenia submitted to “Israel” so as to pave the way for their influential lobbyists partnering with one another as they assemble a united anti-Turkish front, but it comes off as desperate and definitely isn’t “anti-Zionist”.

——————–

Taking into account the author’s debunking of the top five fake news narratives about Nagorno-Karabakh, it’s clear that an intense infowar is being waged by Armenia’s supporters to denigrate Azerbaijan in the eyes of the Alt-Media Community. Although mostly ethnically Armenian, the region in question is legally Azerbaijani, and the UNSC has called on Armenia to withdraw from this territory and the occupied surrounding regions on four occasions. Russia doesn’t support the armed Armenian separatists there, and Turkey isn’t meddling in this matter either. Both want peace, not war. As for who anti-Zionists should support, neither Azerbaijan nor Armenia meet that ideological criteria as both are partnered with “Israel” to differing extents. In conclusion, everyone is entitled to their own views on this matter, but no one should spread false narratives about it.

EgjymzKXcAEZe3b 

American political analyst
 

Tags: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Turkey, CSTO, NATO, Israel, Nagorno-Karabakh, South Caucasus.


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