A Russian-led force deploying into Kazakhstan has inevitably had some people talking invasion, some stabilisation. I make no claims to being a Kazakhstan expert and look forward to people who are having the opportunity to work out if this was a coup by President Tokaev against his patron and master Nazarbaev or something else. So instead, I look at the crisis through the Russian lens: why did the CSTO agree to send forces, what are Moscow's interests, and what can we learn from the Russian media messaging?
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Something of a magazine episode. In the first half I talk about my being banned from Russia (here's the Foreign Ministry announcement), Putin at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum, Lavrov interviewed by the BBC (see more here) and Pertsev's recent article about the elite in Meduza...
In the first part of this slightly rambling episode, I develop on a theme I covered for the Sunday Times (here) on whether Moscow will move beyond annexing the Donbas and Lugansk People's Republics and actually seek to grab more territories. And why on earth might anything think this a good...