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The great absence of exercises of the former USSR countries. “They didn't even invite me”

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Message about planned exercises “Birlestik 2024” appeared on April 4, after a meeting of representatives of the defense ministries of four Central Asian countries and Azerbaijan. The organizer of the July maneuvers will be Kazakhstan.

“Operational and tactical command exercises” are aimed at “implementing combat training tasks aimed at demarcating armed conflict zones,” it was reported.

Exercises without Russia's participation. “Concerned about the situation in Afghanistan?”

Bruce Pannier notes that something new is the fact that Azerbaijan will participate in joint exercises with Central Asian countries. The four remaining republics are members Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and occasionally conduct maneuvers with Russia and China.

Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are also associated with Collective Security Treaty Organizationor in Russian “answer to NATO“.

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A Central Asia expert wonders why five post-Soviet countries will conduct the exercises without participation Russia. “If they are concerned about the situation in Afghanistanit would make more sense to schedule exercises in Uzbekistan or Tajikistanthat border this country,” he argues.

Russia has reasons to be concerned. The corridor connects China with Europe

The plans of its Asian allies are widely commented on in the Russian media. They agree that all Caspian countries should be “at least invited” to check how the activities will be carried out.

All five countries preparing for the exercise are deployed along the central corridor connecting China with Europe – through Central Asia and the Caucasus – excluding Russia. The importance of this route, also called the Trans-Caspian, increased after the Russian invasion Ukraine and the introduction of Western sanctions against Moscow, but also after Houthi attacks from Yemen on ships in the Red Sea.

“Regardless of the reason, the exercises began to interest the inhabitants of Russia and probably Iran. However, countries participating in 'Birlestik 2024' they see it as a good sign that they are cooperating on security issues without resorting to help from larger countries“- Pannier sums up.

Kazakhstan does not support Russia. There will be no parade on May 9

The English-language portal Eurasianet also draws attention to Kazakhstan's refusal to organize a military parade on May 9, in the so-called Victory Daywhen Russia commemorates the surrender German during World War II. Moscow celebrates this day on a grand scale every year and tries to promote the anniversary in all the countries of the former USSR with which it has partnership relations.

Meanwhile the importance of this holiday in the post-Soviet space is decreasing. Representatives of the Kazakh Ministry of National Defense explained that the refusal to hold the parade was dictated by economic reasons. “The priority is to maintain the required level of combat readiness and mobility of the units of the Kazakh Armed Forces,” the ministry said.

As the author of the article Almaz Kumenov wrote, experts link the cancellation of the parade in Kazakhstan directly to geopolitics. Some see this as a sign of the Kazakh authorities' concern about Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, adding that officials they do not want to send any signals that could be interpreted as approval of Moscow's actions. At the same time, many people fear that the Kremlin may make territorial claims against the northern lands of Kazakhstan, where the Russian language dominates.

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