While Russia and the CSTO countries are busy with a peacekeeping mission in Kazakhstan, analysts and the general public make a variety of assumptions about the future of this country.
Some people assume that Russia is building a buffer zone, or may even go further and snatch up some new territories already in the near future. Others assume that Russia will keep its troops in Kazakhstan for an indefinite period of time, as was the case in Abkhazia, Transnistria, Syria, etc.
These theories may sound insane at first. However, against the background of suspicions about computer games Destiny and Call of Duty (some believe that it was these games that pulled the trigger in the Kazakh youth and took them to the streets), those theories are not irrational.
Only the future will show what is going to happen in Kazakhstan next. Yet, if we talk about the past and present of Russian foreign policy, one may see another conspiracy correlation.
It appears that Russia's steps towards, let's call it, "active peacemaking" (read — expansion) coincide with the Olympic Games.
Let's go back to the late 1990s, which were quite difficult times for Russia and all Russians. However, even back during those days Russia managed to add 19 percent of the Caspian Sea to its territory.
It is important to understand here that during the Soviet era, almost the entire Caspian basin belonged to the Union, then there were disputes about the affiliation of the water area, and in 1998 Russia took its toll. Later, in 2003, all other participants of the dispute were forced to consent. As a result of the deal, Russia obtained large gas fields and proceeded to develop them actively.
China hosted the Olympic Games in 2008 — the year, when Russia coerced Georgia to peace. As a result of the five-day war, Russia acquired allies in the face of the partially recognized states of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The Russian troops are still stationed there.
Everyone remembers the 2014 Olympics in Russia's Sochi, when Russia held a referendum in Crimea and reunited with the peninsula as a result of a popular vote.
Few people remember that the same year Russia also obtained a part of the Sea of Okhotsk. Russia set its claims for that area of the sea back in 2001. It took Russia 13 years to have the rights to this water enclave recognized by the UN General Assembly. Once again, Russia won deposits containing one billion tons of oil and two billion cubic meters of natural gas, let alone the extra fishing area.
Then there was a period of "peaceful and quiet" Olympics, when Russia was internationally disgraced in a major doping scandal. Russia did not snatch any territories after 2014, but was definitely working on something.
Beijing is going to host the 2022 Winter Olympics on February 4-20.
The Games have not started yet, but Russian peacekeepers have already been deployed in Kazakhstan as part of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation contingent. They have established control of all strategic facilities that Russia is related to.
Interestingly, Kazakhstan has been conducting a discriminating policy against the Russian-speaking population lately. The post-Soviet Asian republic was running this policy against the backdrop of the tacit consent from the authorities of Kazakhstan.
One may assume that Russia is trying to protect its national and state interests in Kazakhstan while pushing its administration towards the Russian, rather than the Western world.
The combat version of the Russian robotic vehicle Marker will be able to automatically detect and destroy enemy equipment