Knowledge of Kazakhstan in the West is extremely slim, particularly among western media, and many responses to events there have been wildly off-beam.
The narrative on the right is that Putin is looking to annex Kazakhstan, or at least the majority ethnic Russian areas in the north. This is utter nonsense.
The narrative on the left is that the CIA is attempting to instigate another colour revolution and put a puppet regime into Nur-Sultan (as the capital is called this week). This also is utter nonsense.
The lack of intellectual flexibility among western commentators entrapped in the confines of their own culture wars is a well-established feature of modern political society.
What the protest are about is the deregulation of LPG & subsequent increase in pricing.
These brought people onto the streets. The government quickly backed down and tried to reinstate price controls but not producer subsidies; that would have led gas stations to sell at a loss. The result was fuel shortages that just made protest worse.
Kazakhstan is an authoritarian dictatorship with extreme divisions in wealth and power between the ruling class – often still the old Soviet nomenklatura and their families – and everybody else. No political opposition is permitted. Infamously, after a massacre of striking miners, Tony Blair contacted former dictator Nazarbayev offering his PR services to help limit political fallout.
The unrest will be blamed, entirely untruthfully, on Islamic terrorists and western support.
The current regime will now owe Putin for saving their *sses. And likely payment will be in the form of energy products.