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Kazakhstan Military Exercises Against "Separatists" -- But Russian, or Uyghur?

Kazakhstani soldiers take part in exercises against "extremist, terrorist and separatist organizations." (photo: MoD Kazakhstan)

Kazakhstan's armed forces are carrying out exercises against "separatists," citing "geopolitical shifts" as the justification. But while the reference to separatists may make the Kremlin a bit uneasy, the scenario seems to be oriented toward Chinese separatists, rather than Ukrainian.

The exercise is being conducted from January 15-17 by land forces command staff. "According to the scenario of the joint staff training, groups from extremist, terrorist and separatist organizations, disguised as refugees, infiltrate the territory of a hypothetical government," according to a release from the Ministry of Defense. "During the course of the training the soldiers blocked and destroyed illegal armed formations and repelled the invasion."

The "relevance of the training" was the result of "contemporary geopolitical shifts," the MoD added. So what geopolitical shifts is Astana worried about?

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Kazakhstan Military Exercises Against "Separatists" -- But Russian, or Uyghur?

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