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Ukraine risks repeating Afghanistan scenario: Kazakh analyst

21 july 2014, 16:43
Political analyst Dosym Satpayev ©Yaroslav Radlovsky
Political analyst Dosym Satpayev ©Yaroslav Radlovsky

The protracted conflict in Ukraine may lead to the country repeating the scenario of Balkan military confrontation in the 1990s with a possible evolution into another Afghanistan, Tengrinews cites Kazakh political analyst Dosym Satpayev.

Satpayev believes that the conflict in Ukraine has stirred memories of old national and ethnic tensions that were observed in the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the 1990s, such as the territorial dispute of Nagorno-Karabakh between Armenia and Azerbaijan, Moldova’s breakaway republic of Transdniester (or Transnistria) located on the border with Ukraine and the civil war in Tajikistan.

The analyst stressed the necessity to stabilize the situation in Ukraine because separatist moods affected not only neighboring countries. “Most likely, even Moscow has come to understand that it does not fully control the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. And provision of support to the forces that are trying to split the east of Ukraine from the rest of the country is a very serious threat. In case the Ukrainian conflict escalates into a permanent zone of instability, the situation will affect not only this country’s neighbors. The tragedy with the airliner has shown that conflicts may affect citizens of countries, which are geographically distant from the conflict zones. If the situation is transposed to Central Asia, it would clearly highlight quite a few potential conflict zones in our region, some of which are connected to separatist inclinations," he said.

Satpayev said that the conflict was on the stage of balkanisation: a surge of separatism and proclamation of new states. The expert was convinced that a new Afghanistan could emerge in the center of Europe if the conflict was not resolved at the current stage. “The war has been going on for some time already and the international community has had to put much effort into regulating the conflict. (…) Currently, Ukraine is entering the balkanization stage. The worst case scenario is for this balkanization to evolve into afghanization: when Ukraine turns into a zone of constant instability, where different armed groups operate without control from anyone – neither the West, nor Moscow – and power is not in the hands of politicians but in those of warlords.”

He also said that Ukraine could repeat the fate of Chechnya. "Some experts have rightly stated that Ukraine may come to be an analog of Chechnya, where many representatives of radical organization had received military training. In the future, similar individuals may appear in other post-Soviet countries, and the question of national security will come forward, in Kazakhstan as well," Satpayev said.

The conflict in Ukraine has taken a new turn last week. Malaysia Airlines passenger airplane with 298 people on board was shot down by a surface-to-air missile over the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic. Russia, Ukraine and the separatists have all given different versions of what happened. International investigators are trying to get access to physical evidence, which might help to reconstruct the crash in rebel-controlled territory.

By Dinara Urazova

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