Tajik-Kyrgyz border skirmishes: The Conflicting Press Releases from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs…

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tajikistan and Kyrguzstan both released a Press Release on the skirmishes and persist conflict on the Tajik-Kyrgyz border. A place that has had several of skirmishes and cease-fires. The nations are clearly tense and has old grudges, as they are now in brewing conflict.

The Press Releases are certainly compelling and telling a story. Because, it shows what both sides believes and wants to state as fact. That’s why I will take the Press Releases by each side and just show how they portray it. Since that shows what is going down and how they are operating.

Let’s begin with how they claim it all started on the 14th September 2022:

On September 14, at 7:15am, military units of the Border Troops of the State Committee for National Security of the Kyrgyz Republic, without any reason, began shelling the Kekh border post of the Border Troops of the State Committee for National Security of the Republic of Tajikistan in the Vorukh Jamoat of Isfara Town, Tajikistan. During this unprovoked act of aggression, the Kyrgyz side used mortars, machine guns and other small arms. As a result of the shelling, two servicemen of the Armed Forces of Tajikistan were killed. At the same time, the Kyrgyz side carried out the transfer of additional forces and heavy equipment to the border areas. The Tajik side was forced to return fire” (Tajikistan MFA, 18.09.2022).

We consider that groundless accusations of Tajikistan against Kyrgyzstan in “military aggression towards the Republic of Tajikistan” is an attempt to put the responsibility and guilt on Kyrgyzstan. The Tajik party has launched the campaign of misinformation in order to discredit the defensive actions of the Kyrgyz Republic. We state that any information from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan and other public bodies does not correspond the reality. Kyrgyzstan has all the evidence (photos and video footages) of the beginning of aggression, crimes and atrocities of the Tajik soldiers on the territory of our country. We are ready to provide the evidence if necessary” (Kyrgyzstan MFA, 18.09.2022).

Here you see really vast differences in storytelling and in accuracy. The Kyrgyzstan MFA isn’t showing any sort of proof or clarity. Only saying they can provide it. While Tajikistan MFA is direct about where and when. That’s why their statement is more believable in the sense of the actions and how the whole skirmishes on the border started. The Kyrgyzstan on the other hand only dismisses the Tajikistan Press Release without going into detail. That’s concerning, because it isn’t flattering to say the least. When you are accused and only talks of providing evidence, instead of actually outlining how it possibly started. In that regard, I rather believe Tajikistan since they have unleashed details, which can be verified.

When we are seeing just these paragraphs it is obvious that they are both going against each other. They are pinning the blame on each other. However, the Tajikistan Press Release has more accurate details and that makes it more sensible. As the other is just trading insults and accusations against the other party.

Like in the end of the Kyrgyzstan Press Release: “Unlawful actions of the Tajik party are the aggressive and destabilizing campaign which contradicts with bilateral and multilateral agreements, the spirit of good-neighborliness and mutual support between peoples of our countries. We are gravely concerned with the active involvement of irregular paramilitary groups on the Tajik side. The actions of the Tajik side may lead to the outbreak of a large-scale interstate conflict, as well as to the destabilization of the situation in the Central Asian region as a whole. Moreover, the situation provoked by the Tajik side has already resulted in casualties among the civilian population, military personnel, serious damage to military and civilian infrastructure, health and property of local residents” (Kyrgyzstan MFA, 18.09.2022).

As we see, the Kyrgyzstan MFA continues but isn’t direct about where or when. It is just claiming that the Tajikistan forces entered their territories and act outside of the ceasefires. Alas, the Tajikistan MFA said this: “In recent days, with a view to creating the image of an “aggressor” in the face of its neighbor, the Kyrgyz side, not shunning outright lies and insinuations, continues an information campaign against Tajikistan, thereby escalating tension in the border area. On September 17, in his address to the nation, the President of Kyrgyzstan used the word “enemy” in relation to Tajikistan” (Tajikistan MFA, 18.09.2022).

Here we see the differences too. While one is stating and blaming the other party directly through the whole Press Release. The other is saying from the get-go, that it knows its being vilified while their territories are attacked by the neighbour. In this instance, I believe more in Tajikistan own wording. While the Kyrgyzstan only targets the neighbour directly yet again.

This here just shows the stories they are telling. It is compelling with the reports and the actions made by the neighbours. The skirmishes from Kyrgyzstan has surely occurred and they just want to pin Tajikistan in this matter. Certainly more is to come, but this doesn’t bound well for the days to come. Peace.

Opinion: The CSTO seems to be over…

This week has shown that the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) is a pointless and worthless defence pact. The nation in the alliance are not safeguarded or defended. The main sponsor or biggest army, the Russian army seems ambivalent or too busy in the Ukrainian invasion to help out others. The exhaust of the invasion of Ukraine is now showing Kremlin to be powerless and lack military strength to support other member states of the CSTO.

The CSTO was supposed to defend and help out Armenia this week. However, they never shown up and didn’t mind that Azerbaijan did attack Armenia. They could just violate the territories of Armenia and the CSTO wouldn’t do anything. Even when the Armenian government did invoke Article 4 in the CSTO agreement. This just shows that the CSTO is becoming a redundant defence pact. They cannot even show up when a nation call upon them.

In the same regard, which is even more striking is the Tajikistan attacks on Kyrgyzstan. Tajikistan has attacked and went into contested areas. Where the Tajikistan armed forces has gone after villagers, and attacked civilians too. There been at least three ceasefires, but Tajikistan has violated them again and again this week. Therefore, the CSTO cannot even look into the acts made by the nations itself.

The CSTO seems like a lost project. Especially, when nations who is members can attack each other without any ramifications and when a member is violated without any reactions or seriousness of it. Armenia is a nation like that. A nation that is an ally of Russia and still nothing. Azerbaijan seems to be living large and be okayed by Putin. Since, there is nothing of substance in concerns to military assistance or even diplomatic measures. The Azerbaijani forces can just do what it does and there is no noise.

The same can be said about the Tajikistan army who are violating and having skirmishes on Kyrgyzstan territories. That has been done and the CSTO hasn’t invoked any meeting or dialogue of any sense. No, the CSTO is a bystander and wondering what it does Certainly, Putin would support the aggressor. Since, Putin prefers dictators and tyrannies over democracies.

That’s why Putin is supporting Azerbaijan and Tajikistan in these wars. Even when these are deliberately showing the West and everyone else that CSTO is a dead-fish in the water. There is nothing there and it won’t care about the nations itself. The Russian army is maybe to damaged and stretched in war in Ukraine. That it cannot help or be at service to the member states of CSTO.

That just shows the weakness of the whole CSTO. As it all evolved around the Russian Federation and the “superpower” it was meant to be. The only thing it does is validating the sense of tyrants standing together and allowed to attack other sovereigns. While the CSTO “values” or actual “defence pact” is worthless. It is not even worth the ink on the paper it was written on.

That’s what is striking here. These wars in Central Asia or the Caucasus is only showing what Putin is losing. His not a feared man and neither is the organizations he has built. If the CSTO was supposed to be a reaction or a defence pact in comparison to NATO. It has surely lost its value and is meaningless. That’s obvious when member states attack each other or a member state is attacked; and nothing is happening at all.

The CSTO is bound to fail and dissolve. The wars and skirmishes in Caucasus is showing that. If this is a plan. Certainly, Putin is losing influence and only weakening his own case. Because he have no Defence Pact and leverage with former USSR republics. They are more independent and don’t even have to be concerned with Kremlin or what Moscow might want. There is no connection or no bother really. They know Putin or Kremlin won’t mind either. He just looks away and is unbothered about the whole thing. Peace.

Opinion: Is the CSTO ready to be tested? [In Armenia or Tajikistan]

This week the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) is put under pressure. That is happening as the Russian army is under fire and getting hit hard on the front-lines in Ukraine. Russians as the “superpower” of the CSTO and with the losses in Ukraine. Certainly the warfare in Ukraine is weakening not only Russia, but the CSTO itself. That’s why this weeks actions against Member States of CSTO begs to question. Is the CSTO up to it? Or was it a dream turned into a nightmare in Kremlin?

The CSTO has been Moscow controlled and centralized from there to have some sort of military alliance and influence over former Soviet Republics. That’s why the CSTO consist of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan. Former Member States are Azerbaijan, Georgia and Uzbekistan. While Serbia is the only state, which is an observer to the CSTO.

Why I am saying CSTO is in trouble?

Well, the recent skirmishes between Azerbaijan and Armenia is the first push. Where the Azerbaijan has attacked Armenia in contested areas. Which has killed unknown amount of soldiers and used artillery on Armenia soil. The Azerbaijan army has even attacked a Russian FSB van in the border region. So, this here shows how volatile things are.

In addition to the acts and skirmishes between Azerbaijan and Armenia. While the Kyrgyzstan’s border force has attacked the Tajikistan as well. That’s two more conflicts involving the member states of the CSTO.

The Armenian state has already invoked or plans to invoke the article of the pact, which says the other member state has to help them out in a conflict. This means the fellow alliance members has to come to Armenia with military aide.

The question here now will be… has Russia or Belarus any real army capacity to offer? Will, the Russians depleted armies and stretched manpower be able to help Armenia in the hour of need?

There is already talk of the very independent Armenia not helping in the war in Ukraine. That the Russians might be reluctant to help them now. Since, the Russian would have needed support, both equipment and brigades in the war in Ukraine. However, there has only been help and support from Minsk.

Tajikistan has offered equipment and ammunition to the Russians for the war in Ukraine. So, that’s another ball-game.

We will see who Moscow will come to support. This is their alliance and counter-pact to the NATO. So, it has to prove it’s value now, as the members are now hurt and their sovereignty is hit by neighbours, which is what Moscow is doing to Kyiv. However, Moscow can be a hypocrite about that, as long as that fits the interests of Kremlin or His Excellency, Putin.

This will surely be a test for the Russian alliance, the CSTO. That is under fire right now. The border skirmishes and clashes are only showing how the Member States needs support. That Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan is attacking their neighbours. There is certainly a lot at play here.

We just have to see how the Kremlin moves now. They have to show their worth. In the moment and time, when their own forces and armies aren’t in a good place either. As the Ukrainian advances are hitting everywhere. The launched Special Operation in Ukraine is certainly backfiring and we can wonder if they have enough resources to boost their allies of the CSTO. Peace.

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