This is a republication of a post authored by Andrew Korybko, which was first published in OneWorld. It has been adapted with full permissions obtained from the author.
The Alt-Media Community’s (AMC) gatekeepers presiding over the Russian-friendly segment of this informational space generally adhere to the “5D chess” theory as their “politically correct” interpretation of anything that the Kremlin does. This paradigm posits that Russia supposedly always knows what’s happening in advance and therefore carries out super genius chess moves in order to always come out ahead even when it appears that something or another resulted in a setback to its interests. Those who claim otherwise are treated by the gatekeepers as heretics and oftentimes slandered as “Russophobic”, “foreign agents”, or worse. This theory is therefore more akin to a cult.
The “5D chess” interpretation of Russia’s response to last week’s Hybrid War of Terror on Kazakhstan was just articulated by The Saker, who’s among the most prominent gatekeepers of the AMC’s Russian-friendly segment. He shared his views in his latest piece titled “Who ‘lost’ Kazakhstan and to whom?” What follows are pertinent excerpts perfectly embodying the “5D chess” theory:
“In other words, at least the Russians had advanced warning and were fully prepared. If so, I doubt they said anything to their colleagues from the CSTO, with the possible (likely?) exception of the Belarusians.
Okay, so let’s explore the implications of the above.
If the Russians knew, why did they do nothing at all to prevent what just happened?
So we have Lukashenko, Pashinian and now Tokaev all ex-multi-vector politicians begging Russia for help and getting that help, but at the obvious political price of ditching their former multi-vector policies.
I don’t know about you, but for me this is a triumph for Russia: without any military intervention or “invasion” (what the TV watching infantiles in the West scare themselves with at night), Putin “cracked” three notorious multi-vectorist and got them to be nice, loyal and very grateful (!) partners for Russia.
Remember, the PSYOP narrative was that Putin is either stupid, or weak or sold out to the West, yet when we look at the “before and after” thingie, we see that while the West “almost” (or so they think) “got” Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan and, now, Kazakhstan, the reality is that in each case it appears that the narcissistic megalomaniacs running the West have confidently waltzed into a carefully laid Russian trap which, far from giving the Empire the control of the countries it “almost” acquired, made them lose them for the foreseeable future.
One more thing: there is something else which Kazakhstan and Syria have in common: there were A LOT of CIA/MI6/Mossad/etc agents around Assad, this became quite clear by the number of high-level Syrian officials who either backed the insurrection, or even led it. Most later fled to the West, some were killed. But the point is that the “apple” of the powers structure in Syria was quite rotten. The same can be said for Kazakhstan where a huge purge is taking place, with the highly influential head of the security services (and former Prime Minister!) not only demoted, but arrested for treason!
So in plain English, the SVR/FSB/GRU will now have a free hand to “clean house” the same way the Russians “cleaned house” around Lukashenko and Assad (in this case with Iranian help): quietly and very effectively.
Furthermore, Russia has no need, or desire, to invade or, even less so, administer poor, mostly dysfunctional countries, with major social problems and very little actual benefits to offer Russia. And now that Lukashenko, Pashinian, and Tokaev know that they serve at the pleasure of the Kremlin, you can rest assured that they will generally “behave”.
There is overwhelming evidence that the Russians were aware of what was coming and allowed the chaos to get just bad enough to give only one possible option to Tokaev: to appeal for a CSTO intervention.”
To summarize his views, The Saker basically claims that Russia purposely allowed the Hybrid War of Terror on Kazakhstan to go kinetic so that it can swoop in with its military forces in order to purge the Kazakhstani government and control its foreign policy. This “5D chess” theory inadvertently advances the Western infowar narrative that Putin weaponizes chaos and was just debunked by his spokesman.
Dmitry Peskov said on Monday that “[The events in Kazakhstan] came as a surprise to everyone. If I’m not mistaken, it came as a surprise to the Kazakh authorities, as well as to the CSTO and Russia.” He clarified, however, that Russia was still broadly aware of the threats facing Kazakhstan, which is obvious considering how much the Kremlin discussed these issues with its regional partners since the Taliban’s rapid return to power in Afghanistan last August. Peskov also added that Russia won’t interfere with Kazakhstan’s ongoing investigation into what happened since “It is the domestic concern of Kazakhstan, a sovereign country.”
In other words, President Putin’s own spokesman debunked The Saker’s “5D chess” theory less than 24 hours after he meticulously articulated it to his audience. The Russian leader’s representative confirmed that his country was just as surprised as everyone else was by the Hybrid War of Terror on Kazakhstan even though it was obviously aware of such regional threats in general. Peskov importantly denied that Russia will meddle in its ally’s internal affairs unlike what The Saker imagined would happen. To channel that writer, “in plain English, the SVR/FSB/GRU will not have a free hand to ‘clean house’” in Kazakhstan since that was never its intention, to begin with, nor did it want to take control of its foreign policy.
Russia agreed to Kazakhstan’s request to join the CSTO’s limited peacekeeping mission there for securing strategic facilities in order to prevent the country’s collapse into anarchy, which could have in turn catalyzed large-scale refugee flows into Russia itself that might also have been infiltrated by terrorists. Its partner’s multi-vector policy of “balancing” between various powers was respected by Russia since it didn’t harm any third country’s interests, exactly as Russia’s own informal attempts to explore the possibility of jointly leading a new Non-Aligned Movement (“Neo-NAM”) with India don’t harm any such country’s either.
In fact, the argument can be made that responsibly practiced multi-alignment can reduce the chances of a conflict since the many stakeholders in that particular state’s stability are disinclined to destabilize it lest they also bear some of the costs such as a loss of their investments there. It’s precisely this multipolar variation of the Neo-Liberal school of International Relations thought that China is also informally practicing through its Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) and attendant attempts to assemble a community of common destiny for mankind. Russia’s, Kazakhstan’s, China’s, and other countries’ “balancing” acts are therefore complementary and actually embody multipolar principles unlike what The Saker implies.
Russia has no neo-imperialist motives to control others’ foreign policies that don’t pose a threat to its national security interests, nor would it ever sit back and irresponsibly let Hybrid Wars of Terror be unleashed against an innocent population in order to establish the pretext for militarily intervening under such a pretext like The Saker claimed so as to impose these zero-sum hegemonic policies. His “5D chess” interpretation of Russia’s response to last week’s fast-moving events in Kazakhstan inadvertently advances US-led Western Mainstream Media’s primary information warfare narrative falsely alleging that President Putin weaponizes chaos for neo-imperialist purposes.
Some further clarifications are required in order for observers to better understand why Russia was truly surprised by what recently happened in Kazakhstan. That Hybrid War of Terror escalated precisely during the middle of Russia’s 10-day New Year’s holiday season where everyone – including officials and experts though with the exception of some members of the military and intelligence – are on long-planned breaks, celebrating with family and friends, and sometimes not even in their home cities. Nothing that I’ve seen or heard, including from expert sources here in Moscow where I’ve cultivated countless contacts across the past 8,5 years, suggests that they were placed on call or told to cancel their plans.
To the contrary, the latest events had a deep psychological impact – most of it very negative – on the Russian people that President Putin definitely wouldn’t have let happen if he had a chance to prevent it. Furthermore, Russia has a track record of warning the masses about various provocations in advance so as to hopefully thwart them from happening. This is evidenced by its many warnings about false flag chemical weapons attacks in Syria for instance, yet there was nothing shared with the public to prepare them for what The Saker claims that Russia was aware of and allowed to happen for Machiavellian reasons in Kazakhstan.
Another point to ponder is how unrealistic it is to expect Russia to not place its officials and experts on call or ask them to cancel their holiday plans if it was truly planning an unprecedented CSTO limited peacekeeping mission in a neighboring country. It responded as rapidly as it did not because it conspiratorially knew what was about to happen but betrayed its Kazakhstani allies by letting them sadistically suffer at the hands of terrorist forces until their Hybrid War-victimized government begged for help, but because the CSTO has literally trained for decades on how to respond to the exact same scenario that just transpired. That training paid off and the deployment happened without a hitch.
There’s no denying that there was temporarily a narrative void in the immediate aftermath of these events that adversarial forces attempted to exploit, precisely because Russian officials and experts were caught off guard by what happened and were still celebrating the holidays (including the days right before Orthodox Christmas) so they weren’t able to properly shape perceptions about this. The Saker’s “5D chess” theory would have his well-intended but ultimately naïve audience believe that this was all part of President Putin’s plan, namely to inflict damage to his country’s own interests in order to cover up for The Saker’s claim that the Russian leader knew what would happen and allowed it to transpire.
With all due respect to The Saker, the facts – especially Peskov’s latest statements made less than 24 hours after that writer articulated his “5D chess” theory about Russia’s response to the latest events in Kazakhstan – unquestionably discredit his interpretation of what happened. Russia was indeed surprised by what took place but responded decisively because of President Putin’s firm leadership in the face of regional terrorist threats and the decades’ worth of training that the CSTO had in preparation for this exact scenario. Russia only wanted to prevent Kazakhstan from collapsing into anarchy and becoming a terrorist hotbed, it doesn’t want to purge its ally’s government and then control its foreign policy.
Everyone is entitled to their views, including The Saker, but so too are those who want to critique the aforementioned writer’s. His “5D chess” interpretation of the latest events is completely wrong, and those members of his audience who aren’t already indoctrinated into blindly believing that particular gatekeeper’s views deserve to be made aware of others’. They need to be informed that it’s against President Putin’s principles for his country to betray the Kazakhstani people by sadistically letting them suffer from a Hybrid War of Terror in order to exploit their desperate government’s request for help as part of some neo-imperialist powerplay. Russia would never do what The Saker just claimed that it did.