Kazakhstan wasn't on anyone's radar at the turn of the year but all the sudden they're topping statues of the guy was has been in charge for 30 years. Today there are reports of shootouts and dozens of people killed.
There are widespread protests, power and the internet has been cut. The government resigned and reached out to Russia and five other former soviet countries to send soldiers, who arrived today.
On its own, Kazakhstan bears close watching because it's a critical producer of uranium and potash while also being a significant oil-producing nation along with zinc.
I don't pretend to have any special insight on what's happening or will happen but it's important to note that the trigger for these protests was higher prices for propane and butane, which people use in their cars in Kazakhstan. Put another way, these were inflation protests.
It's often forgotten that the Arab Spring started out with protests about higher food prices.
So while big changes in Kazakhstan don't necessarily represent a major market risk, prices are rising everywhere and that raises the political temperature. Are we entering a period of social instability?