Is Kazakhstan as strong a state as it portrays itself to the outside world? Joshua Foust on Registan.net suggests that it probably isn't:

[A]n unnecessary attack on Kazakhstan’s still-fledgling political opposition is not the behavior of a growing, confident, young, dynamic country, which is what Kazakhstan clearly wants to be. It is the behavior of a weak, insecure, terribly afraid regime. Which could potentially be dangerous in the long run…