Kazakhstan: “dozens” of dead in the demonstrations

From “Tens” demonstrators were killed by police on the night of Wednesday 5 to Thursday 6 January as they attempted to seize administrative buildings in Kazakhstan. More than a thousand people have been injured in protests and riots that have rocked the country for several days, the health ministry said.

The anger movement, which began on Sunday January 2 in the provinces due to a rise in gas prices, then spread to the country’s largest city, Almaty, where it turned into a riot, the demonstrators s’ seizing administrative buildings and briefly the airport, while looting increased.

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Faced with chaos, neighboring Russia and its Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) allies have announced the dispatch of a “Collective peacekeeping force” in Kazakhstan, at the request of this Central Asian country.

Kazakhstani President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has so far failed to calm protests despite a concession on gas prices, resignation of the government and the establishment of a state of emergency and a curfew night in the country.

Scenes of chaos

Police spokesman Saltanat Azirbek as quoted by local media on Thursday reported “Tens” demonstrators killed as they tried to seize administrative buildings and police stations.

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“Last night, extremist forces attempted to storm administrative buildings, the Almaty city police department, as well as local departments and police stations.”, he said, adding that an operation “Anti-terrorism” was underway in one of the neighborhoods of Almaty.

Images circulated in the media and on social networks showed scenes of chaos with shops looted and some administrative buildings raided and set on fire in Almaty, while automatic weapon fire could be heard.

“Terrorist gangs”

Against the background of problems in the functioning of the Internet, the spokesperson of the Central Bank Oljassa Ramazanova announced the suspension of the work of all financial institutions in the country.

As a result of the chaos, uranium, of which Kazakhstan is one of the main world producers, saw its price sharply increase, while the stock prices of national companies collapsed on the London Stock Exchange. The country is a stronghold of “Mining” of Bitcoin, which is also experiencing a sharp fall.

According to the Kazakh interior ministry quoted by local media, at least eight members of the security forces were killed and 317 injured. The Kazakh president assured Wednesday that “Terrorist gangs” having “Received extensive training abroad” lead the demonstrations.

Burned buildings

After a night of unrest that saw the arrest of more than 200 people, thousands of protesters stormed the Almaty administration headquarters on Wednesday afternoon, appearing to take control. Police fired stun grenades and tear gas, but could not prevent them from entering.

Local media and witnesses on social media reported that the protesters then proceeded to the presidential residence in the city, which they set on fire, along with the city administration building and a television station.

It was impossible on Thursday to have a complete view of the situation in the country, journalists and witnesses could no longer be reached by Internet or by phone, who were cut off.


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