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Kazakhstan protests: President Ordered Shoot-to-kill, said peaceful resolution-What nonsense?

What is happening in Kazakhstan? Here is a timeline of Kazakhstan protests


Highlights

What is happening in Kazakhstan?

Timeline of Kazakhstan protests

Why is Kazakhstan strategically significant?

Conclusions

Kazakhstan protests: A massive protest rocked Kazakhstan over the soaring fuel prices. As per reports, the presidential residence in Kazakhstan’s largest city was engulfed in flames too. Protesters also stormed the mayor’s office in Kazakhstan’s largest city Almaty. To control the situation, police forces hurled tear gas and stun grenades which led to a major clash between cops and protestants. Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev sacked the cabinet led by Prime Minister Askar Mamin. The president instructed the acting cabinet to reinstate price control on LPG.

They asked to broaden price controls to other socially important goods.

A state of emergency is declared in Almaty and the province of Mangystau, a region of Kazakhstan. The two-week-long emergency in the violence-hit area includes an 11 pm to 7 pm curfew. Restrictions on movement and a ban on mass gatherings were also imposed in the sensitive areas.

President Tokayev said, “Calls to attack government and military offices are illegal. The government will not fall, but we want mutual trust and dialogue rather than conflict”.

What is happening in Kazakhstan? Timeline of Kazakhstan protests

The government lifted price caps on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) which is used to operate most vehicles. The LPG is used for daily travel and use. A rise in the LPG sparked anger in the less wealthy western region of Mangistau. This caused the price to double overnight.

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The price rise came as the nation concluded a gradual transition to electronic trading for LPG to halt state subsidies for fuel and let the market dictate prices.

Here is a timeline of Kazakhstan protests

2 January 2022

The biggest protest in Kazakhstan since the country’s independence in 1991 broke out at the beginning of 2022.

4 January 2022

The protest took place at the western town, Zhanaozen. However, the protest soon spread to other parts of the country. By Tuesday night, about 5000 people had gathered in Almaty despite the government’s assurance to reverse the fuel price rise.

5 January 2022

On January 5, the protestors got more heated as they attempted to pull down the statue of Nazarbayev. They set a government building on fire and also stormed the airport.

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6 January 2022

According to The Indian Express, on January 6, Kazakh security forces said that a dozen of the protestors and at least eight law enforcement officials were killed to restore order in the city. Therefore, Tokayev called on Russia as part of the Collective Security Treaty Organization to send in troops to assist security personnel in their efforts to restore order in the country.

7 January 2022

The government restored the price cap of 50 Kazakh tenges ($0.11) per litre, or less than half the market price, in the western province. President Tokayev had given a shoot at sight order to troops calling the protestors bandits and terrorists.

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Addressing the nation, Tokayev said, “I gave an order to law enforcement agencies and the army to shoot to kill without warning. We are receiving calls abroad for the parties to move the negotiations to a peaceful resolution of the problems. What nonsense! What kind of negotiation can there be with criminals and murders?

Kazakhstan protests
Kazakhstan protests

Why is Kazakhstan strategically significant?

Kazakhstan is a major energy exporter and a key neighbour of Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Unrest in Kazakhstan is likely to unease the Kremlin, the citadel of a Russian city which maintains a strong influence in the region.

Conclusions

Large protests are rare in Kazakhstan where demonstrations can only be held with government permission. The protests will wound the reputation of the Kazakh government which has always been a fairly stable country. Experts say leaders of other Central Asian countries will be watching out for regional implications.

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Ayushi Mittal

In her journey to become a journalist, Ayushi can inculcate your tale through her news writings. You may find her with a mike in protests, rallies, or in museums. So what's your story?
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