26 Dead, Thousands Arrested in Almaty: All You Need To Know About Kazakhstan Unrest

26 Dead, Thousands Arrested in Almaty: All You Need To Know About Kazakhstan Unrest

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Kazakhstan government on Friday claimed that security forces killed 26 ‘armed criminals’ hours after Russian forces landed in Almaty after Kazakh president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev appealed for help, news agency AFP reported. Tokayev also said that ‘constitutional order’ was restored in all regions.

“Law enforcement forces are working hard. The constitutional order has been mainly restored in all regions,” Tokayev was quoted as saying by news agency AFP. He also said that ‘security operations’ will continue aiming at ‘the total destruction of the militants.’ The embattled president, who saw massive protests in the capital, claimed earlier that there were ‘armed terrorists’ among the protesters who have received ‘extensive training abroad’.

Here are the top developments from Almaty:

  1. Kazakhstan’s interior ministry claimed that all regions have been ‘freed and taken under increased protection’, according to AFP. It also said that security personnel killed 26 ‘armed criminals’ and injured 18. It further added that 70 checkpoints have been set up all over the Central Asian nation and more than 2,300 protesters were detained.
  2. Russian forces continue to help Kazakhstan’s security personnel following Tokayev’s request to the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) – a collective of ex-Soviet nations – who also claimed that the protesters received extensive training abroad.
  3. Protests against the government started as the government announced a hike in liquid petroleum gas (LPG) prices on January 1. According to observers, the protests also reflected brewing dissatisfaction against those in charge. Within Tuesday, protests spread all over Kazakhstan will Almaty witnessing thousands of protesters taking over the streets.
  4. Protesters demanded the ousting of Tokayev, who was handpicked by Nursultan Nazarbayev – the father of the nation and who ruled the resource-rich nation for three decades, claiming that he and his predecessor Nazarbayev were corrupt.
  5. Protests escalated on Wednesday when protesters stormed into a government building in Almaty and set it on fire. They also stormed into the airport and tried to pull down statues of former leader Nazarbayev, who Kazakh protesters claim continues to exert influence on the running of the nation.
  6. Officials claimed that two police officers were decapitated, according to news agencies while protesters countered that by saying that machine gun firing killed dozens of protesters in Almaty on Thursday night. Officials claim that 748 security officers have been wounded and 18 killed.
  7. Dissident leader Mukhtar Ablyazov, who was formerly an energy minister in Kazakhstan, said the uprising indicates the beginning of the end of the Tokayev regime. “I think the regime is at its end. It is only a question now of how long,” Ablyazov, who heads the Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan (QDT) party said. The party was among those who actively supported the protests.
  8. Ablyazov also said that protesters and Kazakhstan’s citizens need to protest the presence of Russian troops in the city claiming that it empowers Russian president Vladimir Putin to recreate the former Soviet Republic. “The more Putin intervenes, the more Kazakhstan will become like Ukraine — an enemy state for Russia,” he was quoted as saying.
  9. The United Nations and the European Union urged all sides to refrain from violence and asked for protection of civil rights.
  10. The US also urged Kazakhstan to address the issues that sparked the protests and warned Russia by saying that the world is watching its actions in Almaty closely.

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