Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest city and former capital, was back online on Monday. The city which saw widespread protests against an LPG hike since January 1 was offline since Wednesday. According to an AFP report, foreign news websites and local websites were accessible on Monday morning.
The report also highlighted that public transport was back in the city of Almaty, displaying signs that the city which is home to 1.8 million people is returning to normalcy. Businesses, however, are reeling from losses which were due to widespread looting as well as vandalism as protesters marched on to the streets.
The Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), a Moscow-led regional military bloc, which following Kazakhstan president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s appeal, dispatched thousands of troops to quell the protests will hold an online meeting later on Monday. Russia confirmed that president Vladimir Putin will also attend the meeting. Among Kazakhstan’s major cities, capital Nur-Sultan, named after Nursultan Nazarbayev, the country’s former strongman ruler, was among those which saw comparatively less unrest.
Here are the top developments from Kazakhstan:
- The Kazakhstan government retracted its earlier statement where it said that 164 people died due to the unrest. The authorities said that the statement was retracted due to a ‘technical error’.
- The government blamed the international media for creating a false impression that the resource-rich nation was targeting its own people. “Our security forces have been engaging with violent mobs who were committing brazen acts of terror,” the Kazakhstan government said in a statement.
- Kazakh authorities said that at least 5,800 people have been detained for questioning. The interior ministry said that property damage due to the unrest stood close to $199 million.
- Nazarbayev’s successor Tokayev received support from the strongman as he called on citizens to ‘rally around’ Tokayev. Tokayev also told local media that he is running the government and making his own decision instead of ‘running to consultants’, responding to Kazakh protester’s notion that Nazarbayev still has a firm control on how the nation is being run.
- The US warned Tokayev against allowing Russian troops on Kazakhstan’s soil. “Once Russians are in your house, it’s sometimes very difficult to get them to leave,” US secretary of state Blinken warned last week.