Unrest in Kazakhstan is blamed on “foreign interference,” with over 1,000 people injured.
Kazakhstan: Long regarded as one of Central Asia’s most stable ex-Soviet republics, energy-rich Kazakhstan is in the midst of its worst crisis in decades, after days of protests over rising fuel costs devolved into widespread turmoil. Kazakhstani security forces claim to have murdered scores of anti-government protesters in Almaty, the country’s capital.
According to a police spokeswoman, they moved in after demonstrators attempted to take control of police stations throughout the city. The turmoil, which was prompted by a tripling in the cost of liquefied petroleum gas, has resulted in the deaths of 12 security personnel and the injuries of 353 others (LPG).
The Kazakh president has requested that Russia deploy troops in. They will be stationed in the country to help “stabilize” it, which is a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) alongside Russia, Belarus, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Armenia.
Russian paratroopers are being dispatched as peacekeepers, according to the CSTO, with advance groups already deployed. Protests began on Sunday as the government raised the price cap on LPG, which many people use to power their vehicles, but the discontent has now grown to include political complaints.
The CSTO’s current chairman, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, has previously stated that the alliance would comply to the request, citing “foreign influence” in Kazakhstan. Police say scores of people were murdered in confrontations with security forces at government facilities in Almaty, the country’s largest city, in the worst reported violence thus far.
Tokayev said “terrorists” were taking buildings, infrastructure, and small guns and attacking security troops in a televised address early Thursday. On Thursday, videos posted on social media showed looted stores and destroyed buildings in Almaty, as well as automatic gunfire in the streets and locals crying in terror. More than 1,000 people have been injured in the rioting so far, according to officials, with over 400 hospitalized and 62 in intensive care.
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