Kazakhstan: end of protests, protesters go home

Participants of the rallies in Kazakhstan’s Aktau, who set up yurts in the square yesterday with the intention of continuing the protests, take them apart and disperse, Sputnik Kazakhstan reports:

“In Aktau, the protesters dismantle the yurts and disperse. On the central square of Yntymak, the protesters dismantle the yurts and take away the iron structures, carpets, etc.”

Currently, the protesters have driven away a truck with a mouthpiece, an impromptu stage for speeches, and are putting things in order in the square. About 50-60 people remain there. Only three of them intend to “stand to the end” and urge people not to give up. The rest collect garbage scattered in the area and gradually disperse.

On Friday, the media reported that protests continued in the city of Aktau, in western Kazakhstan, with participants setting up two yurts in the central square.

Massive protests in the country began in the first days of the new year, caused by a twofold increase in the cost of liquefied gas. Residents of Zhanaozen and Aktau took to the streets. The protests then spread to other cities, including the former capital of Kazakhstan. Alma-Atu… Looting and attacks on state institutions began, active protesters armed themselves.

In response, the country’s president, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, declared a state of emergency until January 19, and the authorities launched a counter-terrorist operation. According to UN data, about a thousand people were injured during the protests, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the republic reports the deaths of 18 security officials.

On January 5, the President of Kazakhstan dismissed the entire government and headed the Security Council. At its first meeting, Tokayev called the situation in the country an undermining of the integrity of the state and announced his handling for help from the CSTO “in overcoming the terrorist threat.”

The Collective Security Council made a decision on January 6 send to Kazakhstan collective peacekeeping forces to normalize the situation, in connection with the appeal of President Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev, who called the organizers of the pogroms terrorist gangs. The Kremlin’s website published Pashinyan’s statement on the CSTO’s decision on peacekeepers in Kazakhstan. The official website of the President of the Russian Federation published a statement by the Chairman of the CSTO Collective Security Council, Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan, on the decision to send the Collective Peacekeeping Forces of the organization to Kazakhstan.

January 7 Tokayev promised to destroy those who do not lay down their arms. He noted that the demands of the citizens of Kazakhstan, expressed in a peaceful manner, were heard. The prosecutor’s office of Kazakhstan announced cruel punishments for the participants in the riots – they may lose their citizenship and spend the rest of their lives behind bars.

Ex-President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev took his daughters with their families and left the country. Former President Nazarbayev’s withdrawal from politics is one of the main demands of the protesters in Kazakhstan. However, this information has not been officially confirmed. Today the media reports RIA Newsthat the first president of Kazakhstan, Nursultae Nazarbayev, called on the country’s residents to rally around the current president in order to overcome the crisis and ensure the country’s integrity. This was announced by the press secretary of the ex-head of state, who claims that Nazarbayev is now in Nur-Sultan. Earlier it was alleged that he flew to China.

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