According to the president, unrest in Kazakhstan is a coup attempt

Image source, Reuters
Caption for the image

Last week, security forces from Kazakhstan defended an Almaty checkpoint

Kazakhstan’s President Kassym Jomart Tokayev described last week’s deadly violence as a coup d’etat.

He stated to ex-Soviet state leaders that the actions were coordinated by “one centre”, but did no name the people responsible.

While President Putin claimed that Kazakhstan was the target of international terrorist attacks, he did not provide any evidence to support this assertion.

He said that Russia will not tolerate revolutions within the region.

To restore order, troops from Russia and other nations are stationed in Kazakhstan at the moment.

Protests sparked by rising fuel prices turned out to be the largest unrest that the country had seen in 30 years of independence. Several hundred people, including sixteen members of security forces, are believed to have been killed.

Protests began on January 2nd and quickly grew out of discontent with the government and ex-President Nursultan Nagayev. He was Kazakhstan’s leader for over three decades, and it is believed that he still holds significant power.

The violence reported by Correspondents may be related to an internal power struggle in the ruling class.

The authorities claim that the situation is now stable, one week after the violence broke out. They say troops are continuing to “clean up” and protecting strategic assets.

The country remains under a state of emergency. According to the Interior Ministry, almost 8,000 people were taken into custody across the country on Monday.

  • AFTERMATH: Protests in Kazakh are characterized by anger and confusion.
  • IMAGE FROM THE SCENE “Like something out of an apocalypse movie”
  • CONTEXT: What is the reason for unrest in Kazakhstan
  • BACKGROUND: Kazakhstan Country Profile

As Kazakhstan started a day of mourning in memory of those who were killed during the unrest, security negotiations between Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organisation military alliance (CSTO), began.

The protests were joined by “armed militants waiting in the wings.” It was clear that the main objective was to undermine the constitution, destroy government institutions, and seize power. Tokayev stated that it was an attempt to coup d’etat.

According to him, protesters attacked Kazakhstan’s largest city Almaty in an attempt to capture the southern regions of the country and its capital Nur-Sultan. He said that the hunt was on for terrorists and Kazakhstan would provide proof to the international community.

Putin claimed that some people involved in violence were trained abroad, and did not give evidence.

According to Mr Putin, “Well-organized and well managed militants were used,” he said to other participants in the video conference.

“Events that took place in Kazakhstan were not the first or the last effort to influence our internal affairs.

“CSTO’s measures show we won’t allow a region to become unstable and that they will not tolerate any kind of colour revolutions.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken asked Kazakhstan about its decision to ask Russia for military assistance. This was after the arrival of the first 2,030 Russian-led soldiers in Kazakhstan last week. Moscow’s officials assured them that they were only temporary.

Blinken called on the Kazakh authorities not to violate the rights of demonstrators, but maintain law and order.

Russia accuses the West of inciting uprisings back in Russia – so-called “colour rebellions” that brought down former Soviet countries like Ukraine, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan.

Tensions high about the tens to thousands of Russian troops gathered at Ukraine’s border prompt fears of an invasion.

Kazakhstan basics

Is it there?Kazakhstan has borders to Russia in the north, and China in China’s east. It’s a country of immense size, comparable to Western Europe.

What is the point?It is an ex-Soviet republic that was dominated by Muslims and has a significant Russian minority. The country also boasts vast mineral resources with 33% of the world’s oil reserves, and other important sectors like coal and gas.

It is making news.The rise of fuel riots has led to wider protests against government policies and resignations from the top. Protesters have also been brutally beaten down.


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