Kazakhstan’s president, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, said today that order has mostly been restored in the country after days of unprecedented unrest. “The police are working hard. Constitutional order has mostly been restored in all regions,” Tokayev said in a statement adding that security operations will continue “until the total destruction of the militants.” The Kazakh Ministry of Interior added that “26 criminals” were killed and 18 injured in days of unrest. The statement specifies that all the regions of Kazakhstan have been “liberated and placed under greater protection” with 70 checkpoints installed in the country.
The security forces cleared the main square of Almaty, that of the Republic, where the protests of anti-government demonstrators had concentrated. This was reported by the Russian Tass, citing the reporters on the spot, and the local TV Khabar 24 news.
“Dozens” of protesters were killed by police in Kazakhstan overnight, while violent protests continued across the country. This was announced by the Kazakh police themselves. “Last night extremist forces attempted to storm the administrative buildings and the police department of Almaty, as well as local police departments and posts,” said a police spokesman, quoted by Interfax-Kazakhstan, Tass et Ria Novosti.
The interim government of Kazakhstan announced that it had imposed a gas price cap for six months, the increase of which sparked the violent riots that have raged in the Central Asian republic for two days and that have left dozens of deaths on the ground. In a note, the government says it has taken the “urgent” measure to “stabilize the socio-economic situation” in a country where LPG is widely used as a fuel for cars.
The first troops of the “peacekeeping force” promised in the evening by the CSTO alliance, which brings together Russia, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, were sent to Kazakh territory, which was traversed by violent street riots, according to Moscow. “A collective peacekeeping force from the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) has been sent to Kazakhstan for a limited period to stabilize and normalize the situation,” the alliance said in a statement released by the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson. , Maria Zakharova.
Over a thousand people were injured in two days of violent street clashes in Kazakhstan – where there were also dozens of deaths -, of which at least 400 hospitalized and 62 in intensive care: the Kazakh Deputy Minister of Health, Azhar announced. Guiniyat, to the TV station Khabar-24, quoted by the Tass news agency.
The intervention of Russian troops and Kazakhstan’s allies to suppress protests underway in the country “should respect Kazakhstan’s sovereignty and independence”. Thus an EU spokesperson for foreign affairs and security policy after sending the ‘peacekeepers’ of the CSTO alliance, which brings together Russia, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, to Kazakhstan. “The EU condemns the acts of violence that took place in Almaty and deplores the loss of human life”, said the spokesperson, appealing for the violence to stop and calling for “moderation” and a “peaceful resolution” of the crisis.
The EU looks with “great concern at the developments” of the crisis in Kazakhstan. “The rights and safety of civilians must be guaranteed”. The EU High Representative for Foreign Policy Josep Borrell writes in a tweet, underlining how “external military aid brings to mind situations that must be avoided”. Europe, emphasizes Borrell, “is ready to lend its support to tackle the crisis”.
“Italy is following with great concern the serious events in Kazakhstan, a country to which it is linked by friendly relations and a solid economic partnership, making a strong appeal for an immediate end to the violence”. The Farnesina underlines this in a note. “Italy asks that no use of force be used and that a national process of easing tensions be initiated in a framework of full sovereignty in line with the standards of respect for rights and pluralism set by the International Organizations of which Kazakhstan is a member “.
Neither the threat of a “hard” reaction, nor the promises to lower the prices of basic necessities have convinced the demonstrators who have taken to the streets for days in Kazakhstan to put an end to their unprecedented protests.