– Protestors brutally kill 12 army personnel, set Presidential residence on fire
– CSTO military unit led by Russia dispatched
Nur-Sultan – Demonstrations in Kazakhstan against the increase in fuel prices took a violent turn. Demonstrators set the residence of President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on fire in the capital, Nur-Sultan. While violent mobs brutally killed 12 soldiers in the capital, Nur-Sultan. Along with this, demonstrators have begun to put in efforts to seize government buildings and airports. President Tokayev declared a state of emergency in the country by accusing it of being a terrorist attack. Tokayev also appealed to Russia-led CSTO for military assistance, and a contingent of military peacekeepers will soon be entering Nur-Sultan.
Moreover, against the backdrop of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Kazakh government, which faced an economic crisis last year, had withdrawn the concession on natural gas early in the new year. Natural gas is widely used in Kazakhstan. Hence so far, the Kazakh government had given benefits on the use of natural gas. But after the Coronavirus pandemic strained the country’s coffers, President Tokayev’s government lifted these concessions.
For the past three days, demonstrations went on against the government in the capital, Nur-Sultan. The protests that had peacefully started with the participation of nearly a thousand people, while thousands of people have joined now, the protestors have triggered the violence. Accepting the demonstrators’ demands, President Tokayev also dismissed his cabinet. Also, he announced that fuel prices would be reduced than ever before. Nevertheless, demonstrations in other cities of the country, including the capital, Nur-Sultan, have not stopped. Instead, the intensity is growing.
The demonstrators have boastfully become more violent in the last 24 hours, setting fire to the residence of the President as well as the residence of local administrative officials. Demonstrators have attacked police and the army at some places, while videos of army vehicles being set on fire have surfaced at others. Twelve soldiers were killed. Local media informed that three of them had their throats slit. One thousand people have been injured in this violence. President Tokayev accused, ‘The terrorist gangs are in essence, international, they went through serious training abroad and their attack on Kazakhstan can and should be considered an act of aggression. In this regard and relying on the Collective Security Treaty, today I reached out to the heads of the CSTO member states to assist Kazakhstan in overcoming this terrorist threat.’
President Tokayev demanded that the ‘Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO)’ of the former Soviet Union countries, led by Russia, send troops. The CSTO responded immediately to President Tokayev’s call, and troops from Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan would soon be dispatched to Kazakhstan as a peacekeeping force, informed Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.
The way attempts are being made to create chaos in Kazakhstan today; a similar or worse situation could pull over the European countries, European analysts and the media have been warning. European countries have been facing fuel shortages for the past few months. European countries are also facing the problem of natural gas shortages and rising prices during the winter period. European analysts have drawn attention that this had led to protests in countries like Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Germany a few days ago. If the fuel crisis is not resolved in time, European countries will have to face more chaos than Kazakhstan, have warned European analysts.