Dozens Shot Dead In Kazakhstan As Regime Calls In Russian Forces To Put Down Uprising

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Dozens Shot Dead In Kazakhstan As Regime Calls In Russian Forces To Put Down Uprising

Dozens of civilian protestors in the central-Asian nation of Kazakhstan have been killed after police and security forces opened fire on demonstrations in the capital Almaty.


The unrest has resulted in the Kazakh leadership calling in military support from Russia, Kazakhstan's neighbour, in what they say is a move to restore peace and security against 'terrorists'.


Among the dead were 12 police officers who it is alleged were killed by protests that were sparked by widespread anger against rising fuel prices, inequality, dictatorship, and corruption.


A civil society activist in Almaty, Irina Mednikova, spoke to journalists about the scene she seen outside the government headquarters in Almaty, in which she recounted witnessing large pools of blood. She said:


"The residence was completely burned. The gates had been rammed open with cars or tractors, all the glass was broken, and inside there was smoke and a terrible smell of burning."


In video footage, Russian soldiers can be seen firing live ammunition, though it is not clear at what they are firing.



The Kazakh authorities claim that almost 3,000 people have been arrested and over 400 are in hospital. They said:


"The terrorists are using civilians, including women, as human shields. The police forces are trying their best to ensure the security of city residents."



Kazakhstan is currently run by Kassym-Jomart Kemelevich Tokayev, who took over in 2019 as leader of the country after 29 years of rule by Nursultan Nazarbayev, who had run the country since its independence from the former Soviet Union in 1991. Tokayev has now also declared that he is taking control of the nation's security services.


Kazakhstan is widely regarded as an authoritarian state with little democracy or functioning civil society. It also has limited press freedoms and there are allegations of widespread human-rights violations. Despite the ongoing protests there appears to be no organised or unified opposition to the ruling regime. However, the uprising is seen by the Kazakh leadership as significant enough that the rulers of the nation have deemed it necessary to call in a foreign state's military to maintain control, perhaps out of fear of the Kazakh army mutinying or staging a coup.


Such a direct role of Russian in a foreign neighbour will likely be watched carefully given Russia and the West's posturing over Ukraine, and Russia's links to Belarus, whose leadership violently opposed an uprising in 2021.


[Based on reporting by: The Guardian]


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Thinking Humanity: Dozens Shot Dead In Kazakhstan As Regime Calls In Russian Forces To Put Down Uprising
Dozens Shot Dead In Kazakhstan As Regime Calls In Russian Forces To Put Down Uprising
Dozens of civilian protestors in the central-Asian nation of Kazakhstan have been killed after police and security forces opened fire on demonstration
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