Middle East

President Kazakhstan refuses to talk and orders the army to “shoot and kill”

Security forces seemed to have regained the streets of major cities in Kazakhstan yesterday after days of violence, and a Russian-backed president ordered his troops to be shot dead to quell a national uprising. Stated.
The day after Moscow sent paratroopers to quell the riots, police were patrolling the streets littered with Almaty wreckage, but gunshots were still audible.
Dozens of people were killed, public buildings throughout Kazakhstan were looted, and the former Soviet Republic was burned in the worst violence it had experienced independence for 30 years.
Moscow said more than 70 planes were transporting Russian troops to Kazakhstan, which are now helping to control Almaty’s main airport, which was retaken by protesters on Thursday.
The uprising prompted Moscow to intervene during times of heightened tensions between East and West, as Russia and the United States are preparing for negotiations on the Ukraine crisis next week.
Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokaev blamed foreign-trained terrorists for anxiety without providing evidence.
“The militants haven’t put down their weapons and are either continuing to commit crimes or preparing,” 68-year-old Tokaev said in a television speech. “Those who do not surrender will be destroyed. I have ordered law enforcement and the army to shoot and kill without warning.”
Demonstrations began in response to soaring fuel prices, but swelled into a widespread movement against the Tokaev administration and former President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Nazarbayev, 81, was the longest-serving ruler of the former Soviet nation until he took over the president to Tokaev in 2019.
It is widely believed that his family retains influence in Nur-Sultan, the dedicated capital that bears his name.
Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the situation with Tokaev on several phone calls during the crisis, the Kremlin said yesterday.
Almaty protesters appeared to come primarily from the poor suburbs of the city and surrounding towns and villages.
The violence shocked the Kazakhs in the city. Used to favorably compare their country with their more oppressive and unstable former Soviet Central Asian neighbors.
“I’m scared the night I hear the explosion,” a woman named Clarai told Reuters. “It’s painful to know that young people are dying. This is clearly planned … probably our government has eased somewhat.”
In states where slight political opposition is tolerated, prominent protest leaders have not emerged to make formal demands.
One of the men who attended the first night of the protest and didn’t want to be revealed was most of the first to appear before 100-200 “aggressive youths” began throwing rocks at the police. Said he wanted to “voluntarily express solidarity.”
The Interior Ministry said 26 “armed criminals” were “liquidated” and 18 police and National Guard were killed.
Those numbers didn’t seem to have been updated since Thursday.
State television reported the arrests of more than 3,800 people.
Fresh shootings were heard yesterday near the main square in Almaty, where troops fought protesters on Thursday.
Armored personnel carriers and troops occupied the square.
According to AFP correspondents, security forces blocked Almaty’s strategic areas and fired into the air when someone approached them.
Elsewhere, the city was like a haunted town, with banks, supermarkets and restaurants closed.
Some small shops that were still open quickly ran out of food.
Most domestic flights have been canceled, and a Russian news agency said all but military flights will be closed until tomorrow, according to Almaty airport officials.
Anxiety has been reported in other cities, but the internet has been cut off since Wednesday, making it difficult to determine the extent of violence.
In Aktau, a city on the Caspian Sea in western Kazakhstan, about 500 protesters gathered peacefully in front of a government building yesterday, calling for Tokaev to resign, witnesses told Reuters.
Moscow’s rapid deployment uses force to maintain influence in the former Soviet Union when Putin alerted the West by rallying troops near Ukraine occupied by Russia on the Crimean Peninsula in 2014. Showed that you are ready to.
This mission is under the umbrella of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), which consists of Russia and five former Soviet allies.
Moscow said its troops would be about 2,500.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated Washington’s concerns about the situation in Kazakhstan and the involvement of Russian-led troops yesterday.
“Kazakh authorities and governments certainly seem to have the ability to respond appropriately to protests … so it’s not clear why they feel the need for external assistance,” he told reporters. rice field.
The Tokaev administration said the Russians were not engaged in combat or “elimination of radicals.”
Mukhtar Ablyazov, a former banker in exile and a government opponent against the government, told Reuters that the West would counter Russia’s move or Putin would rebuild a “Soviet-like structure.” He said he had to watch over.
China, another major neighbor of Kazakhstan, has supported Tokaev.
President Xi Jinping said Beijing opposed any use of force to destabilize Kazakhstan, according to state television.
Belarusian state news agency said that Putin’s other close ally, President Alexander Lukashenko, spoke with a former Kazakh leader on the phone yesterday, but Nazarbayev has not been seen or heard since the protests began. ..
Tokaev removed Nazarbayev and his nephew from the guard’s post on Wednesday.
Kazakhstan is a major oil producer and the world’s top uranium miner.

http://www.gulf-times.com/story/707591/Kazakh-president-rejects-talks-orders-forces-to-sh President Kazakhstan refuses to talk and orders the army to “shoot and kill”

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