Kazakhstan Protests of 2022
The Kazakhstan Protests of 2022 started on 2 January 2022 and ended on 11 January 2022 (so far).
Kazakhstan is a former Soviet country that is located in the central Asian region. Kazakhstan has been gripped by severe unprecedented and uncontrolled mass civil unrest which continue to grow so far. The peace and cease in violence doesn’t seem to be permanent in the cities.
The president of Kazakhstan, Kassym Jomart Tokayev has ordered a state of emergency across the country.
The prime minister of Kazakhstan Aksar Mamin and the majority of the cabinet of Kazakhstan’s government have resigned yet the protests do not seem to stop or become less severe.
So what are the protests in Kazakhstan are about?
The protests and Unrest in multiple cities of Kazakhstan such as Almaty, (Almaty is the nation’s economical capital); were started by a fuel price hike.
As Kazakhstan doubled the price of fuel recently and this majorly led to the mass unrest.
The Kazakhstan government has rolled back the fuel price hike and revised it to the previous prices, but the mass protests and civil unrests are not ending even now.
The president of Kazakhstan stated now that this is the work of some kind of foreign hand and interference.
As Kazakhstan, a peaceful terrain that is known and renowned for political stability in the central Asian region is now witnessing an unprecedented turmoil and protests leading to instability.
Violence is continuing to rise on the streets of the cities in Kazakhstan and conflicts between the police and protesters are increasing so are the cases of vandalism, loot and arson.
The country's president Kassym Jomart Tokayev has declared a state of emergency on January 5, 2022. The statement was broadcasted and communicated to the entire nation of Kazakhstan.
Aksar Mamin who was the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, has resigned.
The entire cabinet of ministers of the Kazakh government has also resigned following the resignation decision of the country’s Prime Minister.
The country of Kazakhstan has not witnessed any such kind of turbulence or unrest of this scale since it left the Soviet Union 30 years back in the year of 1991.
Kazakhstan left the Soviet Union on 16 December 1991, which also led to massive protests and large scale unrest across the country.
Now one of the questions is that what actually led to the hike in prices of fuel in Kazakhstan?
On Sunday, the Mangystau province in western region of Kazakhstan made a decision to more than double the price of fuel. It lifted caps on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) leading to a sharp rise in prices of fuel in the region of Mangystau in a matter of hours.
They went from 60 tengus per liter all the way up to 80 tengus per liter and later ending up at 120 tangos per liter. That is equalant to $0.28 US dollars.
As the prices of the fuel in Kazakhstan skyrocketed, so did the protests. Kazakhstan Protests of 2022 began and they firstly emerged in a city in Mangystau province.
From this point onwards, the Kazakh protests started spreading east of the country and finally the protests reached Kazakhstan's financial capital Almaty, where they spun out of control leading to mass unrest in Kazakhstan.
On Wednesday afternoon, the protesters tried and succeeded in storming the office of Almaty's Mayor.
The protesters were armed with batons and shields that were previously stolen from the Kazakh police, the protestors entered the building of the Mayor’s office and set large parts on fire.
As the authorities were outnumbered, they were unable to control the situation on time. That led to Kazakhstan’s prime minister Askar Mamin offering his resignation and he said the government was to blame for the turmoil and civil unrest that is spread across the country.
The cabinet of Kazakhstan’s government also resigned and country's president 68-year-old Kassym Jomart Tokayev accepted the resignations.
President Kassym Jomart Tokayev, therefore, appointed acting ministers in the Kazakh Government but none of this has led to the people cease their anger, The protests still continue further on.
Kazakhstan’s president also rolled back the fuel price hike as mentioned earlier, but protesters continue to attack locations like banks, shops, malls, government offices and are continuing to vandalize public property.
“I urge you once again to see reason and not to react to provocations from inside and outside to the euphoria of rallies and permissiveness calls to attack office space of civilian and military authorities are absolutely illegal. This is the crime followed by a punishment.”
The government of Kazakhstan considers this as work of foreign provocateurs and same claim is supported by Russia.
Russia is also closest ally of Kazakhstan, and has confirmed the interference of some sort of foreign extremist involvement that led to the current ongoing protests and unrest of January 2022 in Kazakhstan.
Russian President Vladimir Putin responded to support the nation of Kazakhstan by deploying Russian military detachments to Kazakhstan that includes the Russian Paratroopers and Armoured Personnel Carriers.
In the protests a total of 164 people have been killed, most of which were protesters; among which were 18 security forces members. Total number of arrests in 2022 Kazakhstan protests is slightly more than 9,900.