Today is the Day of Mourning in Kazakhstan for those killed during a week of protests that began on January 2 due to rising gas prices and escalated into massive demonstrations against the government of President Kasym-Jomart Tokayev and Nursultan Nazarbayev.
After the introduction of military forces from the CSTO (Russia-led alliance) into the country, the protests were suppressed. Now the authorities say that the situation is under control, the Internet has reappeared, airports, cafes, banks are reopening, business is calculating losses.
On Monday, CSTO servicemen continue to be based in the country (the troops will remain "until the situation is completely stabilized"), shots are heard from time to time in the streets of Almaty.
The number of those killed and wounded remains unknown, while the official statements of the authorities are constantly changing: either the captured foreign "spy" turns out to be a well-known Kyrgyz musician, then the number of wounded is inaccurate, then the number of detainees changes.
What is happening in Kazakhstan now
- Almaty, the largest city in Kazakhstan, has returned to an almost normal life. Garbage and burnt-out cars are being removed from the streets. Most of the shops have reopened, public transport and regular traffic have resumed.
The burnt-out square near the city hall is cordoned off by security forces and is closed to the public. Police officers search cars at checkpoints.
- Information about the deaths of high-ranking Kazakh security officials has begun to arrive in recent days. The deputy head of the police department of one of the districts in Almaty, Tanat Nazanov, had a heart attack. Colonel of the National Security Committee Azamat Ibraev was found dead in the yard of his house. Zhambyl region police chief Zhanat Suleimenov committed suicide (according to the regional authorities).
Number of dead, wounded, detained
The exact number of deaths as a result of the riots is still unknown: the numbers are first published and then deleted even on official sources.
The Ministry of Information of Kazakhstan reported that 164 people were killed in the clashes (103 in Almaty). But soon the post disappeared, and representatives of the Ministry of Health said that they did not have information on the number of those killed.
According to the latest data from the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kazakhstan, 7,939 people were detained. Tokayev said 16 members of the security forces were killed and the number of civilian casualties is still being specified.
The Almaty commandant's office reported that on the morning of January 10, the police detained 508 "participants in terrorist attacks and looting." The National Security Committee reported on "neutralization of two extremist cells" in Almaty.
The courts brought 3022 people to justice for violating the state of emergency. They arrested 1743 people, issued a warning to 913 people, and fined 359.
What was it?
According to the country's president, Kasym-Jomart Tokayev, the protests were "an attempt at a coup d'etat."
"I speak with confidence about the direct participation of terrorists, including foreign militants, in the aggression against Kazakhstan," he said at today's CSTO summit.
According to Tokayev, the protesters tried to create a "zone of chaos with the subsequent seizure of power." In the near future, Kazakhstan intends to present evidence of the preparation of "terrorist aggression".
Allegedly, the wave of unrest began under the guise of spontaneous protests that began due to the rise in gas prices. The actions were coordinated from one center by outside forces, Tokayev said.
The Kazakh Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the attackers included "persons with experience of military operations in the ranks of radical Islamist groups."
The new Secretary of State Yerlan Karin believes that the protests served as a "background", but then the destabilization was carried out "according to several scenarios at once."
“After the protest actions, so to speak, an action was launched with the participation of looters, marginal groups who created general chaos, then criminal groups entered the field, which acted as a kind of vanguard in the confrontation with the forces of law and order, and thus they pulled back the forces of law and order. Ultimately, targeted terrorist attacks have already been launched, "Karin said.
Scandal with a Kyrgyz musician
The testimony of the authorities calls into question the incident with the captured "terrorist" who turned out to be the famous Kyrgyz jazz musician Vikram Ruzakhunov, who came on tour on New Year's Eve.
On January 9, Kazakhstan reported the capture of a spy suspected of rioting. A video message appeared in which the musician with bruises on his face admitted that he "came to Kazakhstan to participate in a rally" for $ 200.
The name was not indicated, but the musician was immediately recognized on social networks. The Ministry of Justice of Kyrgyzstan demanded to initiate a case on the use of torture against Ruzakhunov, now he has been released.
The chairman of the State Committee for National Security of Kyrgyzstan, Kambychek Tashiev, said that the authorities in Bishkek will not remain silent "when a Kyrgyz citizen is falsely accused."
Kyrgyzstan sent a note of protest to Kazakhstan and summoned the Kazakh ambassador to its Foreign Ministry.