Residents Almaty This Thursday, January 6, 2022, they did not come out, they were stunned by the landscape of burnt cars, dilapidated buildings and bullet casings scattered on the main city streets. Kazakhstan, The country is not accustomed to those explosions Violence.
A dozen civilians have died And nearby 1,000 people were injured In the protests caused by the increase Gas prices, This plunged the former Central Asian Soviet Republic into one of the worst crises in its short history as an independent nation.
Protesters stormed several administrative buildings, including the city hall and the presidential residence.
Saul, a 58-year-old construction worker who attended the protests, said he was shocked. Security forces opened fire on protesters.
“We saw the dead“, He thought.”Suddenly ten people were killed“He added,” I’m still shocked at the scene.
On Wednesday night 5, social networks were filled with videos in which the screams and explosions of automatic weapons could be heard and people could be seen fleeing, after authorities launched an operation they described.Anti-terrorism“.
According to official sources cited by Russian agencies and the press, at least Eighteen members of the security forces were killed and 748 wounded Riots across the country and “Tens“Protesters were killed and more than a thousand were injured.
Two members of the security forces “The head was cut off“According to reports.
Anger in the face of corruption
Kazakhstan, a country rich in natural resources, is considered one of the most stable in Central Asia.
From 1989 to 2019, he was under a presidential split Narsultan Nazarbayev, Who gave power two years ago Qasim Jomart Tokayev, Is considered his faithful disciple.
Despite the promise of the current president Reforms, The country has seen little change since he came to power.
Protesters questioned by the ‘AFP’ agency explained that anger had been building for a long time and that there had been “like” protest slogans in recent days.Get out with the old man!“, Referring to 81-year-old Nazarbayev.
This kind of demonstration was unthinkable until recently.
Critics of the former president have accused him of widespread corruption and of enriching himself and supporting his family, who have luxury residences abroad.
“Our Kazakhstan was transformed into a private Nazarbayev companySaul, a construction worker, complained.
To try to appease the protesters, the president changed his cabinet. Limited gas price hikes Then sought strength, calling for the deployment of Russian-led troops.
The government also established a state of emergency and a night curfew, but residents of Almaty were still roaming Town Hall Square this Thursday despite gunfire.
There was still smoke coming from several buildings, including burned cars and looted shops, and a hunting weapons store, which, according to passersby, was looted by protesters who wanted to confront police.
Many Almaty residents are now afraid of a form Dictatorship Difficult.
“We had a fake freedom“Sultan, 29 years old.”But now that too is overHe added.