2022 has gotten off to an abysmal start in Kazakhstan.
The country is in great turmoil, with massive political unrest.
The violent protests experienced in Kazakhstan from the start of 2022 have led to the declaration of a state of emergency, resignation of the government as Russian-led military troops enter the Central Asian economy to grip the unrest. Russia has participated in the early stages of the conflict but has expressed interested in stepping down after it sees stability in the region.
Everything started on January 1 when the government lifted its price cap on fuel, causing a sudden increase in the prices of liquefied petroleum products, a product used by most of the vehicle owners in Central Asia’s country.
Shoot To Kill
The declaration stirred widespread protests that became violent as the presidency ordered its security forces to institute “shoot to kill without warning” orders.
To date, one of the presidential residences and the office of the mayor in Almaty have suffered while Kazakhstan’s national airport has been stormed. In addition, there have been reports of massive looting in Central Asia’s economy as the angry citizens clash with the police forces.
Nonetheless, the information remains scant as the government has restricted the citizenry from accessing the internet and critical social media sites.
The Violence Persists
The violence has continued for days, with hundreds of protestors injured and dozens killed. Almaty police officials have revealed that security forces in the country fired on protesters while explosions were heard in the area close to the Almaty-based Republic Square.
A report from the state television Khabar 24 revealed that over 18 law enforcement personnel had been killed in the protests by 7th of January, with over 750 people nursing injuries. The state broadcaster explained that 26 armed terrorists had been killed and 18 others injured. Over 3,000 protesters in the Central Asian state have been detained since January 1.
In response to the current situation, the United States has approved voluntary departures of its non-emergency employees and their family members in Kazakhstan through the consulate general in the Kazakh city of Almaty.