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Monday, March 27, 2023

Kazakh President says constitutional order mostly restored

  • Dozens were killed in the worst violence since independence
  • The Russian-led organization says the number of peacekeeping forces is 2,500. Is
  • Fuel price protest turned into anti-government movement

ALMATY, Jan 7 (Reuters) – Security forces took control of the streets of Kazakhstan’s main city of Almaty on Friday morning and the president said constitutional order had mostly been restored, a day after Russia quelled a nationwide uprising. Sent army to stop.

However, fresh gunfire could be heard early in the morning near the city’s central square, where soldiers and protesters had fought hard during the previous day.

Dozens have been killed in street clashes and protesters torched and vandalized public buildings in several cities in the worst violence in the Central Asian state’s 30 years of independence.

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Russia’s defense ministry, quoted by Interfax, said more than 70 planes were flying round-the-clock to bring Russian troops to Kazakhstan, and they were now helping control Almaty’s main airport, which was destroyed by protesters on Thursday. was removed from

The demonstrations, which began as a reaction to rising fuel prices, have turned into a widespread movement against the government and former leader Nursultan Nazarbayev, 81, the longest-serving ruler of any former Soviet state.

He stepped down as president three years ago, but his family is believed to have retained power in Nur-Sultan, the capital named after him.

Nazarbayev’s hand-picked successor, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, called on Russian paratroopers on Thursday to help quell a force of former Soviet states in what he described as an insurgency by foreign-trained militants. has done.

“Anti-terrorism campaign has been launched. Law and order forces are working hard. Constitutional order has been largely restored in all regions of the country,” Tokayev said in a statement.

“Local authorities have brought the situation under control. But the terrorists are still using weapons and causing damage to the property of civilians. Therefore, till the terrorists are completely eliminated, anti-terrorist action should be taken. should be continued.”

army in almaty

The Interior Ministry said 26 “armed criminals” had been “eliminated” and more than 3,000 were detained, while 18 police and National Guard soldiers had been killed since the protests began. read more

On Friday morning, Reuters reporters saw armored private carriers and soldiers in the main square of Almaty.

A few hundred meters away, a body was lying in a heavily damaged civilian car. An ammunition shop was ransacked in another part of the city. About 100 people in military vehicles and military uniform also took a stand at another square in Almaty.

Widespread unrest has been reported in several other cities in the vast country of 19 million people. The internet has been shut down since Wednesday, making it difficult to ascertain the full extent of the violence.

Moscow’s rapid deployment demonstrated the Kremlin’s readiness to use force to maintain its influence in the former Soviet Union. The Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization said its peacekeeping forces from former Soviet states would number around 2,500 and would remain in Kazakhstan for a few days or weeks.

Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said Moscow “stands up for Kazakhstan and is doing it as allies”.

Tokayev’s administration stated that the force was still on the way and was not involved in the war or the “elimination of terrorists”.

Violence has been unprecedented in a country firmly ruled for decades by Nazarbayev, the boss of the previous Soviet-era Communist Party, which was still in power in an ex-Soviet state, when he handed Tokayev the presidency in 2019.

Nazarbayev has not been seen or heard since the protests began. Tokayev has tried to distance himself from his predecessor by removing Nazarbayev and his nephew from security posts since the protests began.

Tokayev’s administration said the detained terrorists were being identified and that their links to an extremist organization were being investigated.

The president will address the nation on Friday, his administration said, asking people in Almaty to limit their travel around the city while “the search for the remaining hidden bandits continues.”

Kazakhstan is a major oil producer and the world’s top producer of uranium.

Field operator Chevron (CVX.N) said oil production at its top field, Tengiz, was cut Thursday after some contractors disrupted train lines in support of the protest. Global oil prices have risen since the start of the conflict and the price of uranium has risen sharply. read more

The country accounts for about one-fifth of global bitcoin “mining”, the electricity-intensive process of recording cryptocurrency transactions, and Kazakhstan’s internet shutdown has eroded the computing power of bitcoin’s global network. L4N2TM22L

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Reporting by Olzas Ouyazov, Tamara Waal, Maria Gordeyeva and Pavel Mikheev Writing by Peter Graf and Editing by Polina DeWitt Kim Coghill, Michael Perry and John Stonestreet

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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