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Monday, January 24, 2022

Kazakhstan’s leader orders security forces to ‘kill without warning’ to stop violent protests

In a defiant public address on Friday, Tokayev said the unrest began earlier this week as protests against rising fuel prices were fueled by well-trained “terrorist bandits” from both inside and outside the country.

Tokayev said the situation in Kazakhstan’s largest city, Almaty, had “stabilised”, and that “the onset of a state of emergency is yielding results.”

“But terrorists damage state and private property and use weapons against civilians,” he said. “I ordered law enforcement agencies and the military to shoot without warning.”

The speech attempted to undermine the statement that the demonstrations were a product of popular unrest that became increasingly destructive and deadly. Tokayev said the violence was the product of a well-coordinated enemy, armed with sleeper cells carrying out “terrorist attacks” and “experts trained in ideological sabotage, skillfully using disinformation or ‘fake’ and killing people.” were able to manipulate the mood.”

“Their actions showed a clear plan of attacks on military, administrative and social facilities in almost all areas, consistent coordination of actions, high combat readiness and the presence of animal cruelty,” Tokayev said. “They need to be destroyed.”

According to human rights organizations, widespread dissatisfaction with the government over corruption, standard of living, poverty and unemployment in the oil-rich nation, along with initial public anger over the rise in fuel prices, was the worst-ever call for autocracy. The big challenge is performance. ,

Local media reported that protesters stormed the airport in Almaty, forcibly entered government buildings and set fire to the city’s main administration office. Dozens of people are reported to have been killed and hundreds more injured in Thursday’s clashes.

Tokayev in his address highlighted that peaceful assembly was legalized in 2020 to promote democracy. However, he said calls from abroad to find a peaceful solution were “nonsense”.

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“What kind of conversation can I have with criminals, killers?” Tokayev added.

Tokayev said a team from the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a Russian-led military alliance made up of former Soviet states, came to the country “for a short time” to perform defense and support tasks.

The Kazakh leader thanked the heads of the CSTO countries for their support and “special gratitude” to Russian President Vladimir Putin for the CSTO team “responding very quickly and most importantly, warmly to my appeal”. expressed.

They thanked Chinese President Xi Jinping, the presidents of other CSTO member states, the presidents of Uzbekistan, Turkey and “the leaders of the United Nations and other international organizations for their words of support.”

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