Kazakhstan President: Shoot to Kill Protesters. Kazakh Cabinet Resigns.

Faye Higbee

Kazakhstan erupted in violence when a sudden fuel price increase was announced, with protesters and security officers both being killed. The President of the country told security officers to “shoot to kill” protesters, and Russia has been sending “peacekeepers” in daily. With fuel prices now out of sight in the country, people have taken to the streets. And they are bloody streets. The government is claiming that outsiders are causing the unrest, but Kazakhstan is a nation with vast oil and energy reserves. The Prime Minister and cabinet have resigned in reponse to the protests, according to the Washington Examiner. Their internet was shut down as well.

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“Attempts were made to attack akimats, smashing windows and doors and inflicting other material damage. In some cases, the crowd used stones, sticks, gas and pepper sprays, as well as incendiary bottles.” 

Kazakh Interior Ministry – Russian news agency TASS.

Kazakhstan’s president on Friday rejected calls for talks with protesters after days of unprecedented unrest, vowing to destroy “armed bandits” and authorizing his forces to shoot to kill without warning. President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said earlier that order had mostly been restored across the country, after protests this week over fuel prices escalated into widespread violence, especially in the country’s biggest city of Almaty.

“Terrorists continue to damage property… and use weapons against civilians. I have given the order to law enforcement to shoot to kill without warning,” Tokayev said in his third televised address to the nation this week.

He ridiculed calls from Western nations’ to hold negotiations with the protesters as “idiotic,” vowing not to talk to “criminals and murderers.”

CBS News

Some security forces actually sided with the protesters, though it is unclear how many. According to Bloomberg, at least 12 police were killed along with dozens of protesters; one officer was beheaded. In the city of Almaty, one outlet stated that 748 security officers were injured and at least 18 killed. Around 1,000 protesters were wounded, 400 sent to the hospital, with 60 in Intensive Care.

Screenshot via Twitter

The protests took an ominous turn when activists torched the Mayor’s office building.

Screenshot via PAVEL MIKHEYEV original photo

Troops from members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) were sent into the former Soviet nation in order to put down the unrest. Approximately 2,300 people have been detained so far. The US Embassy released a warning for Americans to be mindful of curfew hours between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. and to check their flight status before heading out.

Kazakhstan has massive amounts of resources, including being the world’s largest producer of uranium. The price of uranium will likely increase with this situation.


Featured photo: via Twitter

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