Kazakhstan after protests: where did the violence come from?

Status: 10.01.2022 02:28 a.m.

According to official information, more than 160 people died in the serious unrest in Kazakhstan. Thousands were injured. How did the protests escalate? And where did all the weapons come from?

By Christina Nagel, ARD Studio Moscow

More than 100 people are said to have died in the metropolis of Almaty alone. There had been serious riots here for days. Administration buildings were set on fire, shops looted, cars set on fire.

Christina Nagel
ARD studio Moscow

Pools of blood on the sidewalks. According to eyewitnesses, there were repeated exchanges of fire and explosions. But in the meantime the situation has calmed down, Aidana said on video in the evening: “Half of the big supermarkets have reopened. In my district people are also going out again. The ATMs work. Today the garbage was picked up. The buses are supposed to start tomorrow or drive again the day after tomorrow. It is slowly returning to normal. “

“They weren’t the same people”

Like so many in Almaty, Aidana wonders how the peaceful demonstrations she witnessed at the beginning could turn into bloody riots: “The people who protested in the square and the looters were not the same people . ” The young woman is sure of that.

But she doesn’t know who the looters, the armed men, or where they came from. It’s hard to get an idea, she says. There are far too many false reports in circulation.

Meanwhile, the government is trying to quantify the extent of the damage. According to the interior minister-designate Jerlan Turgunbayev, over 400 vehicles, including many emergency vehicles, were destroyed across the country.

“The looters robbed over 100 large trading establishments and banks. According to preliminary estimates, the damage is 87 billion tenge,” said Turgunbayev. That alone is equivalent to just under 177 million euros.

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Almost 6,000 arrests meanwhile

The Ministry of Health reports more than 2,200 injuries nationwide. Around 700 of them are currently still being treated in hospitals. The number of arrests has also been revised upwards again. The Ministry of the Interior now speaks of almost 6,000. Among the detainees are high-ranking officials such as the former head of the secret service, Karim Massimov. The longtime confidante of the former President Nazarbayev is accused of high treason.

Since other loyal followers of Nazarbayev were also removed from key positions in the power apparatus, there is still much speculation about an internal power struggle between the elites. President Tokayev has already announced further personnel changes.

Today the victim should be remembered

Today he wants to inform the heads of state and government of the CSTO military alliance in a video conference about the situation in the country. It remains to be seen whether a date for the end of the mission of the CSTO troops called for help in the country will be discussed.

The Deputy Defense Minister Sultan Gamaletdinov had already spoken yesterday of a normalization of the situation: “The situation on the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan is stabilizing. It is under state control.” Today the victims of the unrest are to be commemorated across the country. President Tokayev has ordered state mourning.

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Ina Ruck, ARD Moscow, daily topics 11:20 p.m., 9/1/2022


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