Kazakhstan rallies 2022


January 20, 2022

Massive demonstrations began in Kazakhstan on January 2, 2022 after a sudden spike in liquefied gas prices following the lifting of price limits imposed by the government on January 1. The protests started in the oil-producing city of Zhanaozen, but then quickly spread to other cities in Kazakhstan, especially the largest city of Almaty. The protests were fueled by growing discontent with the government and economic inequality. During the week of riots and crackdowns, 225 people were killed and nearly 10,000 people arrested. Growing discontent with the government and former President Nursultan Nazarbayev has also made the demonstrations even bigger. Since there were no popular opposition groups against the Kazakh government, the riots seemed to be carried out directly by the citizens. In response, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev declared a state of emergency in Mangystau and Almaty effective January 5, 2022. The Cabinet of Askar Mamin resigned on the same day. The state of emergency was immediately extended to the whole of Kazakhstan. In response to Tokayev's request, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) consisting of Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan itself agreed to deploy troops in Kazakhstan. Its stated purpose is peacekeeping. Nazarbayev was removed as Chairman of the Security Council of Kazakhstan. As a concession, President Kassym-Jomart said that the limit for vehicle fuel prices of 50 tenge per liter had been restored for 6 months. On January 7, he said in a statement that most of the constitutional order had been restored in all areas of the country. He also announced he had ordered troops to use lethal force against protesters and authorized instructions to fire without warning to anyone demonstrating. He labeled the protesters as bandits and terrorists and said that the use of force would continue to disperse the demonstrations. On January 10, the government declared a day of mourning for the victims of the protests. On January 11, Kassym-Jomart said that order had been restored in Kazakhstan and the protests were over. He announced that CSTO troops would begin withdrawing from Kazakhstan on January 13 and would be fully withdrawn within the next 10 days. In his speech to parliament on the last days, he promised reforms and acknowledged public discontent over income inequality and criticized Nursultan and his associates for their wealth. He also nominated the new prime minister, Alian Smaiylov. International flights continue to and from the capital city of Nur-Sultan. Background After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, wealthy individuals who had ties to the former Soviet Union government received preferential treatment by acquiring wealth from privatization and their land ownership of areas that had valuable resources. Nursultan Nazarbayev became the first President of Kazakhstan after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and ruled the country from 1990 to 2019. During that time, international observers did not recognize the elections in Kazakhstan were fair, with The Daily Telegraph viewing Nursultan as governing the country through authoritarianism, nepotism and restraint. opposition. During this period, Kazakhstan was one of the strongest performing countries in Central Asia with oil production accounting for the bulk of economic growth until oil prices fell in the mid-2010s. The country also has about 40% of the world's uranium resources within its territory. However, no economic benefits are shared across the population with the minimum wage in Kazakhstan for an ordinary individual of less than US$100 per month and economic inequality is widening. In 2012, the World Economic Forum listed corruption as the biggest problem in doing business in the country, while Ba

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