Protests in Kazakhstan (2022)

Article

January 24, 2022

Protests in Kazakhstan began on January 2, 2022 after a sharp increase in LPG prices on January 1, 2022 due to the transition to a market pricing mechanism. Protests began in the gas-producing city of Zhanaozen in western Kazakhstan, but on January 3-4 they spread to Alma-Ata and other cities in the country. The protesters moved from economic demands to political ones, including the resignation of the government and the departure from politics of the country's first president, Nursultan Nazarbayev. January 4-5 in Almaty, protests turned into riots, including arson of government buildings and looting, and the authorities lost control of the city; the former residence of the president and the akimat (mayor's office) were burned down, the protesters seized the Almaty airport. In most other cities, including Kazakhstan's capital, Nur-Sultan, the authorities remained in control. A state of emergency was declared in Kazakhstan, first in some regions, then throughout the country. For several days, there were Internet outages, leading to interruptions in the work of cashless payments. Liquefied gas prices were frozen, which did not reduce the protests. President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev dismissed the government of Askar Mamin and headed the Security Council of Kazakhstan instead of Nursultan Nazarbayev. On January 6, at the request of the President of Kazakhstan, the CSTO operation in Kazakhstan was announced, which included the armed forces of Russia and 5 other countries and declared as a peacekeeping mission to protect important facilities and help maintain law and order. The anti-terrorist operation regime was announced, the cleansing of cities from protesters began. On January 7, the authorities of Kazakhstan announced the restoration of order in the country. Consequences: losses, detentions, criminal cases, damage assessments

Background

Demographic, economic situation

In 1997, the authorities decided to move the capital from Alma-Ata to Akmola (since 1998 - Astana, since 2019 - Nur-Sultan). The main reason for the transfer was the stimulation of migration from the southern regions with a high population density and a shortage of jobs to the developed northern cities, which experienced depopulation as a result of

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