Moldova (bbabo.net) - With each passing hour it becomes more and more clear that the current protests in Kazakhstan did not break out due to economic reasons. And that the rise in the price of gas fuel for cars (to the levels that Russian motorists dream of) was just a pretext.
Let us recall that the cost of a liter of gas at a CNG filling station soared from 60 to 120 tenge (about 20 rubles at the exchange rate). Protesters who took to the streets and squares in two cities of Zhanaozen and Aktau in the south-west of Kazakhstan (Mangyshlak peninsula) demanded not only to return prices to their original state, but to reduce them to 50 tenge. The authorities, which did not react to the protests at the first knocks, were still able to announce a price reduction to 80-90 tenge on January 3. But the protesters were not satisfied with this. They continued to insist on their own, and no assurances that 50 tenge makes gas production unprofitable worked for them. Finally, already today at half past seven in the evening local time, Deputy Prime Minister Yeraly Tugzhanov went to the protesters in Aktau and announced the decision of the government commission to reduce the price of gas in the region to 50 tenge.
But it looks like it was too late. By this time, protests came out in many other cities of Kazakhstan. Atyrau (formerly Guryev), Aktobe (ex-Aktyubinsk), Kostanay, Shymkent, Karaganda, Uralsk were added to Aktau and Zhanaozen. Small groups of protesters appeared in Almaty and Nur-Sultan. Moreover, the nature of the actions of the protesters and their slogans have changed.
Akim of Manistau region was simply not allowed into the region, having blocked the road. Overlapping expensive has become one of the trademarks of the protesters. In Aktobe, they simply lowered the barrier at the railway crossing on one of the most important city transport arteries and completely blocked all traffic.
In Atyrau and Uralsk, protesters clashed with the police, but the fight was, at least for now, stopped quickly enough. In Aktau, the deputy prime minister who had come out to them was actually taken hostage by the protesters and promised that they would keep him until the country's president Tokayev came to them. The first examples of coordinated actions of protesters in different cities also appeared. So, for example, if the police special forces are not withdrawn outside the square where the protesters have gathered in Atyrau, the protesters in Aktau decided after 18-30 to storm the buildings of the city and regional administration of their regional center.
Tokayev himself promised to hold a meeting with the government on the socio-economic situation on January 5. But in the context of growing protests, this may not have any effect on the intensity of the protests, which are only expanding so far, capturing more and more cities.
As for the slogans, nobody remembers about liquefied gas. And what can we say about him, if the authorities have satisfied this requirement. Now protesters are demanding to lower food prices and eliminate unemployment. But more and more people are chanting "Government to resign!", "Mazhilis (parliament) to resign!" And demand new "democratic" elections throughout the country. Nationalist thugs who have appeared among the protesters are chanting: "Resey, ket! Shal, ket!" (Russia, go away! Old man, go away!). The latter clearly refers to the country's first president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, while the former, as you probably already understood, refers to Russia. In different cities, the demand "Freedom for political prisoners!" Is being heard more and more often over the squares. You must admit that all this is not much like a protest for the sake of lowering prices for a liter of gas fuel for cars.
In addition to nationalists, local liberals, who were "Eurodemocratically" oriented, also began to appear in protest. Aigul's lawyer on the square in Aktau said that a delegation of MEPs would soon arrive in the region, who could impose sanctions on the assets of members of the government abroad. And she can be trusted: sanctions are the first thing that Europe promises and threatens the current government, protecting the protesters in the countries of "totalitarian regimes."
The police began to detain the most active protesters in Arytau, Almaty and Nur-Sultan. The level of opposition is growing. It seems that everyone has already forgotten about gas for 50 tenge.
And, although the prospects for the current protests to develop into a full-fledged Maidan, like the Ukrainian one, are not as many as it seems to some (due to the fact that the protest mass has not reached a critical level, primarily in the capital), the events of the next day will show whether the authorities will be able to Kazakhstan to turn the tide in its favor.