Society News

Protests swept all of Kazakhstan: people demand the resignation of the government

Despite the concessions of the Kazakh authorities, who agreed to lower gas prices, the protests in Kazakhstan did not stop. Regions and million-plus cities are rebelling. In Aktau, demonstrators are trying to storm the building of the regional administration.

Storming the administration

“The government, within the framework of the powers given to it, in order to ensure stability in the country, decided to reduce the price of liquefied gas in Mangistau region to 50 tenge per liter,” wrote the President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev on Twitter.

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For three days now, the protests of the population over gas prices have not abated in the country. Since the New Year, the cost of blue fuel at local gas stations has increased dramatically. The authorities explained that it was unprofitable to sell gas at the old price. But these explanations did not suit the citizens, and they took to the streets. The protesters were joined by oil workers.

Protests over gas prices began in the Mangistau region of Kazakhstan. If last year its retail price in this region was 50-60 tenge per liter (about 10 rubles), then since the beginning of this year prices at local gas stations have doubled - up to 120 tenge per liter (about 21 rubles).

Regions and million-plus cities are rebelling. Demonstrators flooded the streets of Nur-Sultan, Almaty, Zhanaozen, Aktobe and Aktau. Protesters in Aktau have put forward a new demand: President Tokayev must come to meet them. The protesters are trying to storm the building of the regional administration. A corresponding video has appeared on the KZ NEWS YouTube channel.

At first, the authorities met halfway and announced a price reduction to 80–90 tenge. Then they agreed to reduce gas prices below the initial ones - up to 50 tenge. But people still do not disperse.

Following the Mangistau region, protesters in Almaty also began to demand a reduction in prices for blue fuel. And after the retail cost of fuel was lowered in several regions, the protesters began to demand that food prices be reduced, unemployment eliminated, and the government and the Mazhilis (parliament) should be dismissed.

President on Twitter

President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart preferred to communicate with citizens on Twitter. On the social network, he constantly reports on the work of the authorities trying to solve the problems of the protesters. He also encourages the demonstrators to engage in dialogue.

“I am asking the demonstrators not to follow the calls of destructive persons interested in undermining the stability and unity of our society. Other requirements of a socio-economic nature will be considered separately, including during tomorrow's workshop in the capital, ”wrote the leader of the country.

He said that the Governmental Commission, which includes employees of the Presidential Administration, had started work in Aktau. The Republican Operational Headquarters is working on a permanent basis.

The Commission was instructed to find a "mutually acceptable solution to the problem in the interests of stability" in the state. And the law enforcement agencies were ordered to prevent violations of public order.

The President also called on the protesters "not to listen to the calls of destructive groups seeking to undermine the integrity and unity" of the country.

The press service of the prime minister of the republic said that representatives of the government commission of Kazakhstan met with protesters against the increase in gas prices. The protesters were promised that they would not be persecuted for their involvement in the protests.

Earlier, the press secretary of the President of Kazakhstan Berik Uali said that on January 5, the head of the republic will hold a meeting on the socio-economic situation in connection with the unrest in the West Kazakhstan region.

Dispersal of protests

The media reported that clashes with security forces began in some cities. Despite promises from the authorities, footage of the arrests of protesters appeared in the press.

In the center of Aktau there is no mobile Internet - it is impossible to call a taxi there, you cannot send messages in instant messengers, in the surrounding cafes and restaurants you cannot pay with a card or transfer - only in cash.

The What's App, Telegram messengers, as well as the mobile Internet are currently not working in Almaty.

Protests swept all of Kazakhstan: people demand the resignation of the government