RT – The Kazakh president has asked the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) for help amid violent unrest gripping the nation, claiming that “terrorists” were overrunning strategic facilities across the country.
“I believe reaching out to our CSTO partners is appropriate and timely,” President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev was quoted as saying by the media late on Wednesday.
The president slammed the violent protesters who have overrun government buildings and other facilities in several cities across the country. Moreover, he said an “intense firefight” between an airborne military unit and the “terrorists” had been going on outside the country’s largest city, Almaty, at the time of his address. These highly organized “terrorists” had been trained abroad, Tokayev alleged.
Eight police and military killed, over 300 injured in Wednesday’s violence so far, the Kazakh interior ministry says
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Emergency declared as Kazakh government resigns
A state of emergency and a curfew were declared on Wednesday, first in certain regions and then countrywide. Earlier in the day, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev accepted his government’s resignation in the wake of the protests, appointing Deputy Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov as interim prime minister until a new cabinet is formed.
Chaos grips Kazakhstan’s largest city
Despite the measures, street violence has continued across multiple Kazakh cities. The situation has become especially chaotic in Almaty, with groups of violent protesters storming local administration and other government buildings and setting them on fire.Footage circulating online shows that law enforcement agents appear unable to bring the situation under control, with multiple police and emergency services vehicles having themselves been torched. Demonstrators have been seen chasing and beating police officers and soldiers, with some apparently having had their firearms removed.
President vows ‘tough’ response to violence and tightens grip on power
President Tokayev addressed the nation in a televised speech, blaming the ongoing violence on “financially motivated plotters” and highly organized “bandit elements.” In response, he also escalated his powers, deposing former president Nursultan Nazarbayev from his lifetime post as formal head of the Security Council and assuming the role himself.
“As the head of state and, from now on, as the chief of the Security Council, I intend to act as tough as possible,” he warned.
Presidential residence stormed
The old presidential palace, located in Almaty, has not been spared during the unrest. The crowd has breached its perimeter, setting the building ablaze. While the facility has not been used by the head-of-state for years, since the capital was moved from Almaty to Nur-Sultan (formerly known as Astana), it maintains its status.
Almaty airport ‘captured by protesters’
Late on Wednesday, protesters reportedly breached and took over Almaty International Airport, the state’s major passenger and cargo hub, local media reported. Its representative said in a statement to the Telegram news channel Orda.kz that some “45 invaders” had assumed control after the military officers guarding its perimeter had reportedly left their posts. All passengers have been evacuated, they said, and flights to Almaty have been canceled or diverted by multiple airlines across the world.
Russia calls for ‘peaceful’ solution
Moscow broke its silence on the situation in the former Soviet republic on Wednesday, with the Foreign Ministry urging all parties to show restraint and seek a peaceful solution to the crisis.
“We hope for the swiftest possible normalization of the situation in the country, which is tied to Russia by a strategic partnership and alliance [and by] fraternal and human contacts,” it said in a statement, maintaining that the crisis was Kazakhstan’s internal business and no foreign parties should get involved.
Russia-led bloc approves peacekeeping deployment in Kazakhstan
A peacekeeping force will be deployed for a ‘limited’ period of time to stabilize the situation in Kazakhstan, the CSTO Collective Security Council Chairman and Prime Minister of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan, has announced.
‘Nationalists are on the rise’: How protests in Kazakhstan turned violent & why Russia can’t stay silent
Note : Lorphic news strongly believes the protests in Kazakhstan have to do with Regional balance & Geopolitical power play where covid restrictions remains relevant. However restrictions aren’t the driving force of causation as Hugo talks describes