On the square in Almaty you can hear the sounds of the exchange of fire between soldiers and unidentified armed people. According to TASS, the military has launched an operation to “clear the city of disturbing elements.” There is no cellular network throughout the city.
– At night, extremist forces tried to storm administrative buildings, the police station, and local headquarters. Dozens of attackers have been eliminated, they are being identified, the spokeswoman for the Saltanate Azirbek police told the Khabar-24 channel.
Azirberk added that an “anti-terrorist operation” was underway in the city. She appealed not to leave the houses.
On Wednesday, social media circulated recordings of the overthrow of the monument to former president Nursultan Nazarbayev, who ruled the country since Kazakhstan gained independence from the USSR in 1991. In 2019, he resigned as president, handing it over to Kasym-Żomart Tokajewowand, but retained wide influence. His final removal from power is one of the postulates of the protesters.
Meanwhile, the “peace forces” of the ODKB – an organization chaired by Russia – are to be sent to Kazakhstan – will be sent to Kazakhstan.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan stressed on Wednesday evening that the decision to send peacekeepers “for a limited period” was made in response to the call of the President of Kazakhstan Tokayev and “in the face of threats to the national security and sovereignty of the Republic of Kazakhstan caused, inter alia, by external interference”.
Tokayev before appealed for such help to the ODKB (Organization of the Collective Security Treaty), a military alliance led by Russia, which also includes Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
Pashinyan did not reveal how numerous the forces would be, nor when they would be dispatched.
Demonstrators have raided government buildings in recent days. According to the Kazakh interior ministry, during the riots that direct the reason was the increase in fuel prices, at least eight policemen and soldiers were killed. The number of those killed among the demonstrators was not given. Unofficial data say about 500 injured.
According to Leonid Kalashnikov, chairman of the Russian parliamentary committee for contacts with the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), peacekeepers will remain in Kazakhstan “until the situation stabilizes”.