In the context of desperate and violent suppression of the protesters, the authoritarian leader of Kazakhstan has ordered the country’s security forces to open fire without warning.
It appears in Anti-government demonstrations are rolling in like snowballs From anger at rising fuel prices to the worst turmoil that Central Asian countries have faced in decades.
According to a BBC report, President Kassim-Jomart Tokayev said in a televised speech on Friday that he had told the security forces to “fire without warning” and Those who do not surrender will be “destroyed.” Tokayev added that as many as 20,000 “bandits” attacked the government building in the commercial capital of Almaty and destroyed the property.
The President of Kazakhstan also thanked the leaders of Russia, China, Uzbekistan and Turkey for their support.
According to reports, the Russia-led security alliance, the Collective Security Treaty Organization, deployed about 2,500 soldiers to Kazakhstan on Thursday. The alliance includes the former Soviet republics Kazakhstan, Belarus, Armenia, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said at a press conference on Thursday that the United States has doubts about whether the Collective Security Treaty Organization troops are legally invited to Kazakhstan, adding that Washington will “closely monitor” any violations of human rights.
The Ministry of Health of Kazakhstan said on Thursday that more than 1,000 people have been injured in the protests since Sunday, and there are reports that dozens of police and protesters have been killed.
Videos on social media in recent days showed that demonstrators confronted hundreds of security forces in riot gear, and the crowd overturned the statue of the longtime strongman and former President Nazarbayev.
Nazarbayev resigned as president in 2019, but still has important powers. On Wednesday, Tokayev (his hand-picked successor) removed him from his post as the country’s powerful Security Council chairman.
The entire cabinet of Kazakhstan has resigned, but this has not quelled the protesters.
— CNBC’s Natasha Turak contributed to this report.