Vladimir Putin deploys troops to Kazakhstan in an effort to curb protests about fuel price increases

  • Last night, Russia sent a peacekeeping force to neighboring Kazakhstan
  • After violent protests brokeout amid an increase in fuel prices, the government has decided to implement it.
  • Protestors set on fire the Mayor’s Office and set several vehicles on the street.
  • Kazakh officials claim eight police officers were shot to death during the unrest
  • However, the Kazakh Interior Ministry didn’t release any figures regarding civilian casualties 

Russia has sent a peacekeeping force in Kazakhstan last night to stop violent protests caused by rising fuel prices.

Protesters in Kazakhstan’s largest city stormed the presidential residence and the mayor’s office and set both on fire as demonstrations escalated sharply.

According to reports, police fired at some Almaty protesters before fleeing. They clashed with demonstrators repeatedly in recent days.

According to the Kazakh interior ministry, eight officers of police and members of the national guard were killed and over 300 others were hurt in unrest. 

There were no figures available on the civilian casualties.

A burnt car is seen by the mayors office on fire. Protests are spreading across Kazakhstan over the rising fuel prices; protesters broke into the Almaty mayors office and set it on fire

The mayor’s office sets fire to a car that has been set on fire. The rising fuel costs are causing protests across Kazakhstan. Protesters entered the Almaty mayor’s office to set it on fire.

Kazakhstan on January 5, 2022 declared a nationwide state of emergency after protests over a fuel price hike erupted into clashes and saw demonstrators storm government buildings

On January 5, 2022, Kazakhstan declared a national emergency following protests about a rise in fuel prices that erupted into violence and led to demonstrations against government buildings. 

A man rallies outside the burning mayors office. Protests are spreading across Kazakhstan over the rising fuel prices; protesters broke into the Almaty mayors office and set it on fire

One man protests in front of the mayor’s burning office. Kazakhstan is witnessing protests over rising fuel costs. In Almaty, protesters broke into and set fire to the Almaty Mayor’s Office.

Riot police officers block a street during the protests in Almaty, Kazakhstan, 05/01/2022

Police officers from Riot Block a Street in Almaty (Kazakhstan), 05/01/2022

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev pledged to use harsh measures to end the unrest. He declared an emergency of two weeks for all of Kazakhstan, broadening the one already announced for Almaty and the capital of Nur-Sultan. 

Tokayev appealed for a Russian-led security group to assist with the end of the violence. Last night, the Collective Security Treaty Organisation sent troops across the borders to respond.

‘Today I appealed to the heads of CSTO states to assist Kazakhstan in overcoming this terrorist threat,’ Mr Tokayev said on state television as he blamed ‘terrorist bands’. ‘In fact, this is no longer a threat,’ he added. ‘It is undermining the integrity of the state.’

A truck is left burning in the street close to the mayor's office in Almaty, Kazakhstan, amid widespread protests

In the midst of widespread protests in Almaty (Kazakhstan), a truck has been set on fire in a street near the Almaty mayor’s Office.

Riot police officers patrol in a street during rally over a hike in energy prices in Almaty, Kazakhstan, 05 January 2022. Protesters stormed the mayor's office in Almaty, as Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev declared a state of emergency in the capital until 19 January 2022

Police officers from Riot patrol a street as protesters march over an increase in energy prices. This was on the 05th of January 2022 in Almaty. The mayor’s office was stormed by protestors in Almaty after President Kassym Jomart Tokayev of Kazakhstan declared a state emergency in the capital. It will remain in effect until 19/01/2022.

Moscow is the leader of the CSTO security coalition, which also includes five former Soviet countries. As a result of the turmoil, the Kazakh government has resigned. 

Kazakh news sites were unavailable late on the morning, according to Netblocks (global watchdog).

Even though protests were started over the near-doubling in prices of an oil liquefied petroleum gasoline that is used widely as fuel for vehicles, their rapid growth and size suggest wider discontent within the country. Since 1991, when it gained independence from the Soviet Union, the party has ruled the country.

Kazakhstan, the ninet-largest country on the planet, is bordered by Russia and China to both the north, and east. The nation also boasts large oil resources that are strategically and economically vital.

Even with all the mineral and resource wealth in Kazakhstan, some areas of the country are still unhappy about their poor living conditions. Many Kazakhs are also unhappy with the rule of the ruling party which controls more than 80 percent of seats in parliament.