ICYMI: Protesters Storm & Torch Government Buildings, Shots Fired

Protesters Storm & Torch Government Buildings, Shots Fired

The government of Kazakhstan has resigned after anti-government protesters stormed and torched government buildings. Shots can be heard ringing out in several videos of the protests, though it is unclear which side of the action they are coming from.

Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev accepted the resignation of his country’s prime minister and Cabinet members on January 5th following violent anti-government protests that began after the price of liquefied petroleum gas more than doubled when the country lifted its price controls, according to CNN.

Tokayev is now asking his acting Cabinet and provincial governors to return to the price controls. He also asked the acting Cabinet to consider freezing utility bills, creating a bankruptcy law, and subsidizing rent for the poor, and called for “socially important” goods, such as gasoline, to be included in the reestablished price controls.

Protesters were frustrated with the high prices because of the fact that Kazakhstan exports gas and oil, according to reporting from the New York Times.

These new developments from the government were made possible because of the protests by citizens of Kazakhstan, who took to the streets in large numbers all across the country.

Nearly 10,000 protesters demonstrated in Almaty, the country’s largest city, outside of the city’s akimat, an administration building.

Kazakhtelecom, the largest telecommunication company in Kazakhstan, allegedly cut off internet access in response to the protests.

“Attempts were made to attack akimats, smashing windows and doors and inflicting other material damage. In some cases, the crowd used stones, sticks, gas and pepper sprays, as well as incendiary bottles,” Kazakh Interior Ministry said in a statement.

The Interior Ministry estimated that over 95 law enforcement officers were injured in the protests, and over 200 individuals were detained.

In a surprising turn of events, police officers in many areas ended up announcing they would not act against the protesters, and reports came out indicating that some even openly sided with the protesters.

Videos from the protests also show citizens detaining military personnel.

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