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Kazakhstan unrest: Here’s a timeline of the central Asian nation’s worst crisis

The hike in fuel prices has caused the worst unrest in Kazakhstan's history post their independence. Here is a timeline of the protest. 
Security officers accused protestors of killing 13 police officers and injuring 353. Tokayev permitted security in the country to “fire without warning”. More than 4,400 people were arrested and 26 demonstrators killed.(AFP Photo)
Published on Jan 10, 2022 03:59 PM IST
Written by Vanshika Lohia | Edited by Sohini Goswami, New Delhi

More than 160 people, including children, have died and more than 8000 have been detained in Kazakhstan over the past one week amid massive protests.

Starting Wednesday, Almaty, the country's biggest city and former capital, was subject to an internet blackout that has finally been lifted with services resumed on January 10.

The Kazakh protests that began on January 2 due to a hike in fuel prices have turned into one of the worst unrests faced by the country since its independence.

Also Read | Explained: How Kazakhstan protests started and the bigger picture

The Russian-led bloc has provided President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev with 2,030 troops and 250 pieces of military hardware. Kazakhstan's Committee of National Security says the situation in the country is under control now, with ‘terrorist hotbeds' neutralised, according to a Reuters report.

Here’s a timeline of the recent crisis:

January 3 - Thousands protested in Zhanaozen, Aqtau, Mangystau, Nur-Sultan, and other cities across the central Asian nation. A rise in oil prices will affect the price of everyday commodities like food, they complained. About three people were detained by police.

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January 4 - Tear gas and stun grenades were used to drive hundreds of protestors out of the main Almaty square. Over 20 demonstrators were arrested across the country, while eight police officers were killed. To appease the protesters, the government announced that some price caps would be restored on LPG.

January 5 - A nationwide state of emergency was announced by the authorities after government buildings were stormed by demonstrators and protests turned violent. Almaty's city hall and president's residence both caught fire on Wednesday, according to Interfax.

Also Read | Here are some of the biggest protests Kazakhstan saw in the past decades

The same day, the Kazakhstan government resigned following violent attacks, while videos were released of people shouting "Old man, go away!” directed towards former president Nursultan Nazarbayev, reported news agency Reuters.

January 6 - Armenia's prime minister announced that Russian-led ex-Soviet troops will be sent to quell Kazakh protests following the president's appeal for assistance.

"Almaty was attacked, destroyed, vandalised, the residents of Almaty became victims of attacks by terrorists, bandits. Therefore it is our duty... to take all possible actions to protect our state," said Tokayev on his television appearance.

January 7 - The government said order has been “mainly restored”. Security officers accused protestors of killing 13 police officers and injuring 353. Tokayev permitted security in the country to “fire without warning”. More than 4,400 people were arrested and 26 demonstrators killed.

January 8 - The Kazakhstan government blamed foreign-backed terrorists for the unrest and announced the arrest of former counterintelligence and anti-terror agency chief, Karim Masimov, for attempted overthrow of the government. This day saw a major drop in protests.

Watch Now | Watch: Chinese president Xi Jinping lends support to Kazakhstan govt amid unrest

January 9 - For a second day in a row, the streets of the protest epicentre Almaty were eerily silent, except for sounds of occasional gunshots. It seemed to be a result of the arrival of Russians and the bloody shutdown of demonstrators by Kazakh security. The Kazakh presidency reported 160 deaths and 5800 detentions on Sunday. Property damage worth 170 million euros has also been quoted, including banks, vehicles and public buildings.

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