The president of Kazakhstan issued a shoot-to-kill order after citizens protesting the government's lifting its price cap on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) rioted in the streets of the nation's largest city Almaty and reportedly began rounding up government security forces.
Russia reportedly sent in some 2,500 troops at the request of Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to assist in putting down the unrest.
Dozens of protesters have been killed, hundreds hospitalized and thousands jailed, according to reports.
Protests that began as a response to the increase in fuel prices became a broad movement against former President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who stepped aside in 2019 after decades in office but, analysts say, has remained the real power in Kazakhstan.
Mukhtar Ablyazov, a former banker and government minister who is leader of an opposition movement called Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan, said the West needed to enter the fray.
"If not, then Kazakhstan will turn into Belarus and (Russian President Vladimir) Putin will methodically impose his program — the recreation of a structure like the Soviet Union," Ablyazov told Reuters. "The West should tear Kazakhstan away from Russia."
"Russia has already entered, sent in troops. CSTO is Russia. This is an occupation by Russia," he said.
This is what a real insurrection looks like:
Crazy scenes in Kazakhstan as government soldiers are being ROUNDED UP by protestors! pic.twitter.com/UBOz6NXCPU— Nietzsche fan (@nietzsche_1984) January 7, 2022
🇰🇿 Kazakhstan protests: • Dozens killed • 1000 people injured, 400 hospitalized • 2000 people jailed • 2500 Russian-led troops deployed to back regime🇺🇳 UNHRC reaction: 0 resolutions 0 urgent sessions 0 commission of inquiry Kazakhstan just joined Russia as a UNHRC member. pic.twitter.com/cDvizLReAb — Hillel Neuer (@HillelNeuer) January 6, 2022
Horse militias in Kazakhstan man this is awesome pic.twitter.com/6sXrDn0lzP— Alban (@_Albannnnnnnnnn) January 6, 2022
Incredible video from the BBC showing the aftermath of yesterday’s protests in Kazakhstan’s biggest city Almaty. This is the former presidential palace there.@abdujalil is in the city. pic.twitter.com/JJq5DYq6jO — Patrick Reevell (@Reevellp) January 6, 2022