Protesters killed in Kazakhstan

This item appears on page 5 of the March 2022 issue.

Protests in Kazakhstan, which began over a rise in fuel prices, escalated into anti-government protests in early January.

In the city of Almaty on Jan. 5, protesters started fires in municipal buildings, including the mayor’s office. Protesters then took control of Almaty International Airport, the country’s main airport. During those protests, at least eight security personnel were reported killed and hundreds wounded. There were no confirmed deaths among protesters.

As protests continued, people began to demand government reforms, starting with the removal of former president Nursultan Nazarbayev from his role in national security. On Jan. 6, Nazarbayev was fired from his post, which he had assigned himself to after stepping down from the presidency in 2019.

Protesters and armed security came into direct conflict on Jan. 6 as protesters attempted to break into police stations in Almaty, with government officials saying security forces had killed dozens of people. Russia sent more than 2,000 troops into Kazakhstan to assist the government, which had mostly quelled the protests by Jan. 10.