Kazakhstan President orders his troops to shoot to kill to quell countrywide uprising


T20I Captain
Aug 18, 2010
Post of the Week

Good to see he has the vote of confidence :14:

Tony Blair incidentally consults Nazarbayev and is paid a healthy sum to 'spread democracy'. No wonder Nazarbayev likes Cameron so much, he is after all the 'heir to Blair'.

David Cameron has been rewarded for becoming the first British prime minister to visit the autocratic republic of Kazakhstan with a personal endorsement from the country's veteran president.

Nursultan Nazarbayev, who came to power while Kazakhstan was still part of the Soviet Union, said his own "huge political experience" led him to believe that the prime minister deserved to win the next election.

"Personally, I would vote for him, personally," the authoritarian president said on Monday at a joint press conference at his opulent palace, which overlooks the capital, Astana.

Nazarbayev's experience involves cruising home to victory in the 2011 presidential election with 95.5% of the vote after his main opponents said they hoped he would win.

Cameron, who won a more modest 36.1% of the vote in the 2010 general election, welcomed the endorsement. "That's one – I've just got [to get] about another 20m and I am in business. Thank you Mr President."

Nazarbayev's support came during a mildly awkward press conference in which the president rejected criticisms of Kazakhstan's human rights record, saying that some people appeared to believe his country was still in the middle ages.

The prime minister faced the embarrassment of having to express his regret after a Kazakh journalist questioned him over the decision of the British embassy to deny a visa to an artist with no hands on the grounds that he had failed to provide fingerprints. Karipbek Kuyukov says he was born without hands because he grew up near the Soviet Union's largest nuclear test site at Semipalatinsk.

Cameron said: "In terms of the artist, the disabled person you mention, that was clearly a deeply regrettable episode. It is being put right and that shouldn't have happened."

In his opening remarks, the prime minister tried to focus on the positives as he hailed a new relationship between Britain and Kazakhstan – with trade possibly reaching £85bn. He made a point of praising Astana, designated by the president as capital in 1997, as an extraordinary city.

Cameron, who was accompanied by 33 business leaders who signed deals worth £700m, said: "I am delighted to be in Astana today – the first serving British prime minister to come to Kazakhstan. Frankly, such a visit is long overdue. The question should not be: why is the British prime minister in Kazakhstan? The question is: why has it taken a British prime minister so long to visit? Kazakhstan is on the rise – a dynamic country that is poised to become a high-income country by the end of this decade."

The prime minister, who said that trade was the main focus of his visit, said he had raised the issue of human rights with Nazarbayev during talks on a two-hour flight from the Caspian Sea to Astana on the presidential jet on Sunday evening. The talks continued in the Irish bar at the luxury Rixos hotel in central Astana, where a pint of Guinness costs £11.

Cameron said he discussed a letter sent to him by Human Rights Watch on Friday, which raised concerns about "serious and deteriorating" abuses of human rights. "In the relationship that Britain has with Kazakhstan, the relationship I have with President Nazarbayev – nothing is off the agenda. We talk about the full range of subjects and that includes human rights – issues that we discussed at some length last night. I discussed for instance the letter written by Human Rights Watch and the concerns in that letter."

Nazarbayev, who sat stone-faced as Cameron talked, dismissed critics for believing Kazakhstan was in the middle ages.

Asked by ITN's Romilly Weeks about criticism of his record on human rights, the president said: "Perhaps it is pretty normal when someone from your isles, maybe some people see this country as a 'middle ages' country, riding camels and horses, so maybe that's natural to have that kind of vision.

"But you have visited three countries – the three 'Stans' – Pakistan, Afghanistan and Kazakhstan – and I hope you can compare the difference between those countries.

"As for the human rights issues I believe that Kazakhstan secures the key human rights. We have free elections, we have free political parties in the parliament, we have the opposition. There are 3,000 media outlets, including foreign ones."

Nazarbayev then offered a history lesson as he said it would take some time for Kazakhstan to reach the level of democracy in Europe. "Of course we don't reach the level of Europe, including Great Britain. What should be taken into account is that in 1616 the first bill of rights was adopted in Great Britain so the parliamentary democracy is 600 years old. But of course our ways should not be as long as that but the dynamics of that I believe is very correct. Democracy is the outcome, is the aftermath, the final goal, not the beginning.

"For the first time in our history we have adopted our independence because for many years we lived under totalitarianism both under the tsar and the communist regime. So in 20 years to transit to democracy is not an easy thing. So the key asset for us is independence, we have no right for mistakes.

"That is why we are going very carefully. But thank you very much for the recommendations, for the advice, but nobody has a right to instruct us how to live."

The president's endorsement of Cameron came after he was asked whether he could offer any advice to the prime minister on how to win a majority after his own emphatic victories.

Nazarbayev said: "I believe that [with] such a great country with great traditions such as Great Britain, Kazakhstan maybe doesn't have any moral right to actually give advice. But given my huge political experience maybe … monitoring, watching the activities of Mr Cameron, the way he actually protects the interests of the British people all over the world in all areas, I think he will be definitely demanded. Personally I would vote for him, personally."

Security forces appeared to have reclaimed the streets of Kazakhstan's main city on Friday after days of violence, and the Russian-backed president said he had ordered his troops to shoot to kill to put down a countrywide uprising.

A day after Moscow sent paratroopers to help crush the insurrection, police were patrolling the debris-strewn streets of Almaty, although some gunfire could still be heard.

Dozens have died and public buildings across Kazakhstan have been ransacked and torched in the worst violence the former Soviet republic has experienced in 30 years of independence.

Moscow said more than 70 planes were ferrying Russian troops into Kazakhstan, and that these were now helping control Almaty's main airport, recaptured on Thursday from protesters.

The uprising has prompted a military intervention by Moscow at a time of high tension in East-West relations as Russia and the United States gear up for talks next week on the Ukraine crisis.

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev blamed foreign-trained terrorists for the unrest, without providing evidence.

"The militants have not laid down their arms, they continue to commit crimes or are preparing for them," Tokayev, 68, said in a televised address.

"Whoever does not surrender will be destroyed. I have given the order to law enforcement agencies and the army to shoot to kill, without warning."

The demonstrations began as a response to a fuel price hike but swelled into a broad movement against the government and former President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Nazarbayev, 81, was the longest-serving ruler of any ex-Soviet state until he turned over the presidency to Tokayev in 2019. His family is widely believed to have retained influence in Nur-Sultan, the purpose-built capital that bears his name.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has discussed the situation with Tokayev in several phone calls during the crisis, the Kremlin said on Friday.

The protesters in Almaty appear mainly to come from the city's poor outskirts or surrounding towns and villages. The violence has come as a shock to urban Kazakhs, used to comparing their country favourably to more repressive and volatile ex-Soviet Central Asian neighbours.

"At night when we hear explosions, I am scared," a woman named Kuralai told Reuters. "It hurts to know that young people are dying. This has clearly been planned ... probably our government has relaxed somewhat."

In a state where scant political opposition is tolerated, no high-profile leaders of the protest movement have emerged to issue any formal demands.

One man who attended the first night of protests and who did not want to be identified said most of those who initially turned up wanted to "express solidarity spontaneously", before 100-200 "aggressive youths" started hurling rocks at police.

The Interior Ministry said 26 "armed criminals" had been "liquidated", while 18 police and national guard members had been killed. Those figures appeared not to have been updated since Thursday.

State TV reported more than 3,800 arrests.

Fresh gunfire could be heard on Friday near the main square in Almaty, where troops had fought protesters on Thursday. Armoured personnel carriers and troops occupied the square.

Pro-government politician Yermukhamet Yertysbayev, speaking on state television, suggested there were traitors within the ranks of Kazakhstan's security forces.

He said the security forces had been ordered to leave the Almaty airport before militants seized it, and that the National Security Committee building had been left undefended, allowing protesters to gain access to weapons.

Unrest has been reported in other cities, but the internet has been shut off since Wednesday, making it difficult to determine the extent of the violence.

In Aktau, a city on the Caspian Sea in western Kazakhstan, some 500 protesters gathered peacefully on Friday in front of a government building to call for Tokayev's resignation, a witness told Reuters.

State television said more than 60 people, including civilians, police and military, had been injured in the southern city of Shymkent since the unrest began, adding that the situation there was calm on Friday.

Moscow's swift deployment demonstrated Putin's readiness to use force to maintain influence in the former Soviet Union, at a time when he has also alarmed the West by massing troops near Ukraine, whose Crimean peninsula Russia seized in 2014.

The mission falls under the umbrella of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, comprising Russia and five ex-Soviet allies. Moscow said its force would number about 2,500.

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Washington was watching Russia's troops for any "actions that may lay the predicate for the seizure of Kazakh institutions".

Tokayev's administration said the Russians had not been engaged in combat or the "elimination of militants".

Mukhtar Ablyazov, an exiled ex-banker and cabinet minister turned opponent of the government, told Reuters the West must counter Russia's moves, or watch Putin "methodically impose his programme - the recreation of a structure like the Soviet Union".

Kazakhstan's other major neighbour, China, has backed Tokayev. State television said President Xi Jinping had told him Beijing opposed any use of force to destabilise Kazakhstan.

Nazarbayev has not been seen or heard since the protests began. Tokayev removed Nazarbayev and his nephew from security posts on Wednesday.

Kazakhstan is a major oil producer and the world's top miner of uranium. Global oil prices rose on Friday, fuelled by supply worries.

Kazakhstan's former intelligence chief has been arrested on suspicion of treason, the state security agency said on Saturday, as the former Soviet republic cracks down on a wave of unrest and starts to assign blame.

The detention of Karim Massimov was announced by the National Security Committee which he headed until he was fired by President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on Wednesday after violent protests swept across the Central Asian nation.

Tokayev's office said he had told Russian President Vladimir Putin in a phone call that the situation was stabilising.

"At the same time, hotbeds of terrorist attacks persist. Therefore, the fight against terrorism will continue with full determination," it quoted him as saying.

The Kremlin said Putin backed Tokayev's idea to convene a video call of leaders from the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), under whose umbrella Russia and four other former Soviet republics have sent troops into Kazakhstan to help restore order. It was not clear when this would take place.

Dozens of people have been killed, thousands have been detained and public buildings across Kazakhstan have been torched over the past week in the worst violence experienced in the oil and uranium producer since it became independent in the early 1990s as the Soviet Union collapsed.

Tokayev has ordered his troops to shoot to kill to end what he has called attacks by bandits and terrorists.

He said on Friday the state had "slept through" instigators' preparations to launch attacks on the biggest city, Almaty, and across the country. Massimov's arrest indicated moves were under way against those deemed responsible.

Apart from heading the intelligence agency that replaced the Soviet-era KGB, Massimov was twice prime minister and worked closely with former President Nursultan Nazarbayev, the country's ruler for three decades until he turned over the presidency to Tokayev in 2019.

There were no details of the treason allegations. The security service said other officials were also detained, but did not name them.

On Friday, a pro-government politician said on television he had information that the security forces had been ordered to abandon Almaty airport so protesters could take it over. He said they had left a security building in the city undefended, enabling people to seize weapons.

It was not immediately possible to verify this account. The airport remains closed but is now under the control of Kazakh security personnel and Russian troops, according to Russia's defence ministry.

The demonstrations began as a response to a fuel price hike but swelled into a broad movement against Tokayev's Russian-backed government and 81-year-old Nazarbayev.

Tokayev removed Nazarbayev on Wednesday as head of the country's Security Council, a role in which he had continued to wield significant influence. Interfax news agency reported on Saturday that the council's deputy head had also been fired.

In Almaty, where security forces have reclaimed control of the streets since Friday, a Reuters reporter said occasional gunshots were heard on Saturday.

Some businesses began to reopen in the city of around 2 million people as people ventured out to buy supplies, and queues formed at petrol stations.

Security forces patrolled the streets. The deputy mayor was quoted by Russia's RIA news agency as saying operations to purge the city of "terrorists and bandit groups" were still under way and citizens were advised to stay at home.

In the capital Nur-Sultan, Reuters filmed police stopping drivers at a checkpoint with a armed soldiers nearby.

The interior ministry said more than 4,400 people had been detained since the start of the unrest. Tokayev announced a national day of mourning for Monday to commemorate those killed.

Access to the internet, which was been largely shut down in Kazakhstan for days, was still heavily disrupted on Saturday.

The deployment of the Russia-led CSTO military alliance at Tokayev's invitation comes at a time of high tension in East-West relations as Russia and the United States prepare for talks next week on the Ukraine crisis.

Moscow has deployed large numbers of troops near its border with Ukraine but denies U.S. suggestions it is planning an invasion, saying it wants guarantees that NATO will halt its eastward expansion.

Washington has challenged the justification for sending Russian troops to Kazakhstan and questioned whether what has been billed as a mission of days or weeks could turn into a much longer presence.

"One lesson of recent history is that once Russians are in your house, it's sometimes very difficult to get them to leave," Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Friday.

Russia's foreign ministry called the remark offensive and said Blinken should reflect on the U.S. track record of military interventions in countries such as Vietnam and Iraq.
<b>BBC — Kazakhstan unrest: At least 154 killed in crackdown on protests, reports say.</b>

At least 164 people have died in Kazakhstan during violent anti-government protests, according to media reports citing health officials.

If confirmed it would mark a sharp rise from the previous figure of 44 deaths.
Almost 6,000 people have been arrested, including "a substantial number of foreign nationals", Kazakhstan's presidential office said on Sunday.

The demonstrations, triggered by a rise in fuel prices, turned into huge riots as they spread across the country.

They started on 2 January and grew to reflect discontent at the government and former President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who led Kazakhstan for three decades and is still thought to retain significant influence.

Last week, troops from countries including Russia were sent to Kazakhstan to help restore order.

The presidential statement added that the situation had stabilised, with troops continuing "cleanup" operations and guarding "strategic facilities".

A state of emergency and a nationwide curfew remain in place.

— — —
Fuel / energy prices are / have been rising everywhere around the world. https://www.energylive.cloud/

Maybe this is Crow Daddy USA throwing stones in the still water to remind Uncle Vladimir Putin that we still got it.

And like always it is the gullible plebians dying for ⒸDemocracy and Freedom™.

Stage is beautifully getting set for an upcoming WWIII :facepalm:
The coup seems to have fizzled out now russian boots are on the ground.

Those protestors will now have to pray to God its a quick end because they will be brutally arrested tortured and killed you don't mess around like this in tinpot countries.

As soon as Oil has started to finish in middle east, the next natural resource is gas that is going to be tapped and they are in Kazakistan and South east of China.. Thats where the conflicts have started now.....

Future areas of conflict along with Lithium filled Afghanistan
What’s all this about?

Kazakh and Russian troops have put down some sort of uprising.


I believe this was NATO/USA showing their sleeper groups card to Putin.

The objective has been completed as Russia will have to be very careful with the whole Ukraine invasion idea.

Just for lols, see how Western media portraits rednecks getting inside Capitol as rioters
how these paid mercenaries, who btw have killed dozens of police officers, as revolutionaries.


Lols, indeed.
The coup seems to have fizzled out now russian boots are on the ground.

Those protestors will now have to pray to God its a quick end because they will be brutally arrested tortured and killed you don't mess around like this in tinpot countries.

Gulag awaits them.

KGB will drag them to Siberia...

The horror.
Kazakhstan: Palace intrigue and seismic shifts as president gathers power away from predecessor's shadow

The streets of Nur-Sultan are quiet, no obvious sign in the Kazakh capital of the massive political upheaval this country has undergone with the dawning of 2022.

Or of the seismic shifts happening in terms of who runs the country inside its windswept, modern ministries' complex.

It's -14C, the windchill makes it feel a lot colder.

Nursultan Nazarbaev, the strongman leader who ruled here since the Soviet collapse through to 2019, moved the capital from the balmier climes of Almaty to what was then called Akmola in 1997, essentially to make a clean break from the politics of the past and to spur ethnic Kazakh involvement in the north.

Bear in mind this is gulag country, the Karlag gulag around what is now the Kazakh capital was as large as France.

Re-populating Kazakhstan's frozen north with ethnic Kazakhs after the end of the Soviet Union made sense but it is also typical autocratic behaviour, to transfer capitals in a bid to cement your rule even if the climate in the new place is almost unbearably harsh.

Furious political change

The current president, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, renamed the capital Nur-Sultan in Nazarbaev's honour. Let's see how long that lasts.

Behind the scenes there is furious political change on the go - against a backdrop of palace intrigue.

President Tokayev has sacked two more high ranking intelligence personnel - after he charged his former intelligence chief with high treason.

Nazarbaev has been removed from his post as chief of the powerful Security Council.

His spokesman says he is still in Nur-Sultan and that he was the one who suggested he leave his role but he hasn't addressed the nation and as its nominal leader - he still has the title 'leader of the nation' - that raises questions.

Kazakhstan's elites are a powerful lot and there are rumours these protesters were hijacked by forces looking to take the reins from Tokayev - and that the Russian peacekeeping deployment was his way of keeping them at bay.

'Tokayev has the chance to resolve this'

"I think the president should depend on the people, not on external influences," says Zauresh Battalova, a well-known opposition activist and former senator.

She thinks public opinion is split on the CSTO deployment but that if it remains limited, it should not be too politically damaging.

"Tokayev has the chance to resolve this through dialogue. If he doesn't, he'll just replace one autocracy with another," she says.

Tokayev's spokesman says the peacekeepers will only stay a week and it does appear that order is being restored.

The internet has returned to Almaty, the centre of these protests, for the first time in a week. Cars are back on the roads and there are long queues outside banks and at petrol stations.

The latest figures are of just under 8,000 arrests, a very heavy crackdown on what Tokayev characterises as terrorists who tried to sabotage Almaty.

The number of people killed keeps climbing too and the shoot-to-kill order remains in place.

President Tokayev is a technocrat, a long-time diplomat, fluent in English, Mandarin and French.

He has made all sorts of noises before about inclusive government and of giving a voice to the people.

Now he seems to be gathering power for himself away from Nazarbaev's shadow, the question is whether he'll use it to address deep socio-economic grievances - or whether he'll do what a lot of leaders in this part of the world tend to do, and focus more on accumulating it for himself.


Kazakhstan may no longer be the bitcoin sanctuary it once was, according to some big miners who are looking to leave the global crypto hub following internet shutdowns last week that compounded fears about tightening regulation.

The government web shutdowns during an explosion of unrest in the country, the world's second-largest centre for mining, caused bitcoin's global computing power to drop around 13% as data centres used to produce the cryptocurrency were knocked offline.

Alan Dorjiyev of the National Association of Blockchain and Data Center Industry in Kazakhstan, which represents 80% of legal mining companies in the country, said most crypto producers were now back online.

Yet the resumption of operations may belie problems to come for the fast-growing cryptocurrency industry, according to four major miners interviewed by Reuters, with some saying they or their clients may look for other countries to operate in.

The internet outage compounded growing concerns about the stability and prospects of the business as tighter government oversight looms, the miners said.

Vincent Liu, a miner who moved operations to Kazakhstan from China to take advantage of the country's cheap power, said the changing environment had led him to look at shifting operations to North America or Russia.

"Two or three years earlier, we called Kazakhstan a paradise of the mining industry because of the stable political environment and stable electricity," said Liu.

"We are evaluating the situation ... I suppose we will keep a part of hashrate in Kazakhstan and will move some to other countries," he said.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are "mined" by powerful computers that compete against others hooked up to a global network to solve complex mathematical puzzles. The process guzzles electricity and is often powered by fossil fuels.

Kazakhstan became the world's No.2 centre for bitcoin mining after the United States last year, attracting an influx of miners and data centre bookings from former global leader China after a crackdown on the industry by Beijing.

In August, Kazakhstan accounted for 18% of the global "hashrate" - crypto jargon for the amount of computing power being used by computers connected to the bitcoin network. That was up from 8% in April, before Chinese miners shifted machines and bought capacity at Kazakh data centres.

Kazakhstan's crypto mining farms are mostly powered by aging coal plants, which are a headache for authorities as they seek to decarbonise the economy. Power-hungry miners have forced the former Soviet state to import electricity and ration domestic supplies.

The government is now looking at how to tax and regulate the largely underground and foreign-owned industry. It said last year it planned to crack down on unregistered "grey" miners who it estimates might be consuming twice as much power as the "white" or officially registered ones.

Din-mukhammed Matkenov, co-founder of crypto miner BTC KZ, said an influx of Chinese miners had worsened problems for domestic miners by gobbling up power. Clients may look to move to the United States and Russia, he said.

"We think that the development and stability of mining industry in Kazakhstan is in danger," said Matkenov, whose firm has three data centres in Ekibastuz, a city in northern Kazakhstan, running over 30,000 mining rigs. Patchy power supply has complicated the company's business, he added.

"It is very unstable and really hard to predict the profits to pay the electricity bill and salaries. At the moment we are close to being bankrupt and clients are trying to find other countries where they can relocate to with a more stable governmental ruling."

Kazakhstan's energy ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Still, Kazakhstan's relatively low taxes, labour costs and equipment still offer advantages, the four miners said. Power costs a minimum of $0.03-$0.04 per kilowatt, Matkenov said, similar to the United States and lower than $0.05 in Russia.

"There is an ease of doing business in Kazakhstan that allows well-capitalised projects to deploy much faster than would be possible in the West," said Mike Cohen of Canada-based miner Pow.re.

"Those willing to establish operations in the region have a greater tolerance for geopolitical risk and are not put off by fossil fuel-based energy sources."

The bodies of 225 people killed in unrest in Kazakhstan last week, including 19 members of the security forces, were delivered to morgues throughout the country, the prosecutor general's office said on Saturday.

The figure included civilians and armed "bandits" killed by security forces, Serik Shalabayev, the head of criminal prosecution at the prosecutor's office, told a briefing.

He did not provide an exact breakdown of the figures and said numbers could be updated later.

Violent protests began in the oil-producing Central Asian state this month after a jump in car fuel prices. The toll provided by Shalabayev confirmed the violence was the deadliest in the country's post-Soviet history.

Shalabayev said 50,000 people joined the riots throughout the former Soviet republic at their peak on Jan. 5 when crowds stormed and torched government buildings, cars, banks and shops in several major cities.

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev turned to a Russia-led military bloc for help during the unrest and sidelined his former patron and predecessor Nursultan Nazarbayev by taking over the national security council.

After complaints about beatings and torture of those detained in the aftermath, Tokayev ordered police on Saturday to avoid abuses and told prosecutors to be lenient to those who have not committed grave crimes.

Former Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev appeared on Tuesday for the first time since unrest rocked the former Soviet republic this month, saying in a video address there was no conflict among the country's elite.

Nazarbayev, who ruled the oil-producing country for three decades, said he had remained in Kazakhstan during the worst violence in the country's post-Soviet history.

Unrest erupted over a sharp increase in car fuel prices before swelling into an anti-government movement, with public anger targeted at 81-year-old Nazarbayev. The prosecutor general's office has said at least 225 people were killed.

Speaking two weeks after the protests began, Nazarbayev said he was no longer in charge of Central Asia's richest nation.

"...I handed over my (presidential) powers to President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in 2019 and have since been a pensioner, and I am now (living) in retirement in Kazakhstan's capital and have not gone anywhere," he said, addressing rumours that he was abroad. "President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has full powers."

Nazarbayev's sudden disappearance during the protests and the detention of former state security chief Karim Masimov on treason charges have prompted talk of a rift between the former president and his successor Tokayev.

"There is no conflict or confrontation within the elite," Nazarbayev said. "Rumours about this are completely unfounded."

At the peak of the unrest, Tokayev said he was taking over as chairman of the security council, a position through which Nazarbayev had continued to wield sweeping powers after resigning as president.

Once security forces restored control over the country of 19 million, Tokayev said he wanted those who had made their fortunes under Nazarbayev's rule to share their wealth with the public.

Since Jan. 15, all three of Nazarbayev's sons-in-law have resigned from senior positions at state companies and a business lobby group and Tokayev has sacked the ex-president's nephew from the No. 2 position at the National Security Committee.