Startling developments from Kazakhstan: climbing death toll with Russian involvement



(ChinaAid, Midland, TX / Radio Free Asia—January 7, 2022) Casualties continue to climb after five days of
protest in Kazakhstan, the largest protest since the founding of Kazakhstan. Sources
claim the internet has shut down in the country, limiting communication with
the outside world. The President dissolved the government, declared a state of
emergency for two weeks and requested aid from China and Russia. Russia sent
troops for peacekeeping on Thursday. The situation remains dire, with a climbing
death count of innocent civilians. Kazakh authorities reportedly cause destruction and blame protestors.

 

This immense
demonstration and ensuing conflict directly resulted from a drastic increase
in natural gas prices, but, according to human rights advocate Serikzhan Bilash,
the main cause was rooted in a growing discontent for the Kazakhstan government.

 

 

At the time
of this article, there remains an unverified number of casualties.

 

According to
the Washington Post, President Tokayev ordered a shoot-to-kill order and
rejects any attempts at negotiation.

 

As reported
by Radio Free Asia in their Chinese publication, hundreds died in a violent
clash between demonstrators and Almaty police on Tuesday and Wednesday night.  500 Dead civilians were distributed to two
hospitals. Nearly all of this information is absent from current English
reporting. 


ChinaAid obtained and translated Radio Free Asia’s reporting to show
the dire nature of Kazakhstan. Read the full reports below. 


Notice: Please direct all media inquiries for Serikzhan Bilash to [email protected]



Hundreds
of people killed and injured in the largest anti-government demonstration since
the founding of Kazakhstan

2022-01-06

 

Kazakhstan has seen massive anti-government demonstrations
this week, with hundreds of people injured or shot dead in clashes between tens
of thousands of protesters and police in Almaty and other cities on Tuesday (January
4) and Wednesday (January 5) night. Serikzhan Bilash, the founder of a Kazakh
human rights group, said in an interview with Radio Free Asia that
plainclothes officers were deployed to mingle with the protesters, smashed
shops and destroyed buildings, and then blamed the protesters. President
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev dismissed the government and accused the protesters of
breaking the law.

 

The largest protests and riots in Kazakhstan since the
country’s founding broke out this week, with large-scale police clashes in
Almaty, the country’s largest city, on Tuesday night. President Tokayev
accepted his government’s resignation early Wednesday morning and declared a
two-week “state of emergency” in the Mangistas and Almaty regions, as
well as the cities of Almaty and Nur-Sultan. The state of emergency was later
extended to all of Kazakhstan until Jan. 19.

 

Kazakh police said eight security personnel were killed in
the clashes, and Kazakh media reported that 317 people were injured. The
founder of the Kazakh human rights group “Atajurt,” Serikzhan Bilash,
said in an interview that hundreds of people were killed and injured when
military and police were deployed to shoot at demonstrators, and that the
bodies of the dead were distributed among two hospitals in Almaty. He also said
that the authorities used plainclothes officers to blend in with the crowd of
demonstrators to smash shops and destroy buildings, and then blame the
demonstrators.

 

The news is that the 7th and 12th largest hospitals in
Almaty each had more than 500 people shot or wounded, 200 in one hospital and
about 300 in another. “We don’t know for sure how many people died,” Serikzhan
said. The protesters took over the city building and the square, and all the
staff of the Almaty city building was evacuated in advance.

 

The dead were shot in the head or chest and were suspected
of being shot by gunmen.

 

The government’s decision to use the “Arapahoe” in
the city of Almaty was made by a group of people who were shot at by soldiers
in the square of a stadium and cultural center in the suburbs of Almaty.

 

Video of the demonstration in Almaty shows a large number of
bomb-busters and armored vehicles moving through the streets, with protesters
throwing rocks and miscellaneous objects at the armored vehicles. Another video
shows police firing into the crowd of protesters, with the sound of heavy
gunfire ringing through the night sky.

 

Reuters and AFP reporters said the number of people present
was estimated at more than 5,000. As the crowd refused to disperse, police used
shock bombs and tear gas to prevent hundreds of protesters from entering the
mayor’s office, and there were unconfirmed reports that police vehicles were on
fire in Almaty.

 

Our correspondent called Almaty residents several times, but
no one answered the phone.

 

The price of liquefied petroleum gas doubled, sparking
protests

 

The massive protests began when residents of the Kazakh
cities of Zhanaozen and Aktau protested the doubling of the price of liquefied
petroleum gas. The government committee ordered by the president said it was
prepared to meet the main demands of the protesters to lower gas prices, but it
was too late and the angry public demanded that President Tokayev step down.

 

In this regard, Serikzhan said that the public has long been
dissatisfied with the Kazakh government and that the opposition to the increase
in LNG prices is only a trigger for anti-government demonstrations. Serikzhan stated:

 

The people of Kazakhstan are now
living in dire straits, especially after the outbreak of the new coronavirus,
and initially, there was not even a mask, fever-reducing medicine, painkillers
in ordinary pharmacies. Many Kazakhs died because of the lack of fever-reducing
medicine. The Kazakhs hated the incompetence, corruption, bureaucracy, and
bribery of the government to the core.

 

Kazakhstan government asks for Russian military
intervention

 

A spokesman for Almaty International Airport confirmed on
Wednesday (5) that the airport was under the control of more than 40
anti-government personnel. On the same day, the Kazakh government asked the
Russian-led collective security organization to send more troops to help
control the situation in the country. According to Rosatom on Thursday (6), the
secretariat of the CSTO said in its comments on the situation in Kazakhstan
that it received a request from Kazakhstan that the situation in the country is
seen as an invasion by foreign-trained gangs.

 

In an official statement early Thursday morning, State
Department spokesman Ned Price said, “The United States is closely
following the situation in Kazakhstan, which is an important partner for us. We
condemn the violence and destruction of property and call on the government and
protesters to exercise restraint. We call on the Kazakhs to respect and protect
constitutional mechanisms, human rights, and press freedoms, including the
restoration of Internet services. We call on all parties to seek a peaceful
resolution to the state of emergency.”

 

Kazakhstan, located between China and Russia, is the world’s
largest inland country and the largest and richest country in Central Asia and
has long maintained domestic stability and economic growth through an
authoritarian system.

 


 

Anti-government
demonstrations erupt in Kazakhstan, killing and injuring hundreds

2022-01-06

 

Kazakhstan has seen massive anti-government demonstrations
this week. Large numbers of protesters clashed with police in cities such as
Almaty on Tuesday and Wednesday night. Sources indicate that hundreds of people
were injured and dozens died as a result of the clashes. Kazakhstan’s President
Tokayev dissolved the government and said the protesters broke the law. On
Thursday, Russia has transported soldiers to Kazakhstan. The Chinese Foreign
Ministry considers the clashes in Kazakhstan an “internal affair” and
hopes that the social order in Kazakhstan will return to normal.

 

 

The largest protests and riots since the founding of the
Central Asian country of Kazakhstan erupted this week, with large-scale police
clashes in Almaty, the country’s largest city, on Tuesday night (4). The
clashes left eight security personnel dead, Kazakh police said. Kazakh media
reported that 317 people were injured. President Tokayev accepted his
government’s resignation early Wednesday (5) and declared a two-week state of
emergency in the Mangistas and Almaty regions, as well as the cities of Almaty
and Nur-Sultan. Subsequently, the “state of emergency” was extended
to the entire territory of Kazakhstan and will last until January 19.

 

 

Video of the demonstration in Almaty shows a large number of
bomb-proof vehicles and armored vehicles moving through the streets, and
protesters throwing stones and miscellaneous objects at the armored vehicles.
Another video shows police firing into the crowd of protesters, with intense
gunfire ringing through the night air.

 

U.S. and China make their own statements on the situation in
Kazakhstan

 

In response to the outbreak of large-scale clashes in
Kazakhstan, State Department spokesman Price said in a statement early Thursday
(6): “The United States is closely monitoring the situation in Kazakhstan,
a country that is an important partner for us. We condemn the violence and
destruction of property and call on the government and protesters to exercise
restraint.”

 

Later that afternoon, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman
Wang Wenbin told a regular news conference that China considers what is
happening in Kazakhstan an “internal affair.” He said he believes
that the Kazakh authorities can properly solve the problem and hopes that the
situation in Kazakhstan will soon be stabilized and the social order returned to
normal.

 

 

Serikzhan Bilash, founder of the Kazakh human rights
organization “Atajurt,” told Radio Free Asia in an interview that the
authorities had sent military police to shoot at the demonstrators, causing
hundreds of deaths and injuries, and the bodies of the dead were placed in two
hospitals in Almaty:

 

The news is that the twelfth and
seventh-largest hospitals in Almaty have been destroyed. hospitals, each of
which had people shot or wounded by guns; more than five hundred, two hundred
in one hospital and about three hundred in the other; how many people died, we
can’t be sure. The marching demonstrators occupied the city hall building and
the square, and all the staff of the Almaty city hall building was evacuated in
advance, and before the marching demonstrators reached the government building,
there was already a fire inside.

 

Serikzhan said that the authorities sent plainclothes
officers to blend in with the crowd of demonstrators, smashing stores and
destroying buildings to frame the demonstrators.

 

Reuters and AFP reporters, meanwhile, said the number of
people present was estimated at more than 5,000. As the crowd refused to
disperse, police used shock grenades and tear gas to stop hundreds of
protesters from attacking the mayor’s office. There were also unconfirmed
reports that a police car was on fire in Almaty.

 

Serikzhan said military personnel opened fire on
demonstrators from the countryside at a gymnasium and cultural center square in
Almaty’s suburban Alatau district. The video shows dozens of bodies laid out in
a local hospital, each with bullet holes in the forehead or heart, some covered
in blood.

 

Our correspondent made several calls to residents of Almaty,
but their calls were never answered.

 

The mass protest originated from residents of the Kazakh
cities of Zhanaozen and Aktau protesting against the increase in the price of
liquefied petroleum gas. The government commission ordered by the Kazakh
president said it was ready to meet the main demand of the protesters and lower
the gas prices. But it was too late, and angry people demanded that President
Tokayev step down.

 

In response, Serikzhan said that the public has long been
dissatisfied with the Kazakh government, and opposition to the increase in LNG
prices was the trigger for the anti-government demonstrations:

Kazakh people are now living in
deep water, especially after the outbreak of the new coronavirus epidemic,
initially, in ordinary pharmacies there was not even a mask, fever-reducing
drugs are not available, painkillers are not available. Many Kazakhs died
because of the lack of fever medicine, and the Kazakhs have come to hate the
government’s incompetence, corruption, and bureaucratic embezzlement to the
extreme.

 

CSCE announces it has sent troops to Kazakhstan for
peacekeeping

 

A spokesman for Almaty International Airport confirmed on
January 5 local time that the airport was under the control of more than 40
anti-government personnel. On the same day, the Kazakh government asked the
Russian-led Collective Security Organization (CSTO) for additional troops to
assist in controlling the situation in the country regarding the current
domestic situation.

 

On the morning of the 6th, the CSTO announced that it had
sent to Kazakhstan a peacekeeping force consisting of Russian, Belarusian,
Armenian, Tajik, and Kyrgyz troops. According to the CSCE Secretariat, some military transport aircraft of the Russian Air Force transported Russian peacekeeping troops to Kazakhstan.

 

According to Vissin, a current affairs commentator who
follows the international situation, this protest launched by the population of
Kazakhstan is different from the color revolutions that took place in the
former Soviet Union and in the Middle East and North Africa.

 

“It is taking place in the ‘Belt and Road’ region, which can
be called the ‘Belt and Road Revolution,'” she told the station. “To a
different extent, it has to do with China’s support and strengthening of the
authoritarian regime there. The Haaretz government is unable to accommodate and
listen to the population more, denying them political participation and even
strengthening its authoritarian rule. That’s what makes a revolution in these
countries by the people ostensibly for livelihood issues, but actually against
the strengthening of authoritarian rule.”

 

For this large-scale protest demonstration, the Chinese
Embassy in Kazakhstan, on the other hand, reminded Chinese citizens in
Kazakhstan to enhance their awareness of precautions, reduce unnecessary
outings and do a good job of safety protection.

 

 

Reporter: Qiao Long Editor: Wen Xiaoping, He Ping Web
Editor: Ruizhe

 


 

The
situation in Kazakhstan affects the big plan of the Belt and Road China’s
energy corridor has changed

2022-01-06

 

A sharp rise in fuel prices in the Central Asian country of
Kazakhstan has sparked days of demonstrations and large-scale clashes.
Kazakhstan plays a key role in China’s “One Belt, One Road” project.
How will this conflict affect China-Kazakhstan relations and the development of
“One Belt, One Road”? Some scholars have pointed out that when
demonstrations break out in Central Asia, China is usually more worried about
the local “Belt and Road” investment projects and whether these
demonstrations will then lead to anti-China sentiment there.

 

In Kazakhstan, a sharp increase in the price of liquefied
natural gas from New Year’s Day triggered days of demonstrations that turned
into large-scale violent clashes. In Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest city,
demonstrators stormed government facilities. A state of emergency was declared
in the capital and other places, and a curfew was imposed. Sources say the
Internet is down across the country, and telephone communications have been cut
off extensively.

 

Chinese Foreign Ministry: What happens in Kazakhstan is
an internal affair of Kazakhstan

 

The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin responded
to the incident on Thursday, saying that China believes that what is happening
in Kazakhstan is an internal affair of the country and believes that the Kazakh
authorities can properly solve the problem.

 

Wang Wenbin:

 

China and Kazakhstan are friendly
neighbors and permanent comprehensive strategic partners. China believes that
the current happenings in Kazakhstan are an internal affair of the country and
believes that the Kazakh authorities can properly solve the problem, and hopes
that the situation in Kazakhstan can be stabilized as soon as possible and
social order returned to normal.

 

 

 

China and Kazakhstan have had close relations since 2013
when the “One Belt, One Road” was launched

 

Three days ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping exchanged
congratulatory messages with Kazakhstan’s first President Nazarbayev and
current President Tokaev to celebrate the 30th anniversary of diplomatic
relations between the two countries. In his congratulatory telegram, Xi spoke
highly of Nazarbayev’s firm policy of friendship with China and his outstanding
contribution to the development of relations between the two countries and the
deepening of cooperation in building the “Belt and Road”; he also
pointed out to Tokayev that China and Kazakhstan are friendly neighbors and permanent
comprehensive strategic partners, and he believes in the deepening of mutual
political trust between the two countries.

 

In fact, Kazakhstan has a pivotal role in the process of
China’s “One Belt, One Road”. In September 2013, Chinese President Xi
Jinping visited Kazakhstan and proposed to jointly build the “Silk Road
Economic Belt”. Xi even said, “China and Kazakhstan are friends for
life.”

 

Chinese scholars: China may worry about the impact of the
“Belt and Road” investment projects

 

However, the outbreak of large-scale conflict in Kazakhstan
will affect the development of China’s “Belt and Road”? The Chinese
are usually more worried about the local “Belt and Road” investment
projects when demonstrations break out in Central Asia, and whether these
demonstrations will then trigger local anti-China sentiment, according to Sun
Chaoqun, a researcher at the Hong Kong Institute of International Studies.

 

Sun Chaoqun:

 

In 2019, there was also a
demonstration in Kyrgyzstan, and there was also an incident where [protesters]
burned down a Chinese-invested factory. In the case of Kazakhstan this time,
China may worry whether those people will take the opportunity to carry out
anti-China activities. China has also invested a lot of resources in
Kazakhstan, such as oil, gas, and uranium for nuclear power generation, many of
which are imported from Kazakhstan to China. China will also be concerned about
whether the demonstrations will affect the supply of resource chains in Central
Asia, etc.

 

Sun Chaoqun added that China’s concerns about the
demonstrations in Kazakhstan may be limited to the economic aspect for the time
being, and in terms of the impact of the current situation on border areas such
as Xinjiang, he believes that China need not worry too much in this regard as
the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) promptly sent
troops to assist at the request of Kazakhstan’s President Tokayev.

 

Sun Chaoqun:

 

From the current situation are
seen, Russia is still dominant in this area, the work is still accounted for
more. The situation now is that the military division of labor in Central Asia
(region) is more favorable to Russia, and in the economic field, that is,
investment, trade, and economy, etc., is more favorable to China. If based on
Moscow’s military security commitment to Kazakhstan, actually China may not
need to worry in this regard.

 

Human Rights Leader: Kazakh Disruption of Internet
Communications Equals Disruption of Outside Contact with Xinjiang

 

The leader of human rights in Xinjiang, who has long been
concerned about the human rights situation in Xinjiang, told us that Almaty,
Kazakhstan, is only 300 kilometers away from Xinjiang, which plays the role of
a “window” to the situation in Xinjiang. The information is not only
available in Kazakhstan, but also in Xinjiang.

 

“If Kazakhstan moves towards democracy, she will likely have to interrupt the supply of oil and gas pipelines to China,”
Serikzhan said. “So far, Kazakhstan has provided China with the safest and most
secure oil and gas. Once Russian troops are stationed in Kazakhstan, it is
tantamount to losing our independent state and reverting to the Russian
colonial era.”

 

Back in 2013, at the beginning of the Belt and Road
Initiative, China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) acquired Kazakhstan’s
largest oil field, Kashagan, for $5 billion, and in 2017, China entered into an
agreement with Kazakhstan’s National Oil and Gas Company (KazMunaiGas).
KazMunaiGas) reached a cooperation agreement in which Kazakhstan pledged to
export 5 billion meters of natural gas to China annually, from which Kazakhstan
would receive a total revenue of up to $1 billion. According to mainland
Chinese media statistics, as of 2017, China’s cumulative investment in Kazakhstan
has reached $42.8 billion, making China the second-largest trading partner of
Kazakhstan.

 

 

Reporter: Liu Aoran, Huang Chunmei Editor: Wen Xiaoping Web
Editor: Rizhe

 


 

Russia
and other countries send troops to Kazakhstan to suppress people and stop color
revolutions, China has mixed feelings

2022-01-07

 

The situation in Kazakhstan remains dire. Sources say many
innocent civilians have been machine-gunned, but our correspondent was unable
to independently verify this, and the exact number of dead and wounded is
unknown. Kazakhstan’s president calls the protesters terrorists. Official media
reported that Belarus and other countries have been involved in quelling the
riots, but did not mention that Russian soldiers have been involved in the crackdown.
Scholars believe that the Russian military presence in Kazakhstan may affect
Chinese interests.

 

Demonstrations and violence erupted in Almaty, Kazakhstan’s
largest city, on Wednesday and Thursday of this week. At the request of the
Kazakh president, the Russian government sent paratroopers to help quell the
unrest. Almaty police said Thursday that from the previous night to early
Thursday morning, dozens of rioters had been killed, eighteen members of the
security forces had died, two of whom were beheaded, and police had made more
than 2,000 arrests. On Thursday, Russian airborne troops and armored fighting
vehicles, and other equipment sent to Kazakhstan arrived. Russia is leading this
“peacekeeping operation” with the CIS Collective Security and Defense
Treaty Organization (CSTO), with Russian troops reportedly numbering about
5,000.

 

 

Nurbek, a resident of Kazakhstan, told Radio Free Asia at
noon Friday that several members of the Kazakh human rights organization,
including its head Bekzati, were taken away by police for several hours and
have been released. He said the mass protests began on Tuesday:

 

On the night of the 4th, it was all
government people, not protesters, who were vandalizing and looting in Almaty.
An eyewitness named Nurguri said that the government people wore civilian clothes
to do the looting, and on the 5th they opened fire, and on the 6th people died. On the 6th, Russian soldiers came. Yesterday on TV news Kazakh President Tokayev
said that there were Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, Belarusian soldiers. But it didn’t
say Russia, there must be Russian soldiers.

 

Radio Free Asia could not independently confirm eyewitness accounts.

 

 

 

Kazakh president qualifies it as a terrorist activity

 

Currently, Kazakh military personnel have regained control
of Almaty International Airport, which was seized earlier by dozens of
protesters. On Thursday evening, armed clashes resumed in Almaty’s main square.
The founder of the Kazakh human rights organization Atajurt, Serikzhan Bilash,
told Radio Free Asia that Russian troops entered the country and partially
changed into Kazakh military uniforms to participate in the crackdown.

 

Russian-led security forces have
entered Kazakhstan. The President of Kazakhstan has qualified this as a
terrorist activity. The President of Kazakhstan says it is incitement by
foreign forces. The news of 00:00 a.m. Almaty time on Friday, January 7, in the
Ural region, located in the westernmost part of Kazakhstan, arrested many
Kazakhs, who participated in the demonstration and whose whereabouts are
unknown. “Selkhejian accused the authorities of machine-gunning the
demonstrators: “The authors of the demonstration were machine-gunned as
if an order had been given from above to shoot to kill. So they (the military)
machine-gunned from a distance.

 

A video posted by Kazakhs on social media showed
demonstrators being fired upon intensively in a square, with panicked calls
from those filming the video. Reuters reporters heard explosions and gunfire,
while military vehicles and dozens of soldiers marched in. TASS quoted
eyewitnesses as saying that people were killed and others were wounded in the
new gun battle.

 

In response to the volatile situation in Kazakhstan, Hu
Xijin, former editor-in-chief of the Global Times, posted an article on Weibo
on Thursday evening titled “Staging Kazakhstan’s ‘Color Revolution’: Why
Did the U.S. and West Win This Time?” The article writes that it cannot be
ruled out that the U.S. and other Western forces have injected energy into the
color revolution in Kazakhstan, and such an examination must be an important
perspective for developing countries to analyze the political turmoil.
According to the article, the Western-style democracy is actually an
irresponsible system, political parties are frequently rotated, the people have
no place to spread their anger, change the government, all the responsibilities
are disconnected, epidemic deaths, economic setbacks the people, and the new
government may be worse.

 

 

Russia’s military presence in Kazakhstan could harm
China’s interests

China is a major investor in Kazakhstan, and its “Belt
and Road” initiative has made Kazakhstan the first stop on the way to
Europe. Kazakhstan, which became independent from the former Soviet Union,
maintains close ties with Russia and China in Asian geopolitics.

 

Scholar Mr. Kei believes that China’s influence on
Kazakhstan will be weakened after the entry of Russian and other countries’
troops into Kazakhstan to quell the riots this time. This revolution in
Kazakhstan may end in failure, he told the station.

 

This revolution in Kazakhstan is
more likely to end in failure because the only hope it had of even succeeding
was extinguished when the Russian army went in. China is now very worried, with
mixed feelings. They have a belt and a road in Kazakhstan, but Russia goes into
Kazakhstan and some of its (China’s) interests are scooped up.

 

Kazakhstan is rich in uranium, capable of producing 40
percent of the world’s uranium, and a large part of Russia’s main raw material
for nuclear energy comes from Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan is also one of the world’s
largest centers of cryptocurrency mining. Currently, most of the country is
off the grid, and bitcoin mining is interrupted, resulting in huge economic
losses.

 

 

Reporter: Qiao Long Editor: Xu Shutting Web Editor: Ruizhe

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