Ursul rus nu dă drumul prăzii din Kazakstan

Russian President Vladimir Putin sent “peacekeeping” forces into Kazakhstan today to help the former Soviet nation subdue a violent, countrywide anti-government uprising.

The revolt began in Kazakhstan’s Mangystau region on Sunday in response to sharp increases in the price of liquefied petroleum gas, which many Kazakhs use to fuel their cars. In less than a week, the movement has spread into every major city in the country and broadened to include a range of political grievances against an entrenched regime that has ruled Kazakhstan since it broke from the Soviet Union in 1991.

“Old man, go away!” many protesters are chanting, referencing Nursultan Nazarbayev, who led the nation even back in the Soviet era and presided over its transition to independence 30 years ago. He became a close ally to Putin and was reelected, against token challengers, in 1999, 2005, 2011 and 2015. Nazarbeyev formally stepped down as president in 2019. But the 81-year-old remained head of the ruling party, prompting outrage at his lingering role as the nation’s de facto ruler. Protesters are now tearing down statues of him across the country.

In Almaty, the nation’s business capital and largest city, rioters have set fire to a presidential residence and a mayor’s office. Administrative buildings in several large cities across the country are also ablaze. Protesters have captured the nation’s main airport and killed at least 13 members of national security forces, including two who were reportedly decapitated. Another 353 security force members have been injured.

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, who took over as Nazarbayev’s handpicked successor, sacked the entire government on Wednesday and declared a state of emergency. As the country’s elites fled in private jets, Kazakh officials said they have killed “dozens” of rioters and arrested more than 2,000. They pulled the plug on the Internet in an effort to prevent protesters from continuing to organize. But as the demonstrations persisted, it was clear that these efforts were insufficient. So Tokayev called on his powerful neighbor to the north for help, and Putin eagerly responded.

Categories: Articole de interes general

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