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  • Writer's pictureAlex Galea

Anarchy In Kazakhstan: Here’s What You Need To Know

Fill Me In…

The central Asian country of Kazakhstan is currently on fire as violent protests against its authoritarian government erupt all over the huge nation. The scale of protests and violence has been escalating rapidly over the last few days with many soldiers and police personnel being disarmed or killed if not outright joining the protestors.

Government armories full of weapons are being raided as the President calls for help from a coalition of fellow ex-Soviet countries to come and bail him out. Russia is leading the peacekeeping effort.

How did this happen?

Protests originally started after the government raised the price of fuel, making it unaffordable for the average citizen earning in the ballpark of a few hundred USD monthly. The government's authoritarian and endemically corrupt nature coupled with its long-standing inability to properly distribute the country's vast wealth added to the list of reasons protests did not stop when the state tried to compromise.

So What Is The Current State Of Things?

The regions experiencing the most turmoil and unrest are also Kazakhstan’s most densely populated. This isolates the extent of the civil unrest to a few specific regions but does not rule out the severity of it.

Government forces are becoming isolated in pockets across the country amid a deliberate countrywide internet blackout that has only eased in the last 24 hours. The communications crackdown was allegedly done in the name of national security.

And It Gets Worse…

The Leader Of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has fired his government and taken sole control of the state, calling in support from Vladimir Putin and other ex-Soviet countries to bail him out from his own people.

Russian troops are currently in-transit to begin peace-keeping operations in a bid to pacify the worst affected regions. Some believe that violence will not be easy to quell; should the heavily armed protestors turn into insurgents.

What’s the lesson to be learned?

The events in Kazakhstan have shown the world that protests over something such as rising fuel prices (which Europe is and will continue to experience in the next year) can open cracks in our society and turn a system on its head overnight.

As the world looks to see what the outcome of the unrest might mean on an international level, the events in Kazakhstan could also form part of a growing trend as governments take harder stances to tackle critical issues.

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