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 - Sputnik International, 1920, 06.01.2022
Protests in Kazakhstan
On 2 January, Kazakhstan was hit by protests in the wake of a spike in fuel prices. The riots turned violent on 4 January, leading to clashes between protesters and the police, looting, killings, and deepening insecurity. The president has declared a nationwide state of emergency.

State of Emergency Declared Across Kazakhstan Amid Ongoing Violent Protests

© REUTERS / STRINGERA police barricade is seen near the mayor's office during protests triggered by fuel price increase in Almaty, Kazakhstan January 5, 2022
A police barricade is seen near the mayor's office during protests triggered by fuel price increase in Almaty, Kazakhstan January 5, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 05.01.2022
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Mass protests have been ongoing across the country since the early days of 2022, triggered by a dramatic increase of gas prices. Earlier, a state of emergency was declared in the regions of Almaty and Mangystau, along with the capital city of Nur-Sultan.
A state of emergency was declared across all of Kazakhstan late on Wednesday, a Sputnik correspondent reported.
State media has announced a state of emergency on air.
Earlier in the day, a state of emergency was declared in the regions of Almaty and Mangystau, along with the capital city of Nur-Sultan. The state of emergency is expected to remain in place until 19 January.
The new rules restrict the freedom of movement, including transport. Residents will be prohibited from mass gatherings and events, among them family gatherings related to births, weddings, and deaths.
The announcement comes as multiple cities in the country are rattled by protests that began in the south-western Mangystau region after a surge in gas prices. During the early days of 2022, the demonstrations spread over to other cities, particularly the city of Almaty, which saw escalated tensions on Wednesday.
Several important buildings in the city were set on fire, including the city administration, the prosecutor's office, and an office of the national TV channel Qazaqstan. The protesters are also reportedly storming the office of the city's interior ministry, according to the Vlast news outlet.
Kazakhstan's President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has already addressed the nation twice amid the protests. In his most recent address, he announced that he had assumed control over the country's Security Council - previously headed by former President Nursultan Nazarbayev - and said the authorities intend to act as harsh as possible against offenders in the protests.
It was estimated that more than 100 law enforcement officers and over 50 civilians sustained injuries during the protests in Almaty. Over 200 people are said to have been detained amid the ongoing unrest.
A view shows a burning police car during a protest against LPG cost rise following the Kazakh authorities' decision to lift price caps on liquefied petroleum gas in Almaty, Kazakhstan January 5, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 05.01.2022
Protests in Kazakhstan
What's Going on in Kazakhstan and What Are Protesters Demanding?

Reaction in the World

Calls for de-escalation amid the ongoing protests have already emerged, particularly voiced by the European External Action Service (EEAS) and chairman of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Zbigniew Rau.
"The OSCE is ready to assist and support Kazakhstan in continuing political reforms with full respect of the OSCE commitments, including through the OSCE Programme Office in Nur-Sultan," the statement published on the OSCE website read.
The United Nations has expressed "concerns" over the situation in Kazakhstan, calling all parties to refrain from violence and engage in a dialogue.
The United States has closed its Consulate General in Almaty for visitors and ordered its employees to work remotely, a Sputnik correspondent has reported.
The White House said it is closely monitoring the situation in Kazakhstan, with Press Secretary Jen Psaki denying the allegations of any US involvement in the unrest in the country.
© Sputnik / Go to the photo bankKazakh law enforcement officers block a street during a protest against LPG cost rise following the Kazakh authorities' decision to lift price caps on liquefied petroleum gas in Almaty, Kazakhstan
Kazakh law enforcement officers block a street during a protest against LPG cost rise following the Kazakh authorities' decision to lift price caps on liquefied petroleum gas in Almaty, Kazakhstan - Sputnik International, 1920, 05.01.2022
Kazakh law enforcement officers block a street during a protest against LPG cost rise following the Kazakh authorities' decision to lift price caps on liquefied petroleum gas in Almaty, Kazakhstan

Flights Cancelled

As the unrest engulfs the country, several airlines have already announced delays or cancellations of Kazakhstan-bound flights. Particularly, several flights from Minsk, Tbilisi, Bishkek have been cancelled.
Kazakh flagship airline Air Astana announced earlier on Wednesday that the airport in the city of Aktau (the capital of the Mangystau region where the protests began) had stopped working.
Sputnik’s correspondent also reported that Almaty's airport had been seized by the protesters, who kicked passengers out of the terminal.
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