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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.

Kazakh Protests Show Pattern of West-Directed 'Color Revolution', Ex-Diplomat Says

© REUTERS / PAVEL MIKHEYEVA Kazakh state flag is seen at the broken window of the Kaspi Bank branch following the protests triggered by fuel price increase in Almaty, Kazakhstan January 6, 2022.
A Kazakh state flag is seen at the broken window of the Kaspi Bank branch following the protests triggered by fuel price increase in Almaty, Kazakhstan January 6, 2022. - Sputnik International, 1920, 08.01.2022
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The anti-government violent riots and protests across Kazakhstan already show the classic pattern of a so-called "color revolution" directed and planned from the West, former Canadian diplomat Patrick Armstrong told Sputnik.
Initially peaceful protests in Kazakhstan, sparked by a twofold increase in fuel prices on January 1, quickly turned into violent clashes which have left seven police officers and dozens of attackers dead, according to authorities.

"Clearly there are underlying causes that would make people protest. But color revolution organizers take that unrest and direct it. Which we see in Kazakhstan - the sudden appearance of armed groups, a 'leader' sitting outside the country, the usual Western NGOs acting over time, [and] demands that involve geopolitical moves away from Russia," Armstrong said.

Nearly 38,000 civil society organizations, most of which are funded by the United States and European countries, currently operate in Kazakhstan, according to the International Center for Non-Profit Law. The US Agency for International Development (USAID), the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), Freedom House and other US-based organizations are also active there.
The NED sent around $1 million in 2020 to at least 20 civic organizations in Kazakhstan. The organization has not responded to a Sputnik inquiry on Thursday about its 2021 figures. In 2021, the State Department sent a $750,000 grant to the Support of Freedom of Association in Kazakhstan.
A view shows a burnt car following the protests triggered by fuel price increase outside the city administration headquarters in Almaty, Kazakhstan January 7, 2022. - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.01.2022
’Coincidence?’ US, Foreign NGOs May Have Played Key Role in Social Unrest in Kazakhstan, Expert Says
Armstrong also said the timing of the unrest is interesting, coming shortly before the Russian-US security talks.

"One observes that typical color revolution pattern takes some time to get to the fire-setting and shooting phase - this one got there almost immediately. An attempt by somebody to undermine the talks?" Armstrong said.

However, former USAID consultant Paolo von Schirach does not believe the unrest represents a coup or organized insurrection.
"The truth is that this is a spontaneous revolt of the hungry and the angry," Schirach, Chair of Political Science & International Relations at Bay Atlantic University and President of the Global Policy Institute, said. "Kazakhstan is a potentially rich country endowed with substantial oil and gas reserves and other mineral riches."
On Wednesday, Tokayev dismissed the government and superseded the first president of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, as the head of the republic's Security Council. Tokayev will appoint the republic's new prime minister on January 11, a Sputnik correspondent reported on Friday.
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