Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and his Kazakh counterpart Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on Saturday discussed restoring “order” in Kazakhstan following days of violence and unrest, as several high-profile officials were detained on suspicion of treason.
Tokayev told Putin the situation in his country was “progressing on the way to stabilization” and expressed his “appreciation” for the deployment of a Russia-led military bloc to Kazakhstan to try and control violence on the streets, the Kremlin said in a statement on Saturday, according to CNN.
Meanwhile, former head of Kazakhstan’s National Security Committee Karim Massimov and some other unnamed officials have been detained on suspicion of treason, the country’s National Security Committee announced, according to state media Khabar 24 on Saturday.
Local residents stand shoulder to shoulder with police officers at Sultan City Hall in Nur-Sultan on January 8.
Violent protests in Kazakhstan in recent days have seen the government resign and the declaration of a state of emergency as troops from a Russia-led military alliance head to the Central Asian country to help quell the unrest. Dozens have been killed, hundreds injured and thousands of protesters detained, according to CNN.
It’s the biggest challenge yet to autocratic Tokayev’s rule, with initial public anger over a spike in fuel prices expanding to wider discontent with the government over corruption, living standards, poverty, and unemployment in the oil-rich, former Soviet nation, human rights organizations report, it said.
Hundreds of citizens and military personnel were injured and killed in Kazakh city of Almaty during the recent riots.
Kazakhstan is witnessing a massive protest over soaring fuel prices across the country. The protest took place in the western town of Zhanaozen against the doubling of the price of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), which most Kazakhs use as car fuel.
Amid nationwide agitation in Kazakhstan, protesters earlier pulled down the statue of country’s first President Nurustltan Nazarbayev. A state of emergency has been declared in the country in the light of the eruption of this violent protest.