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Mass Protests in Kazakhstan Reverberate Across Eurasia

MIN READJan 5, 2022 | 23:14 GMT

Protesters rally against a hike in fuel prices in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on Jan. 5, 2022.

Protesters participate in a rally in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on Jan. 5, 2022.

(ABDUAZIZ MADYAROV/AFP via Getty Images)

The mass protests, riots and looting griping Kazakhstan will weigh heavily on Russia and Belarus as they consider their own options regarding an eventual power transition. On Jan. 4, mass protests in several major cities in Kazakhstan grew in size and became more violent. And by Jan. 5, protesters had overrun the city administration, airport and presidential residence in Almaty, the country’s largest city and former capital, prompting authorities to shut off internet access nationwide and declare a national state of emergency. The scale, tactics and demands of the protests are all unprecedented for Kazakhstan, where mass protest activity is extremely rare and usually limited to small-scale actions, with security services relying on preemptive detentions to prevent social unrest. The demonstrations, which were initially sparked by a sharp rise in fuel prices on Jan. 2, are now verging on an armed uprising in Almaty -- shattering the country's perceived stability,...

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