Pray For Kazakhstan – What’s Happening in Kazakhstan?

What is the reason for the protests in Kazakhstan? What do the people on the streets want? When did the protests start, what happened?

The popular movement, which started with workers’ protests in Kazakhstan and spread to the whole country and expanded with demands for a change in the political power and the constitution, is being tried to be suppressed by state violence.

The reaction of the people against the political power in the country spilled over into the streets with the doubling of the LPG price on January 2nd. The movement, which started with the initiative of oil workers in Janaozen, later expanded. Worker collectives also held demonstrations with demands such as a 100 percent increase in wages, improvement of working conditions and freedom of union. On January 3, a general strike was held in the entire Mangistau region, which also spread to the neighboring Atyrau region.


On January 4, the participation of oil workers in the Tengizchevroil company, which is a partner of the US Chevron energy monopoly, reached 75 percent. The strike was also supported by oil workers of Aktobe and West Kazakhstan and Kizilorda regions throughout the day. In the evening of the same day, the strikes of the miners of the ArcelorMittal Temirtau company and the copper smelters and miners of the Kazakhmys company began in the Karaganda region.

Again on January 4, in Atyrau, Uralsk, Aktyubinsk, Kizilorda, Taraz, Taldikorgan, Turkestan, Shymkent, Ekibastuz; Indefinite rallies began in cities in the Almaty region and in Almaty. On the night of January 4-5, all the streets were filled. As a result of clashes between the police and the demonstrators, the city administration building was temporarily seized.

On January 5, President Kasım Cömert Tokayev declared a state of emergency. The government headed by Prime Minister Askar Mamin resigned. 180-day state regulation was introduced on the prices of LPG, gasoline and diesel fuel and basic food products.

Kasım Cömert Tokayev

Making harsh statements about the protests, Tokayev appointed himself as the Presidency of the Security Council and threatened those who participated in the protests. But the protests did not stop.

On January 5, mass protest rallies also began in the regional centers of Northern and Eastern Kazakhstan, where there were no protests before, in Petropavlovsk, Pavlodar, Ust-Kamenogorsk and Semipalatinsk. At the same time, attempts were made to enter the buildings of the regional governorates in Aktube, Taldikorgan, Shymkent and Almaty.

In the cities of the Mangistau region, while the soldiers did not agree to shoot at the people before, special forces were deployed on the night of January 5-6 and fire was opened on the people. Many people were killed.

Due to the protests, Tokayev sought help from the leaders of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), of which they are members. Russia, Armenia and Belarus have started to send troops to the country under the name of “peacekeepers“.


The people demand the resignation of the incumbent president and all Nazarbayev officials; the restoration of the 1993 Constitution and, accordingly, the recognition of the right to form a party, trade union; demands the release of political prisoners and an end to repression.

Nursultan Nazarbayev

Turkish people support your resistance. For news, picture or video

Ece Nagihan

Hi, I'm Ece. I am a writer for Expat Guide Turkey and I strive to create the best content for you. To contact me, you can send an e-mail to Happy reading!

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