President of Kazakhstan gives order to open fire on protesters

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev ordered security forces to open fire on "criminals" without warning.

"I have given the order to law enforcement agencies and the army to open fire to kill without warning. There have been calls abroad for talks for a peaceful solution to the problem. What nonsense! What negotiations can there be with criminals, with murderers," Tokayev said in his address.

Kazakhstan's president said police and military personnel had to face "armed and trained bandits," among whom there were not only locals but also foreigners.

"They need to be destroyed, and this will be done soon ... The militants have not laid down their arms and continue to commit crimes or prepare for them. The fight against them must be brought to an end. Those who do not surrender will be destroyed," Tokayev promised, noting that the "law enforcement forces" are ready to perform this task, despite the lack of special forces, special equipment and weapons. The president also criticized the special services, which "slept through" , according to him, the preparation of terrorist attacks and the organization of sleeper cells by the militants.

"Almaty alone was attacked by 20,000 bandits. Their actions showed the presence of a clear plan of attacks on military, administrative and social facilities in almost all areas, coordination of actions, high combat readiness and extreme cruelty," Tokayev said.

According to him, the Kazakh authorities will be assisted in tackling crisis by the peacekeepers from Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), who will provide "cover and support". Tokayev thanked the leaders of the CSTO member countries for quickly providing assistance through the Collective Security Treaty Organization, and separately Russian President Vladimir Putin, who "responded in a friendly, warm way" to the request for help.

Tokayev specifically pointed to the "complicit and inflammatory role" played by "the so-called free media and foreign figures which is far from the fundamental interests" of the people of Kazakhstan.

"It is no exaggeration to say that all these irresponsible demagogues became accomplices in unleashing the tragedy in Kazakhstan," the president said, noting also that not only militants, but also "specialists trained for ideological sabotage" who skillfully use disinformation, fakes and are capable of manipulating people's moods acted against the country's authorities.

"It seems that their training and leadership was handled by a single command post," Tokayev said.

At the same time, Tokayev said that he had decided to restore access to the Internet, however, so far only "in certain regions" and "for certain time intervals." In addition, he said that in the future the state of emergency will be gradually lifted in the regions.

Tokayev also expressed confidence that the black streak in the history of Kazakhstan will soon be passed.

The protests erupted after a two-fold increase in the price of gas in the oil and gas-producing Mangystau region in western Kazakhstan. They quickly turned into calls for a change of power and the resignation of the current government.

On Wednesday morning, Kazakhstan's government resigned, but the protests continued, despite the imposed state of emergency, curfew and after the army was sent to reinforce the security forces fighting the protesters with stun grenades, tear gas and rubber bullets.

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said he took over the post of the head of the Security Council.

Rallies continue today in different cities of Kazakhstan. On January 4, they escalated into mass clashes with the police, and on January 5, the most violent confrontations took place – people seized administrative buildings and clashed with the military and police.

Amid clashes between people and security forces, Tokayev turned to the CSTO for "help", and the organization decided to send its troops to the country.

There is no exact information about the victims and wounded on both sides. Only in the city of Almaty, where the so-called "anti-terrorist operation" is underway, dozens of killed have been reported. According to the Kazakh Ministry of Internal Affairs, at least 8 servicemen of the security forces were killed and more than 300 were injured.

  Tokayev, Kazakhstan, Russia

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