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Explainer : PM’s chair in the fire of inflation in Kazakhstan … Russia’s entry to extinguish the spark from oil : kazakhstan protest emergency fuel protests russia sent army to control and assist security personnel

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Kazakhstan
The Prime Minister’s chair went away because of the prices of petroleum products. Kazakhstan’s Prime Minister Askar Mamin has resigned from his post. President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev appointed Alikhan Smailov as acting prime minister. But the situation has not come under control.

Emergency in Kazakhstan from January 5-19
The anger of the people of Kazakhstan, already suffering due to Corona, erupted when the government increased the prices of petroleum. People came out of their homes and started committing violence. Government properties were set on fire. Eventually the government led by Askar Mamin resigned. Emergency has been imposed in the country from January 5 to January 19. Police also used tear gas along with lathi-charge to pacify the protesters. Now the Russian army has turned to Kazakhstan. Here a national crisis has arisen.

Kazakh security forces said on Thursday that dozens of protesters and at least eight government employees were killed during an operation to restore order in the main city, the BBC reported. Russia has sent its troops to control the situation and assist the security personnel. Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev requested the support of the Moscow-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a military alliance comprising Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

LPG price spark in power swaha
President Tokayev has declared a two-week state of emergency in Almaty as well as the western Mangystau state. Where thousands of protesters have been seen storming government buildings and clashing with police officers. Internet services were immediately shut down and messaging apps were banned. A few hours later Tokayev accepted the government’s resignation to quell the violent protests. Also ordered the acting cabinet to restore price control on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). But this decision of the President did not have the same effect as expected. Demonstrators continued to occupy Kazakhstan’s government buildings and police vehicles.

There is no shortage of petroleum products in Central Asian countries. Rather, they are rich countries in terms of oil. But here fuel prices doubled. Angry Kazakh citizens first took to the streets on Sunday. Then the government handed over the LPG used in vehicles to the market. Protests began in Zhanozhen, called Oil Town. After this, fire broke out all over the country. The protesters turned to violence. It is being called the biggest wave of protest in the history of Kazakhstan. The protesters demanded the resignation of the government and reduction of cooking gas prices.

Political angle of protest on inflation
The protesters say that the increase in fuel prices will make food items more expensive. The people of the country are already suffering from inflation. Situations of hunger will arise. Last year alone, the inflation rate in the country was nine per cent. So far more than 200 people have been detained in the protests. It is being said that cheap fuel is just an excuse. There is great discontent among the people of Kazakhstan about rising inflation and inequality in income. Which worsened due to the coronavirus pandemic and lack of democracy. While there has been foreign investment of millions of dollars in the country.

The current government has also been widely criticized for the fundamental rights of citizens in Kazakhstan. There were reports of irregularities during the 2019 presidential election. The election was held after the country’s longtime Soviet-era leader Nursultan Nazarbayev was ousted from his post. After that Tokayev became the president. Who is considered as his chosen successor. However, the political status of Nazarbayev and his family did not diminish.

Slogans of ‘old man, go away’ echoing in Kazakhstan
The protest triggered by oil prices reached the boycott of the elections. Where citizens were openly criticizing the government in a country where dissent against the government is rarely tolerated. The displeasure of most people is towards Nazarbayev. Who is still considered the last ruler of the country. Slogans of ‘old man, go away’ are echoing in Kazakhstan. Tokayev sacked the country’s prime minister and his cabinet hours after declaring a state of emergency in Almaty and Mangistau. After this, he appointed the country’s first Deputy Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov as the caretaker prime minister. In a televised address, he announced that he would replace Nazarbayev as the leader of the country’s Security Council. He also sacked the former president’s nephew Samat Abish as the first deputy chief of the country’s National Security Service.

Late on Tuesday, caretaker Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov assured the people of Kazakhstan that the authorities would soon reduce LPG prices to ensure stability in the country. According to The Guardian, he said that the interim government would impose a price cap of 50 ten (about 8 paise) per liter on LPG. Which is about half the current market value in Mangistau Province. He also urged executive cabinet ministers to expand price controls on gasoline, diesel and other important consumer goods. He condemned the protests, but said the situation in cities and towns has been improving steadily since the declaration of emergency. The recent crisis has caused much concern in neighboring Russia and China, both of which are also key strategic partners of Kazakhstan.

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