Kazakh crisis: President Tokaev orders 'shooting on sight'
Anarchy reigns in Almaty. In television announcements, the capital is no longer called 'Nur-Sultan'. Due to the state of emergency curfew, Orthodox Christmas celebrations were held only during the day.
Moscow (AsiaNews) - The authorities of Kazakhstan have announced that they have restored order after street protests. President Tokaev has assured them on television that "there will be no negotiations with terrorists", and that he has given orders to the police to "shoot at sight without warning" against the demonstrators. In Baikonur, the Kazakh city where Russia's astronautic base is located, groups of more than three people are forbidden to move in the streets.
In Almaty, however, anarchy still reigns, with gunfire and corpses on the streets, shops and ATMs destroyed throughout the city; Russian militias have placed snipers on the roofs of houses to respond to opponents.
Former president Nursultan Nazarbaev has reportedly left the country, while only his brother Bulat, who looks after the economic interests of the Nazarbaev clan, remains in the family.
In television advertisements, the capital is no longer called 'Nur-Sultan', the name given in honour of Nazarbaev, but only 'capital of Kazakhstan'.
One of the theories put forward by some media to explain the riots is that it is a 'plot by the Salafists', a radical current of Kazakh Islam, to which Abiš Samat Satybaldjuly, nephew of former President Nazarbayev, who was removed as vice-president of the country's Security Council on 7th January, belongs.
Russian Defence Major General Igor Konašenkov announced that a bridge consisting of more than 70 Il-76 aircraft and five An-124s is relentlessly transporting soldiers for the Csto's contingent of "peacekeepers" in Kazakhstan, in command of whom General Andrei Serdjukov, one of the heads of the Russian armies that "controlled" the annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014, has been appointed. The Russians have taken control of the Almaty airport. Russian soldiers will be joined in the next few days by contingents from Armenia, Belarus, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.
The Orthodox Christmas celebrations in Kazakhstan took place only during the day, due to the night curfew for the state of emergency. Patriarch Kirill of Moscow wished peace to the faithful of Kazakhstan, calling the country 'part of historical Russia'.