Moroccan Minister of Endowments and Islamic Affairs Meets with Undersecretary of Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs    Saudi Ambassador to The Philippines Meets with Filipino Minister for National Commission on Muslim Filipinos    Al-Shagdali Meets Secretary-General of Red Sea Investors Association    Weather Forecast for Friday    HRH Crown Prince Crowns Winner Al-Fayhaa with the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques' Cup 2021/2022    Jeddah Season 2022 Launches Japanese "Anime Village" with Largest Cosplay Parade    Taif Rose Festival Attracts Nearly 1 Million Visitors, Concludes with Great Success    Saudi Arabia Heads to Cannes International Film Festival to Promote Country's Flourishing Industry and Support Emerging Talent on World Stage    King, Crown Prince congratulate President Paul Biya on Cameroon's National Day    Saudi Arabia delivers humanitarian aid worth $3.2 million to Philippines    Capital Economics expects Saudi economy to grow 10% in 2022    ZATCA clarifies conditions for buying and bringing cars from abroad    Sri Lanka defaults on debt for first time in its history    Global economic growth downgraded due to spillover from Ukraine war    Saudi Arabia took important steps to enhance food security, says minister    Nations must act together to end crisis of food insecurity: UN chief    India seeks to win public trust in crisis-hit Sri Lanka    Russian soldier pleads guilty in first war crimes trial of Ukraine conflict    Three Professors Win 2022 IsDB Prize for Impactful Achievement in Islamic Economics    Saudi Arabia bags two gold medals at GCC Games    Salman bin Ibrahim to seek third term at AFC helm    US Soccer equalizes pay in milestone with women, men    Prince Khalid, Austin review Saudi-US defense ties    Hospital admissions for eating disorders soar in Britain    Saudis in Cannes: Promoting country's flourishing film industry    Saudi Stock Exchange Main Index Ends Trading Lower at 12,427.96 Points    Japan Posts Trade Deficit of 839.2 Billion Yen in April    Asian Shares Fall    Prince Faisal, Lamamra review historical ties; discuss enhancing joint cooperation    Saudi Tourism Authority Signs Over 90 Agreements and MoU in Dubai ATM 2022    President of SAFF Participates in AFC General Assembly Meeting    36 films compete for 12 awards at Saudi Film Festival    Senegalese show support to Idrissa Gueye after homophobia accusations    Saudi Athletes Achieve Great Victories in the 2nd Day of the GCC Games Tournament in Kuwait    Kay Mellor: Actress and Fat Friends creator dies aged 71    Jazan Hosts West Asian Beach Soccer Championship    Over 250 Saudi Female and Male Players to Participate in Kuwait 3rd GCC Games on Friday    Bollywood actor's tweet reignited debate over Hindi as India's national language    SFDA Advises to Wash Dates Well Before Eating    SFDA Advises Against Mixing Surplus of Iftar and Suhoor with Different Foods or Surplus from Other Days    Ministry calls on imams to avoid long supplications in Tahajjud Prayer    Nothing wrong with a Muslim celebrating birthdays, says Saudi scholar    Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt: Bollywood wishes for star couple on wedding    SFDA Warns Against Microbes Accumulation on Coffee when Stored Incorrectly    Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques addresses citizens and all Muslims on the occasion of the Holy month of Ramadan    Pilgrims Perform Dhuhr and Asr Prayers at Arafat Holy Site    Council of Senior Scholars: Muslim Brothers' Group Don't Represent Method of Islam, rather only Follows its Partisan Objectives, Violating our Graceful Religion    Eid Al-Adha Prayer Performed at the Grand Holy Mosque    

Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.

Counting the cost of Kazakh protests
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 10 - 01 - 2022

The sound of the broken glass echoed as Andrey Mikhaylovich walked inside a looted shopping mall on the outskirts of Almaty, Kazakhstan's biggest city. Empty boxes, phone cases, shoes and other leftover goods were scattered everywhere, reports BBC.
Mikhaylovich runs a clothing shop with his son inside the mall. This is the first time he has visited it since the unrest started in Almaty on 4 January. Upon seeing the destruction, he was left speechless.
"They looted everything," he said. "In three days they took goods out and robbed the whole place. Our losses are massive. Many people are now left with nothing to live on."
The BBC team was approaching a motionless escalator when several gunshots stopped us. It was soldiers trying to chase some curious onlookers out from the mall. The soldiers now guard the area to prevent any more looting.
But there is not much left to protect.
"The marauders smashed the glass, broke into the building and went to crack cash machines open," said Yedil, a local resident, remembering the first nights of the clashes.
He came to help his friend protect his shop and goods.
"Of course, we were scared. They shot at us," Yedil said. "The guards at the mall tried to defend it with a hose but it was useless."
Looters set the building on fire in several places. "It was all in smoke here. We tried to put it out. We tried to call firefighters but phone lines were dead," Yedil remembers.
As he walked towards the main square of Almaty, the BBC correspondent counted three dead bodies inside cars.
"It is likely they were shot or died in a crash. One vehicle hit a tree and another one was lying in a ditch on its side. It looked like they suddenly lost control while trying to escape from something," Abdujalil Abdurasulov wrote.
"During the peak of the fighting, I sat in a hotel near the main square of Almaty and listened to the sounds of explosions, shooting and machine gun fire.
"I watched how the sky flashed from stun grenades and like many in Kazakhstan I was shocked by how quickly the violence spread."
Who were those people who clashed with security forces? Were they really protesters?
The government calls them bandits and terrorists, and they were reportedly armed.
Some of them tried to storm police stations and military units, hoping to seize their guns. In some cases, they were successful. They also broke into several firearms shops and looted them.
Demonstrators in western Kazakhstan, where the movement started, insist that their protest is peaceful and they do not support aggression. They blame the authorities for provoking the violence.
Dosym Satpayev, a political analyst from Almaty believes that at the core of the violent mob that attacked security forces and seized buildings are unemployed young people from poor families who hijacked the protests.
"If you look around big cities of Kazakhstan, you will find a lot of unemployed young people and this is potentially an aggressive mass," he says.
"And now these people tried to use the events in Almaty for their own interests."
Economic grievances were certainly one of the major factors that fuelled the protests in Kazakhstan.
The public's anger with the authoritarian system, which has failed to improve the quality of life, has been growing over the past few years.
In 2019, when Kazakhstan's first president Nursultan Nazarbayev announced his resignation after being in power for 30 years, there was excitement that change was imminent.
But Nazarbayev's successor, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, was seen as loyal to Nazarbayev. This only increased public discontent and the January fuel price hike triggered the mass demonstrations.
But some observers argue that the public's grievances do not explain why these protests turned so violent.
They believe it is the power struggle between current and former presidents that led to these clashes. While r Nazarbayev still holds such strong influence on the political stage, Tokayev does not have full power.
Many also believe the recent arrest of Karim Masimov, a former secret service chief and a close ally of Nazarbayev is an illustration of this power struggle.
The competition for power within the elite poses a serious threat for Kazakhstan's stability, says Satpayev. However, the power struggle is not necessarily between the two leaders but perhaps among those who belong to their "inner circle", he argues.

Clic here to read the story from its source.