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Possibility of protests in Almaty; Kazakhstan security forces on high alert

FILE PHOTO: Kazakh service members patrol a street following recent protests triggered by fuel price increase in Almaty, Kazakhstan January 12, 2022. REUTERS/Pavel Mikheyev

On Wednesday, security personnel in Kazakhstan’s largest city Almaty shut numerous downtown streets and fenced off one of the city’s squares as an opposition group planned to stage rallies.

The news: This month, the oil-rich Central Asian nation was rocked by the greatest outbreak of violence in its post-Soviet history, with at least 225 people killed, the most of them in Almaty.

  • On Wednesday, a group led by Mukhtar Ablyazov, a former Kazakh banker turned exiled government critic, said that rallies will be held outside local government offices across the country’s 19 million people.
  • Ablyazov’s political movement, Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan, was found to be extreme by a Kazakh court.
  • Almaty police stated they were conducting an “anti-terrorist operation.”
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