ALMATY/JAN. 5 (The Bulletin) – Anti-government protesters stormed the Almaty mayor’s office and the office of the ruling Nur Otan party on Wednesday, an escalation of demonstrations which started against fuel price rises that have shaken Kazakhstan over the past few days.
Bulletin correspondents also said that police dressed in military fatigues had fired rubber bullets at protesters.
The scenario in Kazakhstan is deteriorating quickly. Protesters now appear to have taken an upper hand in the battle for control of the streets in Kazakhstan, storming key strongholds. The Kazakh government has imposed a State of Emergency in Nur Sultan, adding to ones already imposed in Almaty and West Kazakhstan, to try and exert more control but video online showed a group of policemen or soldiers surrendering to protesters and the Kazakh government website now appears to have stopped working.
It may be premature to call this a revolution yet, but it is not premature to say that this is the most serious threat to power that the Kazakh elite have had to deal with since independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
By James Kilner
Editor, The Bulletin