Home News Kazakhstan: a heavy human and material toll after a week of riots

Kazakhstan: a heavy human and material toll after a week of riots


Huge financial damage, tens of deaths, thousands of injuries and nearly 6,000 arrests. Here is the consequent assessment drawn up by the Kazakh government this Sunday, January 9, one week to the day after the start of the riots in Kazakhstan.

Originally, a protest linked to the increase in gas prices began in the provinces last Sunday, before reaching the economic capital Akmaty and turning into a riot. Faced with violent protesters, the government first compromised before responding with violence by firing live ammunition into the crowd.

While it is difficult to establish an accurate human toll, at least 164 people have died in the riots, including 103 in the economic capital Almaty, several media reported on Sunday, citing the Ministry of Health. A little earlier, the country’s authorities had mentioned 26 demonstrators killed and more than a thousand injured, while the police deplored 16 deaths and more than 1,300 injured in their ranks.

In a statement released in the morning, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev reported 5,800 arrests, “including a significant number of foreign nationals”, carried out as part of 125 separate investigations.

Immense material damage

According to the Ministry of the Interior, the total material damage was estimated at nearly 175 million euros after the numerous degradations observed throughout the country.

This same source recorded more than 400 vehicles destroyed and more than 100 businesses and banks looted across the country.

A gradual return to normal

“Today, the situation is stabilized in all regions of the country”, assured the Minister of the Interior Erlan Tourgoumbaïev, indicating nevertheless that “the antiterrorist operation continues to restore order in the country”.

The reopening of around 30 supermarkets in Almaty this Sunday was the first sign of a gradual return to normal in Kazakhstan.

However, shortages are to be feared in the days to come, especially with regard to gasoline, with the many queues observed at gas stations in the city.