Kazakhstan: At least 164 killed and thousands injured in mass protests over rising prices, low wages and corruption
Protests and violence have erupted in Kazakhstan, resulting in 164 deaths and thousand of injuries, according to official state sources.
While unrest was initially sparked by a sudden hike in the price of liquified petroleum gas, demonstrators soon cited other grievances—including low wages, increasing cost of living, corruption, unemployment and severe income inequality. Even after the government promised to lower the petroleum prices, protestors were not satisfied, with many saying they did not believe changes would be made.
The protests began in Zhanaozen—which recently commemorated the tenth anniversary of deadly government violence against striking oil workers. The demonstrations gained support in Mangistau, an oil-rich but poverty-stricken region, and spread throughout the entire country. The situation further intensified and became violent in Almaty, Kazakhstan's largest city. An estimated 5,000 people have been arrested, and Russian forces have been called into the country to quell the unrest.
The situation has arisen after years of human rights allegations related to businesses, growing protests and restrictions on labour rights in the country.