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3 Jan 2022

RFE/RL's Kazakh Service

Kazakhstan: Dramatic price hike for liquefied petroleum gas triggers mass protests

Sharp Energy Price Hike Triggers Protests In Kazakhstan, 3 January 2022

Hundreds of people in the western Kazakh region of Mangystau have protested for a second straight day against a sudden, dramatic hike in prices for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) used in vehicles.

More than 1,000 people rallied in the town of Zhanaozen’s main square on January 3 after protesters spent the night there, complaining that the price increase will lead to knock-on effects to the prices of other daily commodities such as food.

Dozens of demonstrators also voiced anger in Aqtau, the regional administrative center, after spending the night in the open...

Smaller demonstrations were also held in villages in the Mangystau region, as well as in several cities and towns elsewhere in the Central Asian country in support of the protesters, including in the capital, Nur-Sultan, where at least three people were detained.

The price per liter of LPG jumped to 120 tenge (28 U.S. cents) at gas stations in Mangystau at the start of this year, compared with a price of 50-60 tenge (12-14 cents) in 2021.

President Qasym-Zhomart Toqaev warned the protesters against violating the restrictive law on public gatherings, while the government said it would “implement a package of measures to regulate” LPG prices.

The owners of gas stations in the Mangystau region have agreed to reduce the gas price to 85-90 tenge (20-21 cents) per liter, the government said in a statement...

The protesters said they would continue their protest until the price of gas is reduced to 60 tenge...