Kazakhstan Civilians Rebel against Unfair Fuel Charges

Kazakhstan Civilians Rebel against Unfair Fuel Charges

Nizar Masri, Staff Writer

Disgruntled civilians in Kazakhstan exploded in violence and protest after the removal of a price cap on fuel. Which is seen by many as the straw that broke the camel’s back of tensions in the country. Kazakhstan, a former soviet satellite in East Asia has been plagued with concerns such as lack of political and economic freedom, expensive living and unequal access to amenities. 

Garri Bekzhanev, Kazakh social advocate had much to say on the origins of the tensions, “What really sparked the mass unrest took place in the town of Janaozen. This town produces oil profits, yet the people there are among the poorest in the country.”  (crimethinc.com) “There are also serious problems in Kazakhstan: lack of clean water in villages, environmental issues, people living in debt, public mistrust, corruption and nepotism in a system in which any objection can easily be shut down.”

The new year has only made matters worse for citizens as extrajudicial laws and measures have been put into place as soon as the 1st. The protestors have so far burned the president’s place of residence and an administrative building in the capital. In the first couple days of protest which began at local armories and police stations, civilians even went so far as to capture Kazakh military. They did this through capturing light and heavy weaponry from buildings they overran.

After 10 days of triumphant protest Russia’s superior military came in to intervene and brought a quick stifling of what looked like a promising rebellion. Only time will tell what lies in the future for the young 30-year-old country. A country that has been defined by turbulent regime change. We can only watch how events unfold from here and whether the grievances of the Kazakh people get addressed.