Kazakhstan authorities say situation stabilized after deadly violence

Kazakhstan authorities on Sunday said the situation in the country had stabilized following deadly violence across the nation.

The office of President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev announced that authorities had secured control of administrative buildings in the country that were overrun by protesters, according to The Associated Press. Some of the buildings had reportedly been set on fire.

Security and intelligence personnel told Tokayev that “clean-up” efforts were still underway, according to Reuters.

Protests first broke out in Kazakhstan in response to a sharp increase in liquified natural gas prices earlier in the week, and rapidly grew to become mass opposition against former Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who until the protests was serving as head of the country’s powerful Security Council.

Tokayev dismissed Nazarbayev from his post on Wednesday to tame the protests. Tokayev’s Cabinet also resigned.

The Collective Security Treaty Organization, led by Russia, sent troops to Kazakhstan to help bring stability on the request of Tokayev.

Troops from the group were guarding “strategic facilities,” according to Reuters.

A total of 164 people have been killed in the past week’s protests,  the AP noted.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday called for a “peaceful, rights-respecting resolution” to the protests in Kazakhstan during a call with the country’s top diplomat, Foreign Minister Mukhtar Tileuberdi.

The situation comes as tensions are rising between the U.S. and Russia, with a main focus on Ukraine. Russia’s assistance in the situation in Kazakhstan, a strategic U.S. partner, has posed a difficulty for the U.S., which is attempting to unite allies in a position of strength against Moscow in regards to Ukraine.

Russia has amassed a large troop presence on the border with Ukraine, which has worried some countries that it is planning an invasion. Russia, however, has denied such plans.

Tags Antony Blinken

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