Kazakhstan president says 'attempted coup' defeated - GulfToday

Kazakhstan president says 'attempted coup' defeated


A woman films a building, which was burnt during mass protests triggered by fuel price increase, in Almaty. Reuters

Kazakhstan's President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said his country had defeated an attempted coup d'etat during historic violence last week, and insisted that Russian-led troops called in to help quell the unrest would go home "soon."

During a video conference of leaders from several ex-Soviet countries in a military alliance that sent in the troops, Tokayev's Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin confirmed they would leave as soon as their mission ended.

Tokayev told the video conference that "armed militants" had used the backdrop of protests to try to seize power. "The main goal was obvious: the undermining of the constitutional order, the destruction of government institutions and the seizure of power. It was an attempted coup d'etat," Tokayev said.

Almatyprotest Protesters gather in a square outside an administration office in Aktau. AFP

The Moscow-led Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) has deployed just over 2,000 troops and 250 pieces of military hardware, the Kazakh leader said, vowing that the detachment soon would leave the country.

Putin told Monday's meeting that "a contingent of CSTO peacekeeping forces has been sent to Kazakhstan — and I want to emphasise this — for a limited time period."

He said measures taken by the CSTO showed that its members would not allow "so-called colour revolutions" to break out in Russia's backyard.

Large protests, Putin added, were "used by destructive forces from outside and inside the country."

The government said on Monday that foreign media reports had created "the false impression that the Kazakhstan government has been targeting peaceful protesters."

Tokayev said in the meeting that his country's security personnel "have never fired and will never fire on peaceful demonstrators".

He wrote on Twitter later Monday that he had a "productive" phone conversation with European Council President Charles Michel, during which he dismissed claims force was used against unarmed protesters and said Kazakhstan will "continue to strengthen (its) partnership with (the) EU."


Nearly 8,000 people in Kazakhstan were detained by police during protests that descended into violence last week and marked the worst unrest the former Soviet nation has faced since gaining independence 30 years ago, authorities said on Monday.

Kazakhstan-unrest Police officers detain a demonstrator during a protest in Almaty. AP

Kazakhstan's Interior Ministry reported that 7,939 people have been detained across the country. The National Security Committee, Kazakhstan’s counterintelligence and anti-terrorism agency, said Monday the situation has "stabilised and is under control.”

Monday was declared a day of mourning for the victims of the violent unrest, which the health ministry says killed 164 people, including three children.

The demonstrations began on Jan. 2 over a near-doubling of prices for vehicle fuel and quickly spread across the country, with political slogans reflecting wider discontent with Kazakhstan's authoritarian government.



Related articles