Many Kazakhs have converted their cars to run on LPG, which is far cheaper than gasoline as a vehicle fuel in Kazakhstan because of price caps. But the government argued the low price was unsustainable and lifted the caps on January 1.
After the price of the fuel spiked, rallies involving thousands of people erupted on January 2 in the town of Zhanaozen, an oil hub and site of deadly clashes between protesters and police a decade ago.
Demonstrations spread to other parts of surrounding Mangistau province and western Kazakhstan, including provincial center Aktau and a worker camp used by sub-contractors of Kazakhstan’s biggest oil producer, Tengizchevroil. The Chevron-led venture said output had not been affected.
In Almaty, police appeared to have taken control of the main square shortly after deploying flashbang grenades, according to online video streams from the area. But explosions were heard for hours on nearby streets and in other parts of the city.
Videos published online showed torched police cars in the city, as well as armored vehicles moving through one of its main thoroughfares.
在星期二晚上, the government announced it was restoring the price cap of 50 tenge (11 cents) per liter, or less than half the market price, in Mangistau province.
Public protests are illegal in the country of 19 million unless their organizers file a notice in advance.
Tokayev, the hand-picked successor of Soviet-era Communist boss Nursultan Nazarbayev who stepped down in 2019, faces no political opposition in Parliament.
The President said on Twitter on Tuesday that he would hold a government meeting the following day to discuss the protesters’ 需要. He urged protesters to behave responsibly.