While the killing of the Kazakh security forces continued, gunshots and bodies were reported on the streets of Almaty throughout the night
A deadly raid by the Kazakh security forces reportedly shot all night and bodies were lying on the street as Vladimir Putin’s troops secured Almaty airport.
Another 24 hours of unrest rocked the nation amid fears of a growing death toll after protests sparked by rising fuel prices began over the weekend.
Authorities, backed by thousands of Russian troops, claimed they had restored order to the city administrations just before more gunfire broke out in the early hours of the morning.
The country has been hit by a media and internet blackout with all television channels airing, creating an information vacuum.
Moscow state television said fighters from the Middle East and Afghanistan, possibly with Western support, were responsible for the deadly chaos in the country, despite having no evidence to support their claims.
Several protesters were believed to have been armed with guns and Molotov cocktails in the clashes last night.
It comes after a recent televised address in which President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said he ordered security forces to shoot protesters without warning.
In the same address, he blamed foreign terrorists for the riot without producing any evidence and said “20,000 bandits” had attacked Almaty, the epicenter of the protests.
Alma Orazbaeva, head of the Khabar-24 news office in Almaty, said: “We are totally cut off, no television, the internet barely works.
“The only reliable source we have is our colleague. She lives on the square and can see what is happening from her window.
“She said on the phone that there was shooting all night, with shouting. Some protesters hid in the building of the TV station Mir, which is located in the square …
“Two bodies can be seen in the square, right on the square, these are obviously the first victims.”
Vladimir Vorsobin, a special reporter for the Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda, also reported on the slaughter in the central square.
He said that there were “bodies, many bodies” there.
He added, “They didn’t even remove them from the cars parked on Nazarbayev Avenue.
“The military is in the field, shooting and scare the people away. Locals say they shot the windows, the buildings next to the square …
“This is the result of yesterday’s breakup of a small peaceful demonstration.
“People came with posters ‘We’re a peaceful rally,’ but the military … came to end this with firearms.
Khabar24 / east2west news)
“I’m not sure they’ll end it because people are outraged.
“They say where they were when the looters were here, why? [the military] Don’t defend the city from them, shoot civilians now …
“In my opinion, the situation in Almaty is only getting more complicated.”
A correspondent for the Russian broadcaster RBC confirmed what Vorsobin said about bodies on the square.
Russian Defense Ministry / AFP via)
They confirmed that there were several deaths, but added that a “clearing process” had been initiated.
He added that some cars had gunshots and dead bodies on them, and that the army would shoot into the air if anyone tried to approach now to scare them away.
In the same city, a video shows how a convoy ambushed by National Guards was destroyed yesterday.
The smoldering wreckage of three military trucks was filmed on a freeway.
Another video shows a bullet-riddled car amid allegations – which could not be independently verified – that it and other battered vehicles were part of an intelligence convoy.
After a call for help from the ailing Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Russian troops are initially on the ground in Kazakhstan.
Paratroopers flew in as part of a “peacekeeping force” of the former Soviet Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).
Russian politicians and state media made it clear how the Kremlin sees the Kazakh unrest when it sends troops to the ex-Soviet republic.
Several experts have suggested that Russia will use the crisis and its peacekeeping role to restore its former power over Kazakhstan with its rich mineral resources.
The protesters were branded as “looters”, “criminals” and “angry mob” by mainstream television channels.
The deputy spokesman for the Russian upper house, Konstantin Kosachyov, a close ally of Putin, told NTV that fighters of alleged fighters from the Middle East and Afghanistan were involved in the uprising.
Channel 1 backed the Afghan fighter’s claim.
Channel Rossiya 1 quoted Russian military commentator Viktor Murakhovsky as saying that Western intelligence services “continue to use a number of terrorist, Wahhabi and radical Islamist organizations on their behalf”.
AFP via Getty Images)
A report told viewers: “The fighters are united in well-organized cohorts.”
The rioters “acted harmoniously and received clear instructions from the outside”.
Dmitry Kolezev, editor-in-chief of the online magazine Republic.ru, said Russia’s influence in Kazakhstan will increase once order is restored.
“Tokayev’s dependence on another seasoned autocrat, Vladimir Putin, is likely to increase,” he said.
“For the Kremlin, instability in Kazakhstan is not only a peripheral threat, but also an opportunity to increase its influence in the neighboring state.”