On January 2, protesters in the oil town of Zhanaozen, Kazakhstan began a wave of mass demonstrations protesting an increase in gas prices implemented on New Year’s Day.
The protests quickly spread nationwide, and the country’s current president called on Russia and other regional allies to send troops and issued a “shoot to kill without warning” order. Over two hundred people were killed, thousands were injured, and nearly 10,000 were arrested.
The intensity of this mass uprising in Kazakhstan suggests a deep current of discontent beyond gas prices. To help us understand these developments, Thursday host Allen Ruff spends the hour with researcher Paul Stronski.
Paul Stronski is a senior fellow in the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where his research focuses on the relationship between Russia and neighboring countries in Central Asia and the South Caucasus.