News ID: 319299
Published: 0156 GMT January 10, 2022

Kazakh president says has weathered attempted coup

Kazakh president says has weathered attempted coup

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said on Monday that his country had weathered an attempted coup d'etat coordinated by "a single centre" after the most violent unrest since the Soviet collapse.

In a speech to an online meeting of the Russian-led CSTO military alliance by video link, Tokayev said that order had now been restored in Kazakhstan, but that the hunt for "terrorists" was ongoing, Reuters reported.

"Under the guise of spontaneous protests, a wave of unrest broke out... It became clear that the main goal was to undermine the constitutional order and to seize power. We are talking about an attempted coup d'etat," he said.

Demonstrations against a fuel price rise began just over a week ago before erupting into a wider protest against Tokayev's government and the man he replaced as president, 81-year-old Nursultan Nazarbayev.

"The main blow was directed against (the city of) Almaty. The fall of this city would have paved the way for a takeover of the densely populated south and then the whole country," he said. "Then they planned to seize the capital."

Tokayev said that a large-scale "counter-terrorism" operation would soon end along with a CSTO mission that he said numbered 2,030 troops and 250 pieces of military hardware.

Tokayev defended his decision to invite Russian-led troops into the country and said that doubts over the legitimacy of that mission stemmed from a lack of information. Sixteen members of the security forces were killed, while the number of civilian casualties is still being checked, he said.


Support from Moscow, Beijing


Russian President Vladimir Putin hailed victory in defending Kazakhstan from a foreign-backed terrorist uprising, and promised leaders of other ex-Soviet states that a Moscow-led alliance would protect them too.

Russia sent paratroopers last week to protect strategic facilities after anti-government protesters ransacked and torched public buildings.

Putin told the CSTO summit that the body had managed to "prevent the undermining of the foundations of the state, the complete degradation of the internal situation in Kazakhstan, and block terrorists, criminals, looters and other criminal elements."

"Of course, we understand the events in Kazakhstan are not the first and far from the last attempt to interfere in the internal affairs of our states from the outside," he said. "The measures taken by the CSTO have clearly shown we will not allow the situation to be rocked at home."

China also threw its support behind Kazakhstan’s government. China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi in a call to his Kazakhstan's counterpart Mukhtar Tileuberdi said China is willing to increase "law enforcement and security" cooperation with neighbouring Kazakhstan and help oppose interference by "external forces". 

"Recent turmoil in Kazakhstan shows that the situation in Central Asia is still facing severe challenges, and it once again proves that some external forces do not want peace and tranquility in our region," the ministry quoted Wang telling Tileuberdi.







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