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Nazarbayev is still in Kazakhstan – nra.lv

A spokesman for the former president of Kazakhstan said on Saturday that he was still in the capital, rejecting rumors that Nursultan Nazarbayev had left the country.

Aidos Ukibay said on Twitter that Nazarbayev had “direct contact” with the current president, Kasim Zhomart Tokayev, who had so far been seen as an insert for his predecessor.

Nazarbayev “urges everyone to unite around the president of Kazakhstan to overcome the current challenges and ensure the indivisibility of the country,” Ukibayev writes.

He also called for the dissemination of “deliberately false and speculative information”, apparently pointing to unconfirmed reports that Nazarbayev had fled the country.

The 81-year-old former president, who was declared a “national leader” after his unexpected resignation in 2019 and has largely retained de facto power since the start of the protests this week, which took over the whole of Kazakhstan, has so far not been revealed or commented on .

Protests against the sharp rise in liquefied gas prices reportedly began on Sunday in Zhanaozen, in the southwest of the country.

In the following days, however, protests took over the whole of Kazakhstan, and political demands began to emerge alongside economic ones. The protesters demanded, among other things, the complete departure of former President Nursultan Nazarbayev and his clan from the leadership of the state.

Peaceful protests soon escalated into clashes with security services. As well as seizing government buildings, attacks on police stations and looting of shops began.

The Russian-controlled military alliance of the former USSR, or the Collective Security Treaty Organization (ODKB), sent “peacekeepers” to Kazakhstan in response to Tokayev’s request, and the regime now appears to have regained control of the streets of the troubled cities.

Both members of the security services and protesters have been killed in the crackdown on protests.

On Saturday, the Interior Ministry announced that 4404 people had been detained for participating in riots.

Meanwhile, the National Security Committee (CSC) said on Saturday that former KNB chairman Karim Masimov, a close associate of Nazarbayev, had been arrested on suspicion of “treason” and had lost his post as a result of protests.

At the start of the protests, Nazarbayev himself was replaced by Tokayev as chairman of the Security Council.

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