The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kyrgyzstan on January 9 called on the Kazakh authorities to release the Kyrgyz musician Vikram Ruzakhunov, who was detained on suspicion of participation in the pogroms.
“Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic Azizbek Madmarov handed the Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan Rapil Zhoshybayev a note on the detention of citizen Ruzakhunov with a call to provide consular access to the detainee and to release him as soon as possible,” the message says.
According to the press service of the ministry, the ambassador of Kazakhstan said that the concern of the Kyrgyz side would be “promptly brought to the attention of the leadership” of the Kazakh Foreign Ministry and promised to provide “more detailed information as soon as possible.”
He stressed that in the current “difficult situation, the competent authorities of Kazakhstan will conduct a thorough investigation to clarify all the circumstances and reasons for what happened.”
In addition, the parties held consultations on this issue at the level of deputy foreign ministers.
In the morning of the same day, Kazakh state television channels broadcast an interview with a man who said that he was a citizen of Kyrgyzstan and flew to Kazakhstan to participate in the rally. According to him, unknown people bought him a ticket, settled him in a rented apartment in Almaty and promised $ 200 for participating in the protests.
The founder of the High-Tech Park of Kyrgyzstan, Azis Abakirov, identified the detained as the well-known jazz musician Vikram Ruzakhunov, who often flew to the neighboring country for concerts.
Later, the chairman of the State Committee for National Security (GKNB) of Kyrgyzstan, Kamchybek Tashiev, said that the Kyrgyz authorities had sent a note to Kazakhstan in connection with the detention of a Kyrgyz citizen by Kazakhstani security forces on suspicion of involvement in terrorism. Erbol Sultanbaev, press secretary of the President of Kyrgyzstan, also expressed concern about attempts to portray the Kyrgyz musician detained in Kazakhstan as a destructive element.
Also on Sunday, about 150 people rallied in front of the Kazakh embassy in Bishkek demanding the immediate release of Ruzakhunov.
Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov allowed the participation of citizens of the country in the riots in Kazakhstan.
Protests in Kazakhstan began on January 2. Participants of the rallies opposed the rise in prices for liquefied gas. The actions soon escalated into riots.
The situation has become especially aggravated in the largest city of the country – Alma-Ata. The protesters broke into the administration building, set fire to the building of the prosecutor’s office and the office of the ruling party.
In addition, radical protesters armed themselves and began looting, destroying shops, pharmacies and banks in the city. The criminals ransacked the offices of five TV channels, tried to attack a pre-trial detention center in the city of Taldykorgan and attempted to enter the territory of a military unit in the Aktobe region.
The President of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev, noted that the seized government offices were terrorist groups. He added that the bandits who caused the riots had received extensive training abroad.
The commandant’s office in Alma-Ata also stated that the violent actions of the attackers testified to the terrorist and extremist nature of the bandit formations.
A resident of Nur-Sultan called the events in Alma-Ata looting and massacre, not a peaceful protest.
The presidential administration of the country noted that among the militants operating in Alma-Ata there were snipers with special rifles.
On January 5, the President of Kazakhstan announced that he had applied to the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO, which includes Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Armenia) for help in overcoming the terrorist threat. After that, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, who holds the post of CSTO chairman, announced that the organization would send collective peacekeeping forces to the republic for a limited period of time to stabilize the situation.
On January 9, the CSTO collective peacekeeping forces completed their deployment in Kazakhstan and began to perform their tasks. In particular, peacekeepers guard military, state and socially significant facilities in Almaty and neighboring regions.
Il-76 and An-124 planes with Russian peacekeepers and equipment arrived in the republic. In addition, Belarusian peacekeepers arrived in Kazakhstan. Also, peacekeepers from Kyrgyzstan and Armenia were delivered to the republic.
CSTO peacekeepers help Kazakhstani law enforcement officers ensure the safety of life support facilities, social infrastructure, and airports.