Afp, Ap, Reuters and Sputnik

La Jornada newspaper
Sunday, January 9, 2022, p. 18

Almaty. Karim Masimov, former head of Kazakhstan’s national intelligence services, was arrested on Thursday on charges of high treason, in the context of violent anti-government protests, which the authorities consider to be the work of terrorists with foreign support, it emerged yesterday.

According to the British newspaper The Guardian, the arrest was announced in a statement by the Committee for National Security, a body he led until his dismissal by President Kassym Jomart Tokayev on Wednesday, after an investigation began into the aforementioned charges and that the Protesters stormed several government buildings in Almaty, the economic capital of the country.

The also former prime minister was placed in a temporary detention center, along with others, the text of the body, successor to the Soviet KGB and responsible for counterintelligence, the border guard service and anti-terrorist activities, pointed out without giving further details.

Tokayev, with a state decree, dismissed the undersecretary of the Security Council, Azamat Abdimomunov, reported the presidential press office, reported the Russian news agency Sputnik.

The series of events would be an indication of Tokayev’s intention to make profound changes in a political system still heavily influenced by the former president and leader of the country for almost 30 years Nursultán Nazarbayev, who was recently removed as president of the Security Council.

Nazarbayev remains in the country despite rumors of exile and is in close contact with current authorities to manage the crisis, according to his spokesman, Adjos Ukibay.

Russia maintains its collaboration with law enforcement agencies

Almost a week after the protests began, Russian President Vladimir Putin had a long telephone conversation with Tokayev, who reported that the situation was stabilizing.

At the same time, hotbeds of terrorist attacks persist. Therefore, the fight will continue with full determination, said the Kazakh leader. The president called for a deployment of troops from the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization to help local security forces.

The two leaders exchanged views on measures to restore order in Kazakhstan, the Kremlin declared, adding that they agreed to maintain permanent contact.

Tokayev says the deployment will be temporary, but US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned on Friday that the country may have a difficult time getting the Russians to withdraw.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has received hundreds of requests from its compatriots in the former Soviet republic following violent clashes between protesters and security forces in the last week. Although the protests began over the near doubling of LP gas prices at the beginning of the year, their spread and intense violence indicated widespread discontent in the country led by the same party for more than 30 years.

26 civilians and 18 agents die in protests

According to local authorities, 26 protesters were killed by security forces in this week’s riots, and 18 officers were killed. More than 4,400 people have been arrested, the Interior Ministry reported.

Tokayev signed the decree declaring January 10 as a day of national mourning for the victims of recent events.