Dramatic scenes from Kazakhstan’s massive protests and crackdown : The Picture Show : NPR


A person holding the flag of Kazakhstan rallies with other protesters on Wednesday near a police line in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Protesters denouncing soaring liquefied petroleum gas prices clashed with police in Kazakhstan’s largest city and staged protests in a dozen other cities across the country.

Vladimir Tretyakov / AP


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Vladimir Tretyakov / AP

This week, Kazakhstan has seen some of its biggest public protests since gaining independence from the Soviet Union more than 30 years ago – and a deadly crackdown by its authoritarian government in response. The president said on Friday that he allowed security forces to shoot to kill.

Protests began earlier this year in a small oil town after a sudden and significant increase in the price of a type of fuel widely used in vehicles in Kazakhstan. Since then, tens of thousands of people have joined the protests, signaling wider discontent with the economy and authoritarian rule in the Central Asian country. President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev called the protesters “terrorists”.


Riot police march to disperse protesters gathered in Almaty on Wednesday.

Vladimir Tretyakov / AP


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Vladimir Tretyakov / AP

Protesters torched cars and government buildings. The victims have increased, including dozens of demonstrators and the police. A Russian-led regional security alliance has sent troops to the country.

Here are some pictures of the dramatic scenes that unfolded this week.


The mayor’s office in Almaty, Kazakhstan, one of many government buildings set on fire by protesters.

Valery Sharifulin / TASS via Getty Images


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Valery Sharifulin / TASS via Getty Images


Protesters attend a rally in Almaty on Tuesday after rising energy prices.

Abduaziz Madyarov / AFP via Getty Images


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Abduaziz Madyarov / AFP via Getty Images


Protesters attend a rally in Almaty on Tuesday after rising energy prices.

Abduaziz Madyarov / AFP via Getty Images


A man attacks a police minibus during protests on Tuesday that followed the sudden rise in liquefied petroleum gas prices.

Pavel Mikheyev / Reuters


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Pavel Mikheyev / Reuters


A police car on fire during a demonstration in Almaty on Wednesday.

Pavel Mikheyev / Reuters


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Pavel Mikheyev / Reuters


A police car on fire during a demonstration in Almaty on Wednesday.

Pavel Mikheyev / Reuters


Kazakh law enforcement agents arrested a man during a demonstration in Almaty on Wednesday.

Pavel Mikheyev / Reuters


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Pavel Mikheyev / Reuters


Smoke rises from City Hall during a protest in Almaty, Kazakhstan on Wednesday. Kazakh news site Zakon said many protesters who converged on the building were carrying batons and shields.

Yan Blagov / AP


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Yan Blagov / AP


Troops in the main square where hundreds of people demonstrated on Thursday.

Mariya Gordeyeva / Reuters


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Mariya Gordeyeva / Reuters


A man takes a photo of the windows of a police kiosk damaged by protesters during a protest in Almaty, Kazakhstan on Wednesday.

Vladimir Tretyakov / AP


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Vladimir Tretyakov / AP


A riot police officer stands ready to arrest protesters during a protest in Almaty, Kazakhstan on Wednesday.

Vladimir Tretyakov / AP


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Vladimir Tretyakov / AP


Left: Protesters drive a truck during a demonstration; Right: A protester tries to disassemble a security camera from a pole during a protest in Almaty, Kazakhstan on Wednesday.

Vladimir Tretyakov / AP


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Vladimir Tretyakov / AP


A police car on fire as riot police prepare to arrest protesters in central Almaty, Kazakhstan on Wednesday. Local media reported that police broke up a demonstration of around 1,000 and arrested protesters Tuesday evening in Almaty.

Vladimir Tretyakov / AP


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Vladimir Tretyakov / AP


Protesters take part in a rally in Almaty on Wednesday.

Abduaziz Madyarov / AFP via Getty Images


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Abduaziz Madyarov / AFP via Getty Images


A man walks his dog near a burnt out car that was set on fire during the unrest. Following a meeting between a government commission and protesters, the price of liquefied petroleum gas fell, but some protests continued.

Valery Sharifulin / TASS via Getty Images


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Valery Sharifulin / TASS via Getty Images

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