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TV channels shut down in Kazakhstan, Russian troops arrive
 06 Jan 2022
At least three TV channels in Kazakhstan temporarily stopped broadcasting due to massive protests. The branch of the Mir channel in Almaty was attacked, RBC reports.

The KTK channel also suspended its broadcasts, as Alexey Ryblov, editor-in-chief of the information programs directorate, told the publication. He explained that the channel received a signal from the guards that electricity in the building would be cut off. Employees had to evacuate before the power outage.

Demonstrators with truncheons also seized the office building of the Mir24 TV channel (the Mir branch of the CIS) and demanded to go live, Orda.kz reports. They held the journalists for an hour and then took them outside. Glass and doors are broken in the building. The broadcaster reported about damaged television equipment during the acts of violence, but the employees are safe.

Kazakhstan's Channel 31, which is co-owned by the Russian National Media Group, canceled the evening news release of the Informburo due to protests, employees are being evacuated, the channel reported on Telegram.

The protests in Kazakhstan began on January 2 after a double-fold increase in the price of liquefied gas. In several regions of the country, including Alamty, demonstrators seized akimats (city administrations). They set fire to government buildings and clash with security officials.

A state of emergency and a curfew have been declared throughout the country.

The Internet was turned off in Kazakhstan against the background of protests, it follows from the data of the NetBlocks organization. The company said Kazakhstan is close to a nationwide outage following temporary disruptions on the previous day.

Last night, Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev appealed for the intervention of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a military alliance of Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan, blaming foreign-trained "terrorist" gangs for the violent protests.

Russia has reportedly sent paratroopers into Kazakhstan as part of an international peacekeeping force and they are already “performing their tasks” in the country. The Russian troops will have to “normalize” the situation and protect the Kazakh state institutions.

This morning, the news agencies reported that tens of rioters had been “eliminated” by the police in Almaty.

Several armoured personnel carriers and scores of troops entered the main square of Almaty on Thursday morning where hundreds of people were protesting against the government for the third day, Reuters correspondents reported from the scene.

Gunshots were heard as troops approached the crowd, according to Reuters witnesses, but the situation in the square had calmed down since then. Unverified video on social media showed troops patrolling Almaty's foggy streets overnight, firing weapons, as well as widespread looting in the city.

State television on Thursday showed video of a pile of weapons on the street, with people walking up and taking them.

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