Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

Mayor of Largest Kazakh City Dismissed After Bloody Unrest

Bakytzhan Sagintayev. Dmitry Astakhov / Russian Government Press Office / TASS

Kazakhstan's president dismissed the mayor of the country's largest city Almaty, the presidential website said Monday, after the financial hub became the epicenter of bloody unrest earlier this month. 

Former prime minister and political heavyweight Bakytzhan Sagintayev served as Almaty's mayor from 2019. He was in charge of the city as a nationwide political protest gave way to armed clashes and looting on Jan. 5. 

An order on the website of the Kazakh presidency said President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev had dismissed Sagintayev "in connection with his transfer to another (job)" without mentioning his new post. 

A separate order on the website stated that Yerbolat Dosayev, who was serving as the chairman of the national bank, had been appointed in this place.

Over 200 people were killed and thousands injured earlier this month in violence that began with demonstrations against a car fuel price hike in the west of the ex-Soviet country and prompted Tokayev to call in Russia-led troops.

The Almaty mayor switch comes as Tokayev cements control at the expense of the loyalists of his long-ruling predecessor Nursultan Nazarbayev, 81, who still wielded significant power prior to the crisis but has since ceded key posts to the president. 

An online petition for Sagintayev's resignation had attracted more than 26,000 signatures as of Monday.

Tokayev and other Kazakh officials have blamed the clashes on bandits and terrorists with foreign connections, while observers have suggested that the violence was rooted instead in a political power struggle.

A contingent of over 2,000 troops from the Moscow-led Collective Security Treaty Organisation began arriving in the country on January 6 and completed its withdrawal some two weeks later after the situation stabilized. 

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more