Protesters tear down statue of former leader at biggest gatherings in Kazakhstan since fall of Soviet Union

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In a video shot from western Kazakhstan, a worker explained why he was protesting against the government.

“I live with nothing. I don’t want to live as a slave anymore,” he said.

This frustration with the elite has built up in Kazakhstan and is more and more easily found when traveling across the country in recent years. These are also the same complaints that continue to emerge, primarily how the elites got rich by stealing state property and how they flaunt that wealth.

In short, the elite are accused of being more interested in adorning their international reputation, contacts and influence than they have been in raising the standard of living of ordinary Kazakhs.

And at the top of that political system is Mr Nazarbayev, who hired former Prime Minister Sir Tony Blair as an adviser for several years from 2011 and whose son-in-law paid Prince Andrew an inflated price for a mansion. in Berkshire in 2007. Sir Tony even featured in a 2020 PR promo video for Mr Nazarbayev, praising his leadership and vision and saying Kazakhstan can look to its future with “confidence.”

In a televised address to the nation on Wednesday, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, chosen by Mr Nazarbayev as his successor in 2019, said the government had resigned but would remain in Kazakhstan. He said he wanted to protect ordinary Kazakhs and called the protesters “thugs”.


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