Former Vice Minister of Energy Zhumabay Karagaev detained in Kazakhstan over gas prices Zhumabay Karagaev was dismissed from his post on January 15. He was detained as being involved in the unjustified increase in gas prices, because of which protests began in Kazakhstan at the beginning of the year
Deputy Minister of Energy Zhumabay Karagaev, who was fired earlier on Saturday, as well as executives, were detained in Kazakhstan electronic trading platforms and “persons involved in the unjustified increase in prices for liquefied petroleum gas in the Mangistau region,” the state Financial Monitoring Agency reported.
“In relation to Zh. noted in a statement from the department. The investigation is ongoing.
Karagaev was relieved of his post on 15 January. He has served as Deputy Minister of Energy since December 2019.
Askhat Khasenov has become the new Vice Minister. Prior to that, he worked in the structure of Kazmunaigas.
On January 14, Kazakhstani political scientist Yerbol Yedilov reported on the detention of Karagaev and other people, citing sources.
On January 1, the price of liquefied gas, which is often used as motor fuel, doubled in Kazakhstan: from 60 to 120 tenge (from about 10 to 20 rubles) per liter. After that, protests began in the Mangistau region, which subsequently spread to other regions of the country, and by the evening of January 5, escalated into riots and clashes with the security forces. The protesters seized administrative buildings and premises with weapons.
Against the backdrop of protests, personnel changes began in the administration of the republic. President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev dismissed the government headed by Askar Mamin (Alikhan Smailov became the new prime minister) and removed Nursultan Nazarbayev from the post of head of the Security Council. The press secretary of the former head of state said that he himself decided to transfer the post to Tokayev.
The President declared a state of emergency in the country and announced the start of an anti-terrorist operation. The CSTO countries, including Russia, sent a peacekeeping contingent to Kazakhstan at Tokayev's request. On January 13, the withdrawal of forces began.
After the demonstrations, 9.9 thousand people were detained in the country, 494 criminal cases were initiated, of which 44— on acts of terrorism, 34— about riots, 15— about the murders. The exact number of people who died during the protests is unknown. The Russian embassy in Kazakhstan reported the death of one Russian woman. 2265 people applied for medical help. About 1300 enterprises and organizations suffered. The total damage is estimated at $2–3 billion
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