Airport takeover, palace fire & promise of ‘tough’ response: Here’s how Kazakhstan’s unrest escalated

The Central Asian state continues its apparent descent into chaos as street protests triggered by a hike in gas prices grow increasingly violent

The situation in Kazakhstan took a sharp turn for the worse on Wednesday, as several cities saw violent unrest, with administrative buildings stormed, a presidential residence set on fire, and the main airport allegedly seized.

The protests began after a twofold hike in the price of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) at the start of the new year. The price caps that had existed in the country for years had turned LPG into an extremely popular type of fuel, widely utilized both in households and in road vehicles, where it was commonly converted to be used instead of conventional gasoline.

In a matter of days, the unrest spread across the nation, growing increasingly political and violent.

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