Kazakhstani Protestors Set Former Presidential Palace Ablaze

#Kazakhstan protestors have stormed and set fire to the Akimat, which is the former Presidential Palace that now serves as government offices, in #Almaty as large-scale protests ensue across the country over rising fuel prices, leading to intense clashes with authorities. (_ZhN_ on Twitter) #AtlasNewsUpdateKazakhstan

President Tokayev is standing by the decision to pour metaphorical kerosene on the literal fires created through these protests.

Photograph: Vladimir Tretyakov/AP

The president declared the use of lethal force without warning would still be utilized against demonstrators who violently protest. These clashes serve as a clear sign that economic health in Almaty is waning.

Almaty generates approximately 20% of Kazakhstan’s GDP (or $36 billion in 2010). The city accounts for above 20% of government revenues and 60% of bank credits. The nation is the most powerful economically in Central Asia and Almaty is a key financial center. It is considered to be a Beta- Global City as of the 2012 GaWC study.

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