The ROC once again sided with Russia and stood against the Kazakh people. The hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Alexander of Astana and Kazakhstan, held a memorial service for those killed in rallies on January 10, and then addressed the Kazakh media as regards the unrest against the authorities, patriarchia.ru reports.
The Metropolitan of the Russian Orthodox Church supported the suppression of rallies, and referred to protesters as extremists and gangsters.
“The people of Kazakhstan are going through a difficult ordeal these days. Our country has been insidiously attacked by extremists who have used the most brutal means to intimidate people, force them to carry out their vicious will, destroy principles of good neighborliness and tolerance, and smash state sovereignty. Chaos and violence must be stopped in the name of the triumph of truth and peaceful life of citizens,” said Moscow Patriarchate Metropolitan Alexander.
The ROC official also quoted the words of the country’s president, Kassym-Jomart Kemelevich Tokayev: “We had to deal with armed and trained thugs, both local and foreign. Precisely with thugs and terrorists…”
Metropolitan Alexander called the rallies against the current government in Kazakhstan a crime and urged the international community to help Kazakhstan fight terrorism: “Chaos and violence must be stopped in the name of celebrating the truth and the peaceful life of the people.”
He also stated that he supported the decision of the president of Kazakhstan, who had called for the introduction into Kazakhstan of military forces of CSTO member states to forcibly eliminate protests.
On January 10, mourning services for those killed as a result of the actions of “armed gangs” were held in all churches across Kazakhstan, according to the official website of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Earlier, Metropolitan Alexander called on believers “not to succumb to provocations” and not to rally against the Kazakh government, which had increased liquefied gas prices for the population. “Only the devil can celebrate victory when brothers are at enmity, killing each other,” said ROC hierarch Alexander.
It was reported that the Metropolitan of the Russian Orthodox Church in Kazakhstan approved the introduction of Russian troops to suppress the protests of the local population.
The withdrawal of CSTO troops began on January 13. Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan sent in 2,030 troops and 250 units of military hardware. In the city of Almaty, as of January 13, police have already detained 1,925 protesters.
As Ukrinform reported earlier, on January 11, President Tokayev of Kazakhstan announced the wrap-up of the military mission in Kazakhstan of the Collective Security Treaty Organization forces.
Rallies against a sharp rise in liquefied gas prices erupted in Kazakhstan on January 2. They soon escalated into mass protests, despite government resignation and a walk-back on gas prices.
Authorities in Kazakhstan have called on the Collective Security Treaty Organization to help government quell protests. The CSTO has officially confirmed the deployment of a Russian military contingent and its allies in Kazakhstan.
On January 7, the president of Kazakhstan ordered that the troops open fire at protesters without warning. At least 30 have been killed in Kazakhstan’s largest city, Almaty, where mass protests continue.
Deputy Health Minister Ajar Giniyat said more than 1,000 people had been injured in mass protests in Kazakhstan and nearly 400 – hospitalized.