WASHINGTON, January 10. /TASS/. Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov on Sunday said that thousands of jihadists were involved in efforts to wreak havoc in Kazakhstan.
"Kazakhstan came under attack by radicals that preached misanthropic ideology," he said in a post on the embassy’s Facebook page. "Thousands of jihadists and looters made an attempt to shatter the constitutional order."
"They use weapons against peaceful citizens," he went on to say. "They damage government-owned and private property."
The unrest followed the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, which gave rise to the spread of extremist ideas in the region, Antonov said.
He also said the rioters included terrorists and the uprising was an effort to oust the government.
"This is a new attempt at a color revolution with the help of gunmen and looters," the ambassador said. "I’m sure Kazakhstan’s competent agencies will get to the bottom of the situation and terrorism will be uprooted from the Kazakh soil."
Protests erupted in several Kazakh cities on January 2, escalating into mass riots with government buildings getting ransacked in several cities a few days later. The ensuing violence left thousands of people injured, with fatalities also being reported. Subsequently, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev requested assistance from the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization and the bloc deployed peacekeepers to Kazakhstan. Law and order were generally restored to all of the country’s regions on January 7, Kazakh authorities said. January 10 has been declared a nationwide day of mourning.