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Kazakhstan: President Resurfaces, Sows Alarm

Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev, meeting with National Security Committee chief Vladimir Zhumakanov on June 8, 2016.

Authorities in Kazakhstan look like anything but in control.

For a whole three days after violence erupted in the western city of Aktobe, Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev was nowhere to be seen.

Prime Minister Karim Masimov tepidly assured his Cabinet on June 6 that the president was monitoring events closely: “The head of state is maintaining this issue under his control.” But still no messages, of either reassurance or condolence, came out of the presidential administration in Astana.

The silence was finally broken on June 8, when the Akorda presidential administration released a video of a brief exchange between Nazarbayev and the chairman of the National Security Committee, Vladimir Zhumakanov.

In the briefing, Zhumakanov told Nazarbayev that 13 of the attackers involved in the shootouts in Aktobe had been killed and that another 14 were injured. Between gunmen, servicemen and civilians, a total of 20 people died in the clashes.

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Kazakhstan: President Resurfaces, Sows Alarm

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