Machine gun patrols, barricades and broken ATM machines. Report from Almaty

Anarchy reigns in the largest city of Kazakhstan. Shooting still sounds in the center, corpses lie in the square and in the streets, communication practically does not work. How the city lives – in the report of the RBC correspondent from Alma-Ata

In Alma-Ata, even after the start of the anti-terrorist operation and the introduction of peacekeeping troops, anarchy continues to reign, there are no authorities, the rule in the city is, in fact, one & mdash; do not approach the Republic Square near the akimat, from where shooting is constantly heard, sometimes in bursts.

The white building of the akimat now looks like a black monolith: it has completely burnt out & mdash; from the ground floor to the roof. On the square in front of him, military men with machine guns are standing in a cordon, when they try to approach them another hundred meters away, they shout: “ Back! '' & Mdash; and fire warning shots. The approaches to the square are blocked by inverted benches or special barriers. On empty streets in this buffer zone & mdash; bullet-riddled cars on the asphalt & mdash; traces of blood. At the exit from the square there is an old red Mazda with a bullet through the windshield, in the driver's seat & mdash; corpse in a bloody pea jacket.


One of the avenues overlooking the square bears the name of Nursultan Nazarbayev, but it is not easy to understand this right away & mdash; all the signs and signs with the name of the first president have been torn off or smashed from the houses, road signs have been knocked down, the signs have been dropped or damaged, there is a “ nine '' thrown into a tree on the passenger seat & mdash; lifeless body, head on chest, from under the cap & mdash; two caked streams of blood, the door was shot through, there is a pool of blood on the asphalt from the driver's side.

Of the rare police cars sweeping through the city streets, barrels of machine guns and pistols are directed to the sidewalks, the fingers of employees & mdash; on the triggers. Sometimes a convoy of military equipment drives by, led by an armored vehicle with a loaded machine gun.

On the sidewalks in the center & mdash; torn down ATMs, bank safes, smashed windows of boutiques and shops. In one of the courtyards & mdash; a mountain of shoeboxes and a few pairs of old shoes. Around the corner & mdash; a looted store, looters changed clothes right there on the spot.

On the asphalt, fragments of grenades, burnt plastic and shell casings are everywhere. On many central streets, burnt out ambulances, buses, Gazelles, and paddy wagons stand right in the middle of the traffic. Grocery stores and restaurants are closed in the city center. The hotels look closed outwardly, the entrances are barricaded with boards & mdash; the owners and staff are afraid of pogroms, so they camouflage themselves, the lights are turned off everywhere in the foyer. It is possible to check in only by prior reservation, but in the last two days it is impossible to do this, because the Internet does not work in the city. It is also almost impossible to get through to someone, only on a landline phone, and then with interruptions. More or less consistently, only SMS messages are received, and even then not always.

Alma-Ata also has a problem with fuel. Almost all gas stations in the city do not work or have been robbed. Outside, there are dozens of cars in line at working gas stations. A day earlier, the correspondent witnessed how at one of these plundered gas stations, people filled bottles and cans directly from the store.

Residents of Alma-Ata are distrustful and frightened. They are afraid of the military and armed bandits. It is widely believed among the townspeople who agreed to talk to the RBC correspondent that the authorities brought these people to the city from Kyrgyzstan or remote regions of Kazakhstan specifically to provoke riots, and then have a reason for a brutal bloody crackdown.

The most dangerous the area of ​​the city is now considered to be the western outskirts. There remain unknowns with weapons. They have barricaded the entrance and exit from the city, they continue to burn fires and tires. They react sharply to attempts to photograph them, and when they see a lens or a telephone aimed at them, they threaten with a weapon.

The introduced state of emergency presupposes a ban on going out from 23:00, but they are deserted already from 6 in the evening. the radio broadcasts an appeal not to go out.

President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev, in his address to the nation on January 7, said that a gang of 20 thousand people attacked Alma-Ata, whose members had a single training center and management.

By decision of the CSTO, peacekeeping forces began to arrive in Kazakhstan on January 6.

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