Things are going seriously sideways in Kazakhstan.
More from Axios:
Kazakhstan's president said in a televised speech Friday that he ordered security forces to "shoot to kill without warning" in an attempt to forcibly suppress an unexpected uprising, adding that those who failed to surrender "need to be destroyed."
Why it matters: "Dozens" of protesters have been killed and around 4,000 arrested, according to the government. At least 18 security forces have also been killed. A phone and internet blackout has made it virtually impossible to track events nationally, but the order will likely result in more deaths.
President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said he denied calls to hold talks with protesters, calling them foreign-backed "bandits" and "terrorists."
To be fair to the dictators running the country, some of these guys are actively taking up arms against the government.
Since the government rules unopposed with total control over people's lives, rigged elections, and no recognition of inalienable rights, I'll leave it up to you to study up and decide who is in the right.
These were the president's exact words:
We had to deal with armed and well-prepared bandits, local as well as foreign. More precisely, with terrorists. So we have to destroy them, this will be done soon.
Hoo boy. Cut down on the Palpatine vibes, would ya?
Apparently, at least some of the police have decided to side with the protesters.
Just a few days ago, Kazakhs took to the streets to protest the rise of fuel prices (which impacted people's ability to buy food and heat their homes) and other economic failures:
Bitcoin also plays a fascinating role in this as well:
And just in case you were wondering, there's a lot of regular money and resources at stake too.
[Kazakhstan] has vast mineral resources, with 3% of global oil reserves and important coal and gas sectors.
The government has now called on Russia for aid, and Putin is transporting a bunch of troops and vehicles into the region. I'm sure he'll be quick to remove them in a decade or two.
The Russian Defense Ministry says its troops are being flown into Kazakhstan on 70 Il-76 and five An-124 heavy transport aircraft. Russian military transports will also bring in the troops from Belarus, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia.
The country has been in a political spin since the former "president," Nursultan Nazarbayev, ended his 29-year dictatorial rule in 2019. Citizens aren't happy with him, to say the least, and they are protesting him and the totalitarian government as well.
Of course, Kazakhstan is one of the dictatorships that sits on the UN's council on human rights...
Oh well. I'm sure the powers at be will make sure all the players get their cut of Kazakhstan's natural resources and Bitcoin when the dust settles!