Here’s what you need to know about Kazakhstan’s unrest and Russian intervention

Protesters attend a rally in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on Jan. 4, following energy price hikes. (Abduaziz Madyarov/AFP/Getty Images)

MOSCOW — Protests over rising energy prices in Kazakhstan mushroomed into attacks on government offices over the past week and prompted the intervention of a Russian-led military alliance of post-Soviet states.

An unspecified number of troops have been sent to the Central Asian nation “for a limited time period” to “stabilize and resolve the situation,” according to officials as the demonstrations pose an unprecedented challenge to the authoritarian regime. The country’s government resigned and the fuel price hikes were rescinded, but the demonstrations have continued.

The rare demonstrations are considered the greatest outpouring against Nursultan Nazarbayev’s three-decade rule since the fall of the Soviet Union. The 81-year-old former president stepped down in 2019 but has continued to hold major sway behind the scenes under the official “father of the nation” title.

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said on Jan. 5 that he asked a Russia-led military alliance for help to quell anti-government protests. (Video: Reuters)