Copyright © 2024

The work of Euromaidan Press is supported by the International Renaissance Foundation

When referencing our materials, please include an active hyperlink to the Euromaidan Press material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. To reprint anything longer, written permission must be acquired from [email protected].

Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Kazakhstan government used convicts for pogroms preceding Russian-led intervention, founder says

2022 protests in Kazakhstan, burnt car, pogrom
2022 protests in Kazakhstan. Photo: zerkalo
Kazakhstan government used convicts for pogroms preceding Russian-led intervention, founder says
Edited by: Alya Shandra

The government of Kazakhstan released prisoners to exploit them for pogroms, burning of buildings, and attacks on police, founder Vladimir Osechkin reports, referring to a letter that his sources obtained from the Russian FSB. This (reportedly) premeditated violence was one of the reasons for the introduction of Russian-led CSTO troops to Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan has seen protests since 1 January. Rising gas prices became their formal reason. From 5 January, protests turned violent, with attacks on the police and the protesters, and the internet being cut off. President Tokayev declared a state of emergency. The next day, Russia and The Collective Security Treaty Organization states sent troops to Kazakhstan to suffocate the protests.

According to Vladimir Osechkin, founder of, (“No to the Gulag”), a project against corruption and torture in Russia, the exploitation of former prisoners for consolidated acts of looting was a deliberate policy of Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. 

Most importantly, pre-arranged pogroms in Kazakhstan of the so-called kapo misrepresented as that conducted by the protesters served as grounds for Russia and other Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) nations to deploy troops to Kazakhstan.

Apart from that, according to, this move from the government

  1. Demonized peaceful protesters. The president of Kazakhstan has already called protesters “terrorists,” “bandits” who may be “destroyed.”
  2. Turned a political protest into a series of pogroms.
  3. Justified the use of violence against the protesters.

Not yet occupation, but already intervention. Consequences of Russian troops entering Kazakhstan

From the letter:

“They [prisoners] have done their job perfectly in terms of the task: there are a lot of documented facts of looting, confirmation of attacks on law enforcement agencies, facts of brutal massacres of security forces, corpses with severed heads and videos for the archive with the process of cutting off [head].

It provides the necessary justification for the invasion of foreign forces, demoralizes ordinary protesters, translates political protest into a digestible form of pogroms, shows the security forces that beast stand against them, blocks the social undecided Kazakhs’ empathy to the protest.

That is why fierce looting, bloody assaults of sites and relentless shooting at protesters took place only in the capital, while almost everywhere in other cities things were different because all the cartridges [or prisoners] were taken only to the control city.”

Earlier, had obtained 40 gigabytes of Russian penal system video archives documenting Penal Service and FSB agents torturing and raping prisoners. The Russian authorities have responded by launching investigations and bringing charges against the officers, and also by carrying out denial of service attacks against the site. In November 2021, founder Vladimir Osechkin was declared wanted by the Russian authorities.

GULAGU.Net exposes systemic torture and rape of prisoners in Russia; regime responds with investigations and denial of service attack on portal

Edited by: Alya Shandra
You could close this page. Or you could join our community and help us produce more materials like this.  We keep our reporting open and accessible to everyone because we believe in the power of free information. This is why our small, cost-effective team depends on the support of readers like you to bring deliver timely news, quality analysis, and on-the-ground reports about Russia's war against Ukraine and Ukraine's struggle to build a democratic society. A little bit goes a long way: for as little as the cost of one cup of coffee a month, you can help build bridges between Ukraine and the rest of the world, plus become a co-creator and vote for topics we should cover next. Become a patron or see other ways to support. Become a Patron!

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here

You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter

Please leave your suggestions or corrections here

    Will the West continue to support Ukraine?
    • Know what moves the world.
    • Premium journalism from across Europe.
    • Tailored to your needs, translated into English.
    Special discount
    for Euromaidan Press readers
    Euromaidan Press

    We are an independent media outlet that relies solely on advertising revenue to sustain itself. We do not endorse or promote any products or services for financial gain. Therefore, we kindly ask for your support by disabling your ad blocker. Your assistance helps us continue providing quality content. Thank you!

    Related Posts