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Ukrainians not injured during mass events in Kazakhstan, embassy provides assistance to those who cannot leave country – MFA

KYIV. Jan 10 (Interfax-Ukraine) – According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, there are no killed, injured or detained Ukrainians during mass events in Kazakhstan, speaker of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Oleh Nikolenko said.

“The Ukrainian embassy provides consular assistance to citizens who cannot leave the country due to canceled flights. Now the largest number of people is in Almaty, 116 persons,” Nikolenko told Interfax-Ukraine on Sunday.

According to him, the Almaty International Airport has suspended the service of civil aircraft and is used for the military transport aviation of the CSTO member states.

“All stranded citizens are provided with temporary housing and food. There are no threats to their life or safety. The Embassy maintains constant contact with all passengers and will inform them about further steps. According to preliminary information, it is planned to resume regular flights on the Nur-Sultan – Kyiv route on January 9,” the speaker said.

He added that the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry interacts with the governments of foreign states, whose citizens also cannot leave the territory of Kazakhstan.

“Given the ongoing military operation and the difficult security situation, in particular in Almaty and the Almaty region, now the safest option for Ukrainians is to stay in their places of temporary residence,” Nikolenko said.

He said that Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba instructed diplomats to work out alternative ways for Ukrainian citizens to leave Kazakhstan in case of significant delays in the resumption of regular flights. All Ukrainian embassies in the region have joined this work.

“At the same time, the main prerequisite for any further measures is the stabilization of the security situation,” Nikolenko said.

On January 2, in the city of Zhanaozen (Mangistau region in western Kazakhstan), rallies began against a sharp increase in prices for liquefied gas. The rallies escalated into massive protests across the country with economic and political demands.

On January 4, protesters clashed with security officials in Almaty. On January 5, the government of Kazakhstan was dismissed. Until January 19, a state of emergency was introduced in the country. On January 6 and 7, riots continued, with looters operating in Almaty and some other cities. Peacekeeping forces were sent to Kazakhstan from the Collective Security Council of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).