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Kazakh youth rallied in Almaty 32 years ago

17 December 2018 13:41
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Kazakh youth rallied in Almaty 32 years ago

ASTANA. KAZINFORM - The Kazakh youth's protests, also known as the Jeltoqsan, took place in Almaty 32 years ago. The December 1986 events in Kazakhstan were the first mass rally in the USSR against the center's dictatorship, Kazinform reports.

On December 16, 1986, the Kremlin's appointee Gennady Kolbin, who had previously served as the First Secretary of the Ulyanovsk Regional Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, was appointed as the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Kazakh SSR during the Plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan in Alma-Ata (now Almaty) that lasted only 18 minutes. The appointment followed the resignation of Dinmukhamed Kunaev, who had been the leader of Kazakhstan since the mid-1960s.

On December 17, mass protests began in Alma-Ata. Students and young workers, representatives of intelligentsia came out to protest against the Soviet regime policy which did not respect the interests of Kazakhstan.

The unrest later spread to other cities of the Republic.

On December 18, the Kazakh youth protest demonstration was harshly suppressed. Special units of the Interior Ministry's internal military forces were deployed to Alma-Ata. The special services of the USSR conducted the operation named "Metel 1986" ("Blizzard").

After the suppression of the protests, hundreds of people were expelled from higher education institutions and dismissed from their jobs. The exact number of the persons subjected to repression by the Soviet regime remains unknown.
On December 12, 1991, the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, signed the Decree "On the Rehabilitation of the Citizens Brought to Justice for the Involvement in the Events of 17 and 18 December 1986 in Kazakhstan" making a legal and political assessment of the events. The citizens, who were wrongly charged with liability, were fully rehabilitated, and December 17 was declared as the Day of Democratic Renewal of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

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Almas Zheksenbekov

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