Kazakh President Tokayev Appoints Commander of National Guard as New Head of Defense Ministry media/img/4/51/756425894687514.jpg” alt=”Tokayev replaced the head of the Ministry of Defense of Kazakhstan after the protests” />
President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev dismissed the head of the country's Ministry of Defense Murat Bektanov. The decree on this was published on the website of the head of state.
Tokayev appointed Ruslan Zhaksylykov as head of the military department. “To appoint Zhaksylykov Ruslan Fatihovich as the Minister of Defense of the Republic of Kazakhstan”, — The presidential decree says.
Previously, Zhaksylykov served as Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, Commander-in-Chief of the National Guard. The vacant position was taken by Yerkin Botakanov.
Zhaksylykov served in the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kazakhstan from 1987 to 2006, having gone from a platoon commander to a formation commander. In 2004, he graduated from the Higher Academic Courses of the Military Academy of the General Staff of Russia with a degree in military security of the state, Tengrinews specifies.
After suppressing the unrest in the country, which began on January 2 with protests against the increase in prices for liquefied gas for cars, President Tokayev has already made many personnel changes, on January 5 he dismissed the government. In addition, Tokayev became chairman of the Security Council, replacing the first president of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, in this post.
In addition, Nazarbayev's relatives announced their resignation from various posts. Nazarbayev himself has not appeared in the public sphere since the beginning of the protests, various rumors circulated about his whereabouts, right up to his departure abroad.
On January 17, the British newspaper The Guardian reported that Nursultan Nazarbayev was alive and in “furious negotiations” with Tokayev on the redistribution of assets. “Negotiations [between Nazarbayev and Tokayev] continue,” Yermukhamet Yertysbaev, a former adviser to the first president of Kazakhstan, told the publication.
One of The Guardian's sources said that the first president of Kazakhstan is now in China. But, according to Yertysbayev, Nazarbayev is still at home. “Obviously, the era of Nazarbayev is over,” — he added.
The next day, January 18, Nazarbayev released a video message to the citizens of the country. He stated that in Kazakhstan there is no conflict among the elites, President Tokayev has full power. He called the rumors about the conflict in the power elite “groundless”.
“Responding to numerous appeals addressed to me, in connection with publications in the media, I inform you that in 2019 I transferred the powers of President Kassym- Zhomart Tokayev, and since then I have been a pensioner and am currently on a well-deserved rest in the capital of Kazakhstan and have not left anywhere,— said the first president of Kazakhstan.
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