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Friday, August 26, 2016


  • The entrance to the city of Zhanaozen as it appeared on December 11, 2012. One year earlier, the city was the scene of violent riots.
  • On the left, a video grab shows a scene of chaos on a central square during the riots. On the right, a similar shot shows a quiet square, nearly empty of people.
  • House number 33, from which the video of the clashes was taken, and the same house a year later, with a fresh coat of paint.
  • The video grab on the left shows smoke rising from a burning building on the day of the clashes, while a current photo shows a calm city square.
  • The headquarters of the main gas company was set on fire during the clashes. It has since been reconstructed.
  • Security forces stand on Zhanaozen's main square, littered with rubble from the clashes, in a photo from 2011.
  • The mayor's office was another casualty of the riots. On the right, the building as it appears today.
  • The Aruana Hotel was also set on fire, but unlike the mayor's office, it was demolished rather than reconstructed.
  • A video grab shows protesters pulling down a Christmas tree in the main square. Today, a Christmas tree stands in front of the city's Munaishy Palace of Culture.

Zhanaozen: One Year After The Deadly Clashes

Published 13 December 2012

On December 16, 2011, deadly clashes broke out between police and protesters in the western Kazakh city of Zhanaozen. At least 16 people were shot dead by police, and more than 100 were injured. The riots were the bloody culmination of a prolonged strike by local oil workers, and raised international concerns about the state of labor rights in Kazakshtan's remote energy-rich regions. One year later, most of the damage from the riots has been repaired, and life has largely returned to normal. RFE/RL Kazakh Service correspondent Sania Toiken visited Zhanaozen and filed these photos of an uneasily quiet city.