How Almatians are rallying in support of Ukraine and against the war

Adamdar news DOCA Kazakhstan

How Almatians are rallying in support of Ukraine and against the war

Photographs by Timur Nusimbekov, Malika Autalipova

March 7, 2022

Almaty, Kazakhstan

On March 6, a rally of solidarity with Ukraine and against Russia's military aggression was held at the square behind Sary Arka cinema in Almaty. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began, there have been several anti-war actions and rallies in Almaty

Photo by Malika Autalipova

Civic activist Darkhan Sharip held the first anti-war action in Almaty on February 24, a few hours after the invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops. The activist went to the Russian Consulate with a Ukrainian flag; about a dozen citizens carrying anti-war signs joined him. All protesters were detained and taken to the police station. The rally in Almaty was one of the first actions of solidarity with Ukraine held worldwide that day.

Darkhan Sharip, March 6, 2022
Photo by Timur Nusimbekov

On February 26, after the rally for clean air, participants headed towards Taras Shevchenko's monument, where they held a rally to support Ukraine.

On March 6, three to five thousand people came to the rally of solidarity with Ukraine. This was literally one of the most remarkable peaceful events of past decades: people of different ages, nationalities, occupations, and political views gathered; they brought numerous posters, banners, flags of Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and other symbols.



A significant part of children, pupils, pensioners, and students joined the protest. The rally received support from many well-known human rights activists, public figures, and representatives of culture, art, and science.



Most speeches and posters at the rally called to stop the war and Russia's military aggression against Ukraine. There were also repeated demands for the Kazakhstani authorities upon withdrawing from the CSTO and the EAEU.




Much criticism, satirical slogans, and sometimes insults in Kazakh, Russian and Ukrainian were addressed to Vladimir Putin, who unleashed the war against Ukraine.





The protesters performed the national anthems of Ukraine and Kazakhstan, as well as the song “Obiymy” (Hug Me) of the Ukrainian rock band “Okean Elzy” and the Ukrainian folk song “Oy u luzi chervona kalyna,” which became viral thanks to a performance by Andriy Khlyvniuk, leader of the "Boombox" group.




Some participants raised the issue of Qandy Qańtar (Bloody January) and called for an international investigation concerning the war crimes committed in Ukraine in February–March 2022 and shooting, torture, repression, and other crimes against Kazakh citizens in January 2022.

Photo by Timur Nusimbekov

Kazakhs who came to the rally honored the memory of those killed in Kazakhstan in January and Ukraine in February–March 2022 with a minute of silence.

Photo by Timur Nusimbekov

Published: March 7, 2022