Clearing of a completely burnt-out city administration building began in Almaty


As representatives of the city administration told RG, it was decided to start repairs as soon as the situation in Almaty began to improve, although a curfew is still in effect in the city from 23:00 to 07:00, and shots are sometimes heard at night.

The city hall building was covered with green construction mesh, hiding broken windows and white walls covered with soot. The fire was so strong that the smell of burning can be felt at a distance of 100 meters.

Photo: Konstantin Volkov

According to the representative of the akimat, it is too early to talk about the timing or cost of restoring the building. No damage has been assessed either, but it is likely to be considerable given that 35,000 square meters of damage remains to be restored. Repairs are carried out by private construction companies and volunteers, in total, about 600 people are involved in the work. The city authorities have so far moved into the old building.

“Damaged furniture, office equipment, rubbish will be collected and taken to landfills for disposal,” a press release sent out by the akimat said.

The six-story administration complex in Almaty was built in the early 1980s and is the largest building in Kazakhstan. Already in 1984, it was ranked among the architectural monuments to be protected. The walls of the building from the outside were finished with Mangyshlak limestone-shell rock, and the rooms inside were decorated with wood and marble. In Soviet times, the building housed the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Kazakh SSR, and in 1991-1994 it was the residence of the President of Kazakhstan.

Photo: Konstantin Volkov

During the riots in Almaty on January 5, the akimat was set on fire from several sides. The buildings located on the opposite side of the Republic Square, which make up a single architectural ensemble with the akimat, were also badly damaged by fire.

As media reported on January 5, a crowd of about three thousand aggressive men armed with rubber truncheons stormed the city administration. The defenders, about 1.5 thousand policemen, were forced to retreat, while some of the defenders were injured. The administration staff were evacuated.

Currently, the assessment of the damage caused to Almaty and other cities of Kazakhstan as a result of the pogroms on January 5-8 continues. So far, the authorities have not announced exact figures, but most likely it will be about billions of dollars.