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

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

The building of the city hall was covered with green construction netting, hiding the 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 a representative of the akimat, it is too early to talk about the timing or cost of restoration of the building. The damage assessment was also not carried out, but, most likely, it will turn out to be considerable, given that 35 thousand square meters are to be restored. The repairs are carried out by private construction companies and volunteers; in total, about 600 people are engaged in the work. The city authorities have so far moved into the old building.

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

The six-story administration complex in Almaty was built in the early 1980s and became the largest building in Kazakhstan in terms of area. Already in 1984, it was ranked among the architectural monuments subject to protection. The outside walls of the building were finished with Mangyshlak limestone-shell rock, and the premises 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 on the opposite side of the Republic Square, which make up a single architectural ensemble with the akimat, were also badly damaged by the fire.

As media reported on January 5, a crowd of about 3,000 aggressive men armed with rubber truncheons stormed the city administration. The defenders, about 1.5 thousand police officers, were forced to retreat, while some of the defenders suffered. Akimat employees were evacuated.

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

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