Protests began on Sunday in the oil-producing western province of Mangistau after the government removed a price cap on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), causing it to double. The protests spread across the country, with demonstrators setting fire to government buildings, including the mayor's office in Almaty and a presidential residence.Protesters also seized the airport, which the government has taken back but remains closed for now, AP reported.Kazakhstan's government said it would restore the fuel price caps for six months, but protests against the government have continued.Dozens of protesters have been killed in a violent crackdown by security forces.President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said in a televised broadcast on Friday that he had ordered security forces to shoot to kill without warning to end the unrest, which he claimed is being fueled by terrorists and bandits.At least 18 police officers have also died, according to The Washington Post, with some outlets reporting that a police officer was beheaded.Witnesses said that the protests had been mostly peaceful but turned violent after the government's heavy-handed response, The Guardian reported.The instability in Kazakhstan is a significant concern for its powerful neighbor, Russia.Russia sent paratroopers to the country on Thursday after the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) responded to a plea from Kazakhstan's leadership to help quell the unrest.The CSTO is a security alliance not meant for internal issues, but Kazakhstan's President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev claimed that terrorists are fueling the protests.Russia's intervention in Kazakhstan comes as the country continues to amass forces near Ukraine's border, sparking fears that it plans to invade the country.Troops are also being sent from Armenia and Tajikistan, countries which are also members of the CSTO.Authorities said that nearly 4,000 riot participants had been detained, The Washington Post reported.In his address to the nation, President Tokayev framed the demonstrations as a coordinated attack by armed and trained bandits, both local and foreign. However, protesters who spoke to international media rejected this characterization.We are neither thugs nor terrorists, one woman told CNN. The only thing flourishing here is corruption. Kazakhstan, the ninth largest country in the world, became an independent nation following the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.It is the wealthiest country in Central Asia, possessing some of the world's largest reserves of oil, natural gas, and other mineral resources.It produces around 1.6 million barrels of oil a day and has attracted billions of dollars in foreign investment.Despite its natural riches, much of its population experience financial hardship, and corruption and inequality is widespread.Kazakhstan was ruled by former President Nursultan Nazarbayev, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, for nearly 30 years until he stood down in 2019. His rule has been described by many as a dictatorship.Nazarbayev has continued to hold important positions in the government, serving as the head of Kazakhstan's Security Council until his removal on Wednesday to appease protesters.Videos posted on social media show protesters toppling a statue of the former president.As the protests escalated, the government shut down the internet to disrupt protesters' communications.With internet and cellphone services restricted, information emerging from inside the country has been limited.Some payment systems have also stopped functioning, and residents have queued to withdraw cash from the few working ATMs.Global bitcoin mining has also suffered due to the internet blackout, as Kazakhstan is the world's second-largest center for bitcoin mining, according to the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance.News reports said the internet was partially restored in the capital, Nur-Sultan, on Friday, AP reported.The protest movement in Kazakhstan is not unified and has no leader, partly because the country has not allowed much political opposition.The protesters in Almaty, the largest city, appear to mainly be from the city's poor outskirts or surrounding towns and villages, Reuters reported.The violence has been shocking to many urban Kazakhs, the outlet said, who previously compared their country favorably to more repressive neighboring countries.President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said Friday that order had been mainly restored to the country, but reports of sporadic gunfire continued.With the arrival of Russian and other foreign troops, and the ongoing internet shutdown, some fear a broader crackdown is still to come, AP reported.