Internet disrupted in Kazakhstan as energy protests escalate

Network data from NetBlocks confirm a significant disruption to internet service in Kazakhstan from the evening of Tuesday 4 January 2022, progressing to a nation-scale communications blackout on Wednesday afternoon.

The disruptions come amid widening protests against sudden energy price rises that started on the weekend in the western town of Zhanaozen.

Internet connectivity was largely restored on Monday 10 January after 8 a.m. local time, only to be cut again some hours later:

Earlier, a brief partial restoration of connectivity was observed while President Tokayev gave a televised speech appealing for assistance from citizens and a Russia-led security bloc to help “save the state,” after which internet service was cut again in the early hours of Thursday morning:

The disruption continued until Monday morning, with national connectivity observed at just 5% of ordinary levels, hindering independent media and human rights reporting:

The ongoing disruptions have placed public safety at risk per human rights monitors and left friends and family out of touch.


The initial incident had high impact to mobile services and some fixed-lines from Tuesday, while the blackout beginning around 5 p.m. local time Wednesday affects almost all connectivity in the country.

What’s happening in Kazakhstan?

Protests against rising energy prices were held in Kazakhstan for the third consecutive day at incident onset, with many demonstrators speaking out against the country’s leadership. The disruption is likely to limit the public’s ability to express political discontent and communicate freely.

Thousands are participating in the protests, which were sparked by the lifting of price caps on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) over the New Year.

This class of internet disruption affects connectivity at the network layer and cannot always be worked around with the use of circumvention software or VPNs. The blackout has also resulted in the international loss of access to websites and services hosted in Kazakhstan, including government and news websites.

Kazakhstan has a history of internet restrictions to control protests, with previous nation-scale communication restrictions documented by NetBlocks during elections and the country’s Victory day.

Further reading:



NetBlocks diffscans, which map the IP address space of a country in real time, show internet connectivity levels and corresponding outages. Purposeful internet outages may have a distinct network pattern used by NetBlocks to determine and attribute the root cause of an outage, a process known as attribution which follows detection and classification stages.

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