President unveils memorial to victims of January tragedy in Almaty

President unveils memorial to victims of January tragedy in Almaty

As part of a working trip to Almaty, the head of state opened the Tagzym memorial to the victims of the January eventsKassym-Jomart Tokayev laid flowers at the stele. Those present honored the memory of the dead with a minute of silence, then the National Anthem was played.

The President in his speech emphasized the special role of the memorial for the entire people of Kazakhstan. As he noted, the events of Tragic January became one of the most serious challenges since independence.

“It was a time of testing for our people. The foundations of statehood were under threat. Moreover, the question was whether we would be able to save our state. But thanks to the unity and solidarity of our people, we were able to resolutely resist all challenges, demonstrating unshakable determination and strength. We stopped the actions of conspirators who tried to sow discord in society. Peaceful rallies held in several cities of the country turned into riots and pogroms. Almaty, the cradle of Independence, suffered especially hard at the hands of the bandits. Bandits attacked power structures, robbed warehouses with weapons. Innocent civilians died as a result of their actions. Of course, destroyed buildings can be restored. But the lives taken, unfortunately, cannot be returned. So we'll do our best so that a tragedy like this never happens again. Our common civic duty is to protect the peace and tranquility of the country and the unity of the people. For me, as the president of the country, this is a sacred duty. Only in peace and harmony can we achieve our goal,” the head of state said.

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev stressed that one should always remember the January events, which became the biggest test in the history of the country. Therefore, he instructed to perpetuate the memory of those tragic events and build the Tagzym memorial.

“This monument has a deep meaning and great significance. It reflects the various stages of strengthening our statehood. Quotations of prominent representatives of the Kazakh people are carved on the stones. I am sure that these words that unite the nation will make us think. We erected this complex in memory of the victims of the January events and as an edification for posterity. I express my gratitude to the architects - the authors of this project and to all citizens," the President said.

The head of state said that, despite any difficulties, we will continue to move forward along the path of reforms.

“I am sure that our people are unshakable in their determination to build a strong state, strengthen and protect our sacred Independence. We will continue large-scale reforms aimed at further democratization of the political system, de-monopolization of the national economy and increasing its competitiveness. Since the beginning of the year, a lot of work has been done in a short time. At a nationwide referendum, we adopted an updated Constitution. Now we face difficult challenges. Our country has embarked on the path of modernization and renewal. Of course, this is just the beginning. This path will not be easy. We understand all this. Our main goal is clear and obvious - it is building a Just Kazakhstan and a society of equal opportunities for all. I am convinced that together we will succeed,” Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev stressed.

The President separately noted that in those tragic days, thousands of our compatriots - volunteers, doctors, policemen and simply caring people - showed true courage and high civic responsibility.

“Many of them are participating in today's ceremony. We will always keep the memory of the victims and true heroes of Tragic January. As a nation, we must learn from this tragedy. Law enforcement and special agencies have done a colossal job. The course of the investigation was discussed in Parliament with the participation of deputies, representatives of the Prosecutor General's Office, and the legal community. A huge contribution to the comprehensive consideration of the circumstances of those days and the provision of legal assistance to the detainees was made by public commissions, which included authoritative human rights activists of our country. All this made it possible to restore an objective picture of what happened. As a result, numerous rioters who succumbed to false appeals, but did not commit serious crimes, were amnestied according to my Decree,” the President said.

The head of state pointed out that it is by no means possible to glorify bandits, radicals and terrorists. He emphasized that the true heroes are workers of enterprises, workers and farmers, doctors and nurses, teachers and lecturers, scientists and cultural figures, entrepreneurs and athletes.

In conclusion, the President recalled that the January events were a great and tragic lesson for all of us.

“We realized that stability is the key to well-being and prosperity. We saw that if you do not protect peace in the country, you can lose everything in an instant. We realized that we need to be constantly on guard of our Independence and statehood. They comprehended the true meaning of the wisdom “Zhau zhok deme, zhar astynda” (“Do not say that there is no enemy, he is behind the rock”). We realized that above all such values ​​as harmony and unity. Therefore, we will always remember Tragic January and its innocent victims. Only by uniting together, we will be able to overcome any challenges and threats. As president, I will make every effort to preserve the integrity of the state and the well-being of the people,” the head of state said.

The Tagzym memorial was built on a site that was the epicenter of tragic events. Republic Square has a sacred meaning for our people. Historically, the events in Almaty change the course of the history of the whole country. The memorial will become a place of memory and sorrow, a symbol of wisdom, courage and strength of our people.

The memorial is a multi-stage architectural complex. It is divided into four emotional and architectural zones of different colors: the light gray part is identified with overcoming, the black part demonstrates the events of January with their chaos and fear, the gray part is a symbol of sacrifice and shed blood, human losses, the white part is the desire for stability and prosperity, a symbol of the maturity of society, the self-consciousness of the nation, faith in a strong and just state. In each of the zones, stones and steles with statements of prominent representatives of the Kazakh people are installed. 

The authors of the project are young Kazakh architects Alexei Ivzhenko and Gaini Sagidullaeva.

By the Kazakhstanskaya Pravda