At the start of a three-day visit to Kazakhstan, Pope Francis appealed for peace and an end to the "senseless and tragic war" in Ukraine.
In the aftermath of deadly violence, Kazakhstan has held a referendum that is likely to shift powers away from the president and nix the privileges enjoyed by former dictator Nursultan Nazarbayev.
After the violent unrest of early January, calm has returned to Kazakhstan. Many people, however, have complained of excesses during the state of emergency — including illegal arrests and searches.
Forces sent to help quell an outbreak of violence in Kazakhstan have returned to Russia. A Moscow-led alliance of six former Soviet states were sent after a request from the Kazakh president.
We begin in Kazakhstan, where the country's president has given the green light to security forces to shoot to kill those taking part in the unrest that's been sweeping the Central Asian nation this week. Dozens of people have been killed in the violence which erupted after a sharp increase in fuel prices, reflecting wider discontent with authoritarian rule. In response to a call from President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Russian-led troops have already begun arriving in Kazakhstan.
The new year began in Kazakhstan with the government lifting its price cap on fuel, virtually doubling the cost for people to fill up their cars. Protests spread across the nation of 19 million inhabitants and soon transformed into violent unrest and a bloody crackdown. Over 100 people were killed and thousands were arrested. At the request of Kazakhstan's president, Russia sent paratroopers to help "stabilise" the country. We take a closer look at the former Soviet republic.
Security forces appeared to have quelled massive riots in Kazakhstan although the political situation remains volatile. Karim Massimo, a close ally of former president Nursultan Nazarbayev, is now suspected of treason.
Order has been restored in Kazakhstan after protests turned to open revolt in clashes last week. President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev calls it an attempted coup, blaming foreign terror networks, but he's also arrested the former head of security left over from his once all-powerful predecessor. At 81, Nursultan Nazarbayev is out as head of the country's ruling supreme council. We ask about his whereabouts and his exit from the limelight. From Angola to Uzbekistan, controlling your legacy is tricky when you run an oil-rich oligarchy.
Kazakhstan's largest city, Almaty, is reported to be calm but tense after the worst violence in decades. The Interior Ministry has said more than 5,000 people were arrested. The death toll from the unrest remains unclear.
While tensions in Kazakhstan continue to grow, the world is trying to understand what is behind the unrest. Under authoritarian rule, the former Soviet republic has escaped the global spotlight for decades.
Russia is sending troops to Kazakhstan to support the government, which has been facing days of angry protests. For Moscow, there is more at stake than cementing its influence in a neighboring country shaken by unrest.