The objective reality is that extraordinary situations can happen every day. When on June 24, there was an explosion in the military unit of the city of Arys in Turkestan region, the people of Kazakhstan as at all times showed their unique feature, unity and full solidarity. All of Kazakhstan mobilized to help thousands of the affected residents. The full-scale action "Arys, biz birgemiz" began in the country.
A charitable marathon on "Khabar" and "Qazaqstan" TV channels was held. As noted by the leaders, the whole Kazakhstan has become one big heart, humanitarian aid gathering started in all corners of the country.
The Nur Otan party organized the collection of humanitarian aid throughout Kazakhstan. Regional branches of the party also actively joined in the national action. The Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan launched a campaign to provide humanitarian assistance to the residents of Arys. A few hours later, the Republican headquarter of the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan was deployed in the House of Friendship of Turkestan region in Shymkent. All organizational issues were discussed here, it promptly coordinated the work of dozens of volunteers from ethnic and cultural associations of the region and city, accepted humanitarian aid and provided its delivery to the affected residents. Also, in all regions of the country, the headquarters of the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan were opened to organize assistance. The collection points of humanitarian aid worked on the basis of all the Houses of Friendship of the Republic. The youth wings of the APK also joined the large-scale action. Within the framework of the project "JAGSYLYQJASA" the Republican youth movement "Zhangyru Zholy" organized actions on a formation of volunteer groups for the Turkestan region.
Under the regional administration, the work of the corporate social development fund "Turkistan" was organized to raise funds for humanitarian assistance to victims in the city of Arys. Employees of state bodies and organizations of the country to help residents of Arys transferred one-day earnings.
The National Chamber of Entrepreneurs "Atameken" also contributed to the common cause, calling on the business community to support the residents of Arys, it united large companies to help businessmen of Arys. An account for fundraising was opened by the public association "Menin Atamekenim". Owners of small and medium-sized businesses in Arys were exempted from taxes until the end of 2019.
Representatives of the Republican Council for the protection of children's rights under the party organized the work of 24 child psychologists. In social networks, a challenge with the hashtag # НұрСұлтансыаласыАрыспенБірге was launched.
In Nur Sultan, the budget for the celebration of the Capital Day was reduced three times, and the money received from paid events was transferred to the Aid Fund of Arys.
In Almaty, the public movement "I Am a Resident of Almaty" collected humanitarian aid on the basis of AltynArystan at the Narxoz stadium.
The help of numerous volunteers who took the residents of Arys to safe places is invaluable. They assisted to place the victims in temporary shelters, helped them with registration, with search for lost children and adults, provided evacuation points with groceries, daily necessities, bought, delivered and handed them out, helped with fundraising, disseminated information necessary for Arys residents on the Internet, and also took care of pets left without owners.
Unity, harmony, cohesion are especially important concepts of the traditional worldview of the Kazakh people, their place and meaning are nicely put by the proverb "Birlik bolmay – tirlik bolmas" (Without unity there is no life). Unity is a manifestation of unanimity, harmony and peace among people, both in daily life and in critical situations.
It is gratifying that fraternal peoples supported our country in this difficult time. Kazakhstan takes a worthy place in the world and enjoys well-deserved respect and trust that is the result of the wise and far-sighted policy of First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan – Elbassy Nursultan Nazarbayev and President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.
President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon sent a telegram with condolences and support. "With deep sadness, I took the news of the explosion in the city of Arys, which led to significant damage and human casualties. On my own behalf and on behalf of the Tajik people, I express my sincere condolences to You, the relatives and friends of the victims, as well as words of support to the families of the victims and hope for their speedy recovery",- the telegram said. The President of Tajikistan also noted the prompt actions taken by the Government of Kazakhstan and the dedicated work of Kazakhstan's services during the evacuation and elimination of the consequences of the tragedy.
President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan sent a telegram of condolences. "With great compassion, I have taken sad news about human casualties as a result of explosion at an ammunition depot in the military unit of Arys, Turkestan region. I share sad feelings of the people of Kazakhstan. On behalf of the Turkish people and my own behalf, I express my deep condolences to You, the brotherly people of Kazakhstan, the relatives and friends of the victims", - the press service of Akorda quotes the message. The Turkish President wished a speedy recovery to the wounded as a result of the emergency.
Russia has offered assistance in liquidation of the consequences of explosions in Arys. A military delegation from the Russian Ministry of Defense arrived in Kazakhstan for consulting on the aftermath of the explosions. The delegation highly appreciated the work of Kazakh soldiers to clean the city from shells. "Believe me, no one in our time is immune to explosions while storing ammunition. The city is clean, the military carried out tremendous work despite difficult conditions. Cleaning the city in four days is an incredible and colossal work of the Kazakh military", – said the head of the delegation, the head of the group of the Office of the Chief of Engineering Troops of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Colonel Alexei Zotov.
According to the Russian experts, earlier Kazakh soldiers have done a lot of work to ensure the safety of ammunition storage in the arsenal, and the arsenal itself was equipped with all the necessary and modern technical means of protection. "Thanks to the timely actions of the Kazakh military and their professionalism, the scale of destruction was minimal", - A. Zotov said.
President of the Kyrgyz Republic Sooronbai Jeenbekov expressed condolences to the bereaved families and words of support to the wounded in the blasts in Arys.
"The whole of Kyrgyzstan, showing sympathy, is following closely the situation in the Kazakh city of Arys. As a military man, who devoted almost all his life to the service, I want to say that the authorities of Kazakhstan coped with the situation with honor, they did not allow a large number of civilian casualties. All the measures taken were timely", - said the military expert, former chief of the General staff of the Armed forces of Kyrgyzstan Zh. Kaparov.
Zh. Kaparov said that no army of the world is safe from such an emergency: "The process of organizing the storage of weapons and ammunition is technologically complex... Naturally, it is better to prevent such an emergency, but if such a situation has already occurred, the authorities should make every effort to prevent a large number of victims and the situation from getting out of control".
Military observer of the Russian "Novaya Gazeta" Pavel Felgengauer said: "This is a serious situation that must be addressed. So far, it has not been resolved. Money is needed, efforts are necessary. This volume cannot be disposed very quickly. Investments in storage is needed, it must be sorted".
"Cases arise not only in our country but also in other countries. Everything related to weapons and military equipment always has some kind of risk. We will sort out and give detailed information", – explained the situation Deputy Minister of Defense of Kazakhstan Timur Dandybayev.
The army always joins the liquidation of the consequences of emergency. During the emergency in Arys, the Kazakh army showed high professionalism, and the soldiers – devotion to duty and honor. The coordinated actions of the military and their desire to save people are highly respected. And in this, of course, an important role was played by the responsibility of the Minister of Defense of Kazakhstan Nurlan Yermekbayev, a man who is a career officer, who knows military affairs firsthand and the most important thing to emphasize in his attitude is a sense of unity and empathy for the people, for the residents affected by the explosions in Arys.
And today, a month after the incident, his main task is personal control over the redeployment of a military unit, the destruction and transportation of ammunition. A few days a week he is in Arys and personally supervises the whole process. An understanding of the great responsibility to the people of Kazakhstan, impartial and coordinated work of the Minister of Defense and his department give positive results on the elimination of the consequences of the tragedy.
According to the data, 463 personnel and 53 units of equipment of the Ministry of internal Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan were involved in the emergency. Among them are 193 employees and 23 units of equipment of civil protection bodies, as well as 270 employees and 30 units of equipment of police units, 6 aircraft, including an unmanned aerial vehicle. Also, 500 soldiers of the military unit 6506 of the National Guard of Kazakhstan, deployed in Shymkent, were sent to Arys to maintain public order.
Firefighters showed steadfastness and courage: they were the first to fight the fire, despite the risk of explosion. The Advisor of the Governor of the Turkestan region Saken Kalamanov published photos of exhausted, having a rest, firefighters. "Hats off to the firefighters, risking their lives they were extinguishing the fire all day long in Arys, dismantled the rubble of evacuated residents. At night, it was organized sleeping accommodation in a safe area, and they fell asleep in the staff office, on the gym floor. In the morning all the fires in the city were extinguished, except the territory of the military unit. They are real heroes. In total, about 400 fighters were involved in the elimination of emergency", - he signed the photo. 23 fire brigades worked in Arys – fires were contained in 19 houses, 9 outbuildings, as well as 14 natural fires: grass burned in the steppe.
Devotion to military duty was shown also by military sappers who carried out cleaning of the territory of unexploded shells. In Arys, 42 demining groups worked. Any mine neutralization is a sign of courage and feat. According to the sappers, everyone tried to fulfil his goals as best as possible because everyone understood that the safety of civilians would depend on it.
"You have made a great contribution to the restoration of the Kazakh city destroyed after the emergency, – said the Chairman of the regional branch of the RPA "Veterans of the Armed forces", honorary veteran of the Armed forces of Kazakhstan, retired Lieutenant Colonel Token Bilyalov. – You have proved that the Kazakh army is truly a people's army because it did not stand aside".
The work of sappers, firefighters is one of the most dangerous and risky professions, both in peacetime and in emergency.
In record time (four days) cleaning of the city was carried out. Thus, thanks to the timely work of all departments, the dedicated work of soldiers and civilians, it was possible to avoid worse consequences.
Paying tribute to the courage and valor of the soldiers, President of Kazakhstan Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev instructed to reward the dead and the most distinguished in the course of rescue and recovery work of soldiers and representatives of the relevant services.
It should be noted that during the period of stay in the city of Arys, military units in addition to the elimination of the consequences of the emergency were carried out activities for disinfection, sanitation and more.
At all entry points to the danger zone, there were police cordons. Active explanatory work with residents on the risks of handling ammunition fragments was carried out in the town. To this end, a house-to-house of residents were conducted. Also, the personnel of the military helps the residents of Arys to move in their homes. A group of military psychologists carries out a range of activities, including consultations with the population.
By joint efforts of all services and departments, a great deal of work is done to eliminate the consequences of the emergency and the restoration of housing and facilities of Arys. According to the order of President Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev, the infrastructure of the city was restored in record time. From 8524 objects of the city, 7198 had to be repaired. As of July 28, 2707 houses have been renovated and work has been completed without interior decoration in 2344 houses – which means that more than 70% of families will have roofs over their heads by the first of August. 219 companies, 7785 workers and 268 units of special equipment were involved in the restoration of the city. The pace of work and resources devoted to the restoration of the city have no precedent in the history of independent Kazakhstan.
Unfortunately, taking advantage of this situation, they are trying to disturb harmony in society, drive a wedge and provoke distrust to the authorities and the army. No wonder that since ancient times it is said: internal strife is more terrible than the external enemy. The army is holding back extremist forces and movements within the country, preventing them by the very fact of its existence.
Selfless devotion of our soldiers will become an example for today's youth, will increase people's respect for the military, as well as promote the education of the younger generation in the spirit of patriotism to be worthy defenders of the Fatherland.
Bіrlіgі joq el tozady, bіrlіgі kúshtі el ozady (people without unity are friends with need, people which are strong by unity are friends with happiness), they say. Unity and cohesion have always been a solid foundation of our state. And in those tragic days, Arys became another symbol of national unity. Our multinational people without quarrels and conflicts take confident steps forward. Together overcoming the difficulties of this path, we preserve and pass on to our descendants a unique experience - living and developing in peace, unity and creation.
Director of the Library of the First President of
Republic of Kazakhstan – Elbassy,
Doctor of political science, Professor
A. M. Rakhimzhanov.