Kazakh leader evokes Ukraine as land protests spread | Reuters
The protests which are entering their second week, were sparked by fears that land reforms will allow foreigners to take over farmland, although some analysts say many Kazakhs have attended the demonstrations to express their general discontent.
A legal overhaul due to take effect on July 1 will allow the government to sell farmland to joint ventures, provided they are controlled by Kazakh residents, and lease it to foreigners for up to 25 years. Previously they were only allowed leases for up to 10 years.
Opponents of the new law, who staged their first protest in the city of Atyrau last Sunday, see the change as a threat to national security, especially after the government announced several agreements with neighboring China for agricultural projects.