Russia's southern neighbour, Kazakhstan, witnessed violence earlier this month when sacked oil workers clashed with police.
As many as fifteen people were killed - many of the victims shot dead by police.
The unrest took place as the country marked twenty years of independence from the former Soviet Union.
Kazakhstan was the last of the Soviet territories to gain autonomy after the fall of the USSR in 1991 but authoritarianism remains firmly in place and tensions are never far from the surface.
Al Jazeera's Robin Forestier Walker reports.