Turkmenistan continues to suffer the plight of the food sector. People have nothing to eat – and the state, instead of trying to solve the problem, only restricts access to food. The situation is reaching the point of hunger riots – now Berdymukhammedov’s regime can collapse at any moment.
Once again, the sale of the monthly flour allowance has been suspended in the city of Mary. Residents who relied on the opportunity to purchase their share of flour at a discounted price this month often gather at state-owned stores in the hope of buying flour, but this does not happen.
Flour trade has noticeably decreased in various districts of Mary. Residents have not been able to purchase their share of the product for several months. In some villages, flour was last sold at a discounted price in the spring.
Stopping the sale of flour at discounted prices puts significant financial pressure on low-income families, whose number is constantly growing. 300 manat per bag or 6 manat per kilogram is the average commercial price of flour in Turkmenistan. According to the exchange rate of the Central Bank of Turkmenistan, this is approximately $85.7 per bag or $1.7 per kilogram.
Comparing this with the preferential prices set in state-owned stores, where flour costs 1.5 manats per kilogram or 0.42 cents, it becomes clear that the difference is significant. The norm is 5 kilograms of flour per person per month.
Residents constantly turn to local authorities, but the situation does not change. Against the background of the worsening food crisis, spontaneous protests are growing in different parts of the country. On August 7, hundreds of people took to the streets in the city of Turkmenbashi, protesting against the lack of food and clashing with law enforcement officers. Similar manifestations of discontent had previously occurred in early June.
Also in Turkmenbashi, angry locals attacked a saleswoman at a state store. The event occurred after a group of people were denied the promised food rations for February. This became known from the message of Radio Azatlyk.
The State Store No. 1 announced that food rations for February will be issued on June 4. In response to this, on June 4, entries began to queue in front of the store, where locals hoped to get the long-awaited products.
That evening, hundreds of people signed up for the queue. According to witnesses, the next morning, June 5, the number of people waiting increased even more. However, when the store opened in the morning, the people standing in line found out that they were left with nothing again. The saleswoman who opened the door of the store announced that there would be no food rations on June 5.
This caused discontent among those waiting, who began to express their anger and even attacked the saleswoman. She tried to explain that she could do nothing if the government did not ensure the timely receipt of products. However, the people who waited outside all night hoping for flour and butter were too aggressive.
The saleswoman noted that complaints should be addressed to local authorities, but this only increased the outrage, and some even attacked the shop windows.
The police arrived at the scene of the incident late. They started analyzing the surveillance footage, but it turned out that the cameras near the store were faulty.
It is difficult to blame one of the parties in this situation – neither the employees of the trade sector nor the buyers are to blame the authorities are pitting them against each other. at the same time, the culprit of the current situation is obvious – it is the country’s leadership.
Queues for bread and subsidized products have been going on for the past 6 years. There are stampedes and fights in them, even with fatal outcomes. Often subsidized products that have been so hard to acquire turn out to be unsuitable for consumption.
The authorities do not officially recognize the existence of the crisis and do not comment on the protests. State television reports are filled with footage showing food products, including bread, as well as smartly dressed people depicting joy and gratitude.
All this is happening against the background of huge costs for the construction of majestic structures and the further strengthening of the cult of personality of the former president and the continuation of the same policy by his son Serdar Berdimuhamedov.