On the morning of January 2, two days after the world entered into a new year, hundreds of people began gathering in the city square of Zhanaozen in Mangystau Region in the Central Asian country of Kazakhstan. Overnight more people began to gather in the oil rich region of Zhanaozen and across the former Soviet republic Kazakhstan, including the capital city of Almaty. The main demand of the protesters was the reduction of fuel prices, which increased by around 100 percent .