Security forces appeared to have reclaimed the streets of Kazakhstan's main city on Friday after days of violence, and the Russian-backed president said he had ordered his troops to shoot to kill to put down a countrywide uprising.
A day after Moscow sent paratroopers to help crush the insurrection, police were patrolling the debris-strewn streets of Almaty, although some gunfire could still be heard.
Wanted at home for fraud and embezzlement, Ablyazov lives in France where he has been granted refugee status. He has dismissed all the charges against him in Russia and Kazakhstan as politically motivated.
Ablyazov cast himself as the leader of the opposition protests and said he was consulted every day on tactics on the ground in Almaty.
He said he was ready to fly into Kazakhstan to head a provisional government if the protests escalated and said his activists were awaiting him.