Russian troops to withdraw from Kazakhstan

New York: Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev told parliament that the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) military bloc will start withdrawing its troops from Kazakhstan in two days.

“The main mission of the CSTO peacekeeping forces has been successfully completed,” Tokayev said during a session broadcast live on state television.

“In two days a phased withdrawal of the CSTO united peacekeeping contingent will begin. The withdrawal process of the contingent will take no more than 10 days,” he said.

This comes after nearly a week of unrest, by far the worst violence in the 30-year independent history of the former Soviet state.

Tokayev picked acting prime minister Alikhan Smailov to take on the job permanently, and Kazakhstan’s lower house swiftly voted to confirm his nomination with unanimous support.

More than 2,000 troops from Russia, other former Soviet states have been in Kazakhstan to help extinguish protests.

Government buildings in several cities were briefly captured or set alight after protests escalated.

Dozens of people were killed in clashes between protesters and government forces in what Tokayev called an attempted coup d’etat coordinated by “a single center.”

Troops were ordered to shoot to kill to put down the unrest that grew out of a peaceful protest against an energy price hike in the west of the country.

Security forces have detained 9,900 people since the crisis began in the oil-rich Central Asian nation, the Interior Ministry said. (dw.com)

 

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