According to the Collective Security Treaty Organization, Russian paratroopers have entered Kazakhstan to complete their “assigned tasks.” Russia has also called the troops “peacekeepers”, and they will be allowed to use arms if attacked by “armed gangs.”
Kazakhstan has faced rapid instability after deadly clashes in Almaty, where dozens are feared dead. More than 60 are already reported to be in the ICU after the state police started to crack down on the protesters.
More than 18 police officers and authorities have been killed, while more than 700 are wounded. One of them was found beheaded by the protestors.
However, while the state police claimed that thousands of protestors were arrested, reports have also shown that tens of protestors are dead while thousands are wounded and with dozens in the ICU.
Recently, the Russian RIA news agency reported that the “peacekeepers” are about 2,500, and they have the authorization to use weapons against the protestors. They will also stay in Kazakhstan for weeks if needed.
Moreover, it is not just Russia sending troops as military units from other CSTO member states; Armenia, Belarus, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan were also being sent, the secretariat said. CSTO did not disclose the size of the forces that were being deployed.
Earlier today, the Russian foreign ministry also released a statement saying, “We regard the recent events in a friendly country as an attempt, inspired from the outside, to undermine the security and integrity of the state by force, using trained and organized armed formations,” the foreign ministry has said Russia wants to carry out a “counter-terrorist” attack on the Kazakhstani protesters.
After the reports of Russian troops being deployed in Kazakhstan, the European Union and The United States have both regarded “concern” about the situation in Kazakhstan. An EU spokesperson said, “The violence must be stopped. We are also calling for restraint from all parties and a peaceful resolution of the situation. Now obviously, the EU is ready and willing to support a dialogue in the country.”
The British Foreign Office also released a statement saying, “We call for calm, and we condemn acts of violence and the destruction of property and buildings. We also call for a resumption of internet services and for the Kazakh authorities to respect their commitments to freedom of speech and expression.”
While U.S State Department spokesman Ned Price said, “The United States and, frankly, the world will be watching for any violation of human rights. We will also be watching for any actions that may lay the predicate for the seizure of Kazakh institutions.”