CSTO declares peace mission in Kazakhstan over: First Russian soldiers flown off

The defense ministers of the participating states of the Collective Security Organization (CSTO) agreed on January 13, one week after the start of the peacekeeping mission, to withdraw from Kazakhstan. The meeting of the CSTO Council of Ministers took place via video conference call. This declared the peace operation ended after the violent mass unrest in the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan.

The CSTO General Secretary Stanislaw Sas told the news agency Interfaxthat the troop withdrawal had already started this Thursday. It will take about ten days.

“The peace mission of the CSTO in the republic has come to an end. That is the joint assessment of the political leadership of the CSTO member states and the military command of the collective peacekeeping forces of the CSTO and the Kazakh armed forces.”

Sas announced that bandits and terrorists had been crushed. As some of them tried to go into hiding, the Kazakh security forces have made and continue to arrest suspects. This is now the exclusive task of the Interior Ministry, the National Guard and the security authorities of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

The violent mass protests in the Central Asian country were sparked at the beginning of January by rapidly rising prices. Protesters looted shops and stormed administration buildings in several cities. There were fatal clashes with the police. The government initiated counter-terrorism operations and declared a state of emergency nationwide by January 19. President Qassym-Shomart Toqayev asked the CSTO for support. Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, Belarus and Tajikistan then sent troops to the former Soviet republic. One of their most important tasks was the protection of administrative buildings and diplomatic missions.

more on the subject – Kazakh President describes mass unrest as “attempted coup”

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