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January 27, 2022
Russia-led alliance troops arrived in Kazakhstan on Thursday after increasingly chaotic and violent protests took place over several days and resulted in dozens of people killed and hundreds injured, according to authorities.
The troops were deployed as part of a “peacekeeping” force from the Collective Security Treaty Organization, a Russia-led Eurasian military alliance akin to NATO. The CSTO, composed of Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, announced early Thursday that units had arrived and would be conducting operations “stabilizing” the country and protecting “important state and military facilities.”
Kazakhstan’s president, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, requested CSTO’s assistance late Wednesday evening, describing protesters as “a band of international terrorists.”
Nikol Pashinyan, the prime minister of Armenia and the chairman of CSTO’s Security Council, announced later that evening that the organization had accepted Tokayev’s request and that forces would intervene “for a limited period of time.” Pashinyan echoed Tokayev’s rhetoric characterizing protests “as a result of external intervention.”
Kazakh police reported killing dozens of protesters and detaining more than 2,000 people in the past day. There were also reports of several police being killed, with one officer reportedly found beheaded.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke on Thursday with Kazakhstan Foreign Minister Mukhtar Tileuberdi regarding the ongoing state of emergency, according to a statement from State Department spokesperson Ned Price.
Blinken reiterated full U.S. support for “Kazakhstan’s constitutional institutions and media freedom and advocated for a peaceful, rights-respecting resolution to the crisis,” Price said.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: NH REGISTER