Russia and its allies announced on Thursday that they would send the first contingent of peacekeepers to Kazakhstan. Dozens were killed and more than 350 were injured In the last hours, according to police.
“A joint peacekeeping force from the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) was sent to Kazakhstan for a period of time to normalize and stabilize the situation,” the military spokeswoman Maria Jazarova, a spokeswoman for the Russian embassy, said in a telegram.
Anti-government protests in Kazakhstan turned violent on Thursday Authorities say dozens of protesters were killed in the clashes. The Interior Ministry said at least 12 police officers were killed in the clashes.
A spokesman for the Almaty Police Department told local media “Terrorist forces” tried to attack various government buildings, including the police station. A video from the Russian state news agency Toss Shows armed security forces firing near the main square of Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest city.
“Dozens of attackers have been evacuated and their identities have been established,” the Russian news agency said. Interfox.
The worst crisis is coming to Central Asia, a country of about 19 million people Russia-led military alliance prepares to enter “blue helmets” Hours after regional leader Kazakh President Qasim-Jomar Tokaye responded to his appeal. Almaty police have warned residents not to leave their homes while the “anti-terrorism operation” is underway.
Armenian Prime Minister Nicole Pashinian, who heads a council within the Joint Security Agreement, a group of post-Soviet countries, said on Facebook that an unspecified number of troops would be sent to Central Asia “for a limited time”. “Stabilize and resolve the situation”.
Thus reported by CSTO Troops from Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan will be stationed in Kazakhstan, with the main purpose of protecting government and military establishments. Moscow also sent paratroopers, the organization said, adding that some Russian peacekeepers were already on the ground.
Further A total of 1,000 people have been injured since the protests began. Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Health said on Thursday. Four hundred of them have been admitted to the hospital and 62 are in intensive care, he added.
Kazakhstan’s internet was reportedly shut down on Thursday and domestic banking services were suspended.
U.S. State Department spokesman Nate Price called on all parties to work for a peaceful settlement.
“We condemn the violence and the damage to property and demand that it be stopped,” said Tariq al-Hashimi, the party’s secretary general. “We call on all Kazakh people to respect and protect constitutional institutions, human rights and media freedom, including the restoration of Internet service.”
The protests, which began over the weekend in the oil-rich west, spread to other cities, including major cities such as Almaty. Protesters stormed government buildings and seized the airport in the city, which was the country’s capital until 1997.. Part of his anger seems to have been directed at the country’s dictatorial former president, Narsultan Nazarbayev, who continues to wield significant power behind the scenes under the official title of “Father of the Nation.”
(With information from The Washington Post and AFP)