On Thursday, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that Russian-led forces have begun withdrawing from Kazakhstan, where they have been sent to support authorities in the face of unprecedented riots.
An official ceremony for the soldiers who participated in the operation under the banner of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the Moscow-led military alliance, was held in morning in Almaty, the largest city in Kazakhstan, according to an AFP correspondent.
Russian general Andrei Serdyukov said that “the maintenance operation of the pace it’s over … the tasks have been completed. “Serdyukov is the commander of a CSTO battalion of 2,030 soldiers from Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, which was sent to the former Soviet republic of Central Asia on 6 January.
For its part, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement: “After completing the specified tasks, the units of the Corps of pace of the Collective Security Treaty Organization have begun to prepare their military and technical equipment for transfer to Russian Air Force aircraft with the aim of returning to their permanent base. “
On Wednesday, the President of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, announced the completion of the mission of “maintaining the pace”in your country, carried out by the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization.
For its part, the organization said yesterday that the maintenance unit of the pace, made up of 2,000 soldiers, will take ten days to fully withdraw and that this process will begin on Thursday.
The Kazakh president expressed his gratitude to the Russian and allied forces, which according to him “have played a very important role in stabilizing the situation in the country”.
He added: “Without doubt, it was of great moral importance to discourage the attack by terrorists and bandits. We can consider the mission very successful.”
During a meeting with CSTO Secretary General Stanislav Zas, Tokayev said that the mission “confirmed once again the value of the organization itself as a politico-military structure”. “The effectiveness of the organization has been clearly demonstrated in this circumstance, “he added.
This comes when Tokayev visited Almaty on Wednesday for the first time since the violence last week, promising to repair the damage in the country’s economic capital.
He said at a government meeting, according to a statement released by the Kazakh presidential office, that “the task now is to rebuild the city as soon as possible … I have no doubt that the city will be rebuilt.”
Dozens of people were killed in the violence and the events began after peaceful demonstrations against rising gas prices.
Almaty was shaken by violence, with gun battles, looting of shops and fires at the town hall and presidential residence, which resulted in dozens of deaths and hundreds of injured.
The authorities described the riots following the protests against rising fuel prices, the deterioration of living standards and rampant corruption in the country, as a foreign “terrorist” attack.
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