Why did Putin withdraw ‘Russian NATO’ soldiers from Kazakhstan?

Protests in Kazakhstan that erupted after fuel prices rose in early January have raged despite the resignation of the Kazakh government and the cancellation of the price hike, as clashes ensued between police and protesters. In this context, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokaev appealed to Putin to help him activate the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). Subsequently, Russian President Vladimir Putin deployed a peacekeeping force to the country at the request of his Kazakh counterpart. Other members of the CSTO, consisting of Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, have announced that they will follow this example. Russia has deployed dozens of tanks, 200 military aircraft and 2,500 troops in the country. “We view recent events in a friendly country as an attempt, inspired from outside, to undermine the security and integrity of the state by force,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. communicated. President Tokayev, for his part, said Almaty, the country’s former capital and largest city, was under attack by 20,000 “terrorists”, adding that they would shoot anyone who did not surrender. In addition, Tokayev said that the armed terrorists were trained by a single center and received instructions accordingly.

Kazakhstan’s plea for help from Russia has disturbed many countries, primarily US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he could not imagine Kazakhstan asking for help from the CSTO when they had the capacity to repress the demonstrations: “So we don’t know why they feel the need for outside help. So we are trying to find out more about it. Of the Russians leading a peacekeeping force in Kazakhstan, Blinken said:

“I think a lesson from recent history is that once the Russians are in your house, sometimes it’s very difficult to get them to leave.”

The Russian Foreign Ministry hit back at Blinken’s statement and said, “If Antony Blinken loves history lessons so much, here’s one that comes to mind: When Americans are at your house, it can be hard to stay alive without being robbed or raped. The left-leaning French newspaper Le Monde also weighed in on the controversy between the Russian and American sides. He claimed that the kerfuffle in Kazakhstan was planned to stir up trouble against the Organization of Turkish States. Italian media, for their part, said that Turkey was targeted by the same organization.

“Russia comes to help”

“Kazakhstan has been the object of armed aggression by well-coordinated terrorist groups trained abroad,” the country’s ambassador to Ankara, Abzal Saparbekuly, told reporters on Tuesday.

“Counter-terrorism operations are currently being carried out in my country. Especially around the city of Almaty, foreign-trained terrorists abound. The security forces and the national intelligence agency made certain discoveries. There are hot clashes; they raided the police department and seized weapons. Market chains and banks are looted. Military forces are conducting a sweeping operation.

Stating that the bandits use both weapons they stole in raids and previously supplied firearms, Saparbekuly added, “Only terrorists are targeted.”

Russia announces the withdrawal of its forces

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev announced on Tuesday that the CSTO peacekeeping force had successfully completed its mission in the country and would gradually withdraw from Thursday. Putin, for his part, stressed that the Moscow-led military peacekeeping force would only be temporarily stationed in Kazakhstan, a victim of “global terrorism”. Furthermore, he swore that Russia would not allow any revolutions in the region and claimed that he had withdrawn his troops from Kazakhstan.

However, security experts who have been reiterating Russia’s demand for two years to grant certain rights to the northern regions of Kazakhstan (justifying this demand by pointing the finger at the Russian population in Kazakhstan), say: “The integration of Kazakhstan to world markets and the emergence of Russian hegemony, in addition to the revision of the education system based on Russian culture with its own cultural codes, have become sore points vis-à-vis Russia. Kazakhstan, which signed the Organization of Turkic States treaty on Jan. 6, approved a law in the name of preserving its own culture that would see all Russian signs removed. It remains to be seen whether Russia has entered into a secret imperialist deal with Kazakhstan in return for its aid, as the existence of such a deal is sure to expose Putin’s true colors which have so far been so well hidden. .

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