Kazakhstan: military alliance begins with withdrawal

Status: 01/13/2022 9:59 a.m.

The Russian-led military alliance sees its mission accomplished and withdraws its troops from Kazakhstan. After the deadly clashes, the situation seems to have calmed down. The fate of those arrested remains uncertain.

A week after the transfer of its troops to the bloody turmoil of the former Soviet Republic of Kazakhstan, the Russian-led military alliance CSTO initiated the withdrawal. The alliance handed over “socially important objects” to the Kazakh authorities, as announced by the Russian Defense Ministry. The soldiers had completed their mission and were now preparing their military equipment for loading into Russian Air Force transport planes. The emergency services would then return to their bases.

The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CTSC), in which four other former Soviet republics are allied in addition to Russia and Kazakhstan, sent more than 2,000 troops to Kazakhstan at the request of Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev after the mass protests of the past week. On Tuesday, Tokayev announced that the CSTO’s “peacekeeping forces” would gradually withdraw from Thursday.

Russia-led military alliance begins with troop withdrawal from Kazakhstan

Tagesschau 16:00, 13.1.2022

Tokayev’s visit to Almaty

The Kazakh government has been talking for days about a stabilization situation in the country. The authorities have now opened the Almaty metropolitan airport, closed for a week, to passenger traffic. The Kazakh aviation authority has announced that domestic and international flights are again possible every day between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. Air traffic ceased last week after violent protests and the siege of radical groups. Control of the airport was quickly restored – authorities then used it to relocate CSTO troops.

The state of emergency continues to apply in the city itself. It is also not known when foreigners are allowed to return. The Kazakh government had closed the borders of the former Soviet republic due to the tense situation in the country.

Tokayev visited Almaty on Wednesday for the first time since the deadly clashes began in the country. He pledged to repair the damage to the country’s largest oil-rich city and financial metropolis. “The task now is to rebuild the city as quickly as possible”, declared the head of state.

The fate of those arrested is unclear

More than 10,000 people have been arrested during protests and violent clashes. Again and again, relatives wait outside prisons in the hope of learning more about the fate of those arrested.

Some visited morgues to see if a loved one was among those who died in the unprecedented violence in the country. Authorities have refused to see relatives and lawyers, according to human rights activists, and have provided little information. Official figures put the death toll at 164. Tokayev said hundreds of civilians and members of the security forces were killed and injured. To date, more than 300 criminal investigations have been opened into the riot. Human rights activists have warned that the authoritarian former Soviet republic must guarantee them a fair trial.

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