In this image taken from video released by Russian Defense Ministry Press Service, a military vehicle of Russian peacekeepers of Collective Security Treaty Organization gets ready to be loaded onto a Russian military plane starting to withdraw its troops at an airport outside Almaty, Kazakhstan, Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022. In light of unprecedented mass protests that quickly grew violent, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev requested help from the Collective Security Treaty Organization, a Russia-led military alliance of six ex-Soviet states. The bloc sent over 2,000 troops to Kazakhstan last week, and on Tuesday Tokayev declared their mission largely complete. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP)
MOSCOW — Russia’s defense ministry says the troops that were deployed to Kazakhstan as violent demonstrations shook the country have returned home.
The troops were part of a force sent as peacekeepers by the Collective Treaty Security Organization, a Russia-led alliance of six former Soviet states. The CSTO approved the force of more than 2,000 on Jan. 5 at the request of Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.
The demonstrations started on Jan. 2 to protest a sharp rise in fuel prices. They quickly spread nationwide and descended into violence within several days. Protesters stormed government buildings and set them ablaze, and dozens of people were killed in clashes with the country’s security forces.
The Russian Defense Ministry said Saturday that all of its planes carrying troops had returned. It was not clear whether troops from other CSTO countries remain in Kazakhstan.