Russia-led troops begin pullback from Kazakhstan

Friday, Jan 14, 2022

Almaty, Kazakhstan: Over 2,000 Russia-led troops began withdrawing from Kazakhstan on Thursday after being deployed when peaceful protests over an energy price hike in the Central Asian country turned into unprecedented violence claiming dozens of lives.

The decision to despatch peacekeepers was a first for the Moscow-led Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), often touted by Russia as a Nato equivalent. At a ceremony marking the end of the mission, soldiers lined up as anthems from each of the six CSTO member countries were played before official speeches.

"The peacekeeping operation is over ... the tasks have been fulfilled," said Russian General Andrei Serdyukov, commander of the CSTO contingent that included troops from Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.