Russian troops return from Kazakhstan

The Russian Defense Ministry said that the troops deployed in Kazakhstan as violent demonstrations erupted that rocked the country have returned home.

The troops were part of a force sent as peacekeepers by the Collective Security Treaty Organization, a Russian-led coalition of six former Soviet countries. The CSTO approved a force of more than 2,000 soldiers on January 5 at the request of Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

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The demonstrations began on January 2, protesting against the sharp rise in fuel prices. They quickly spread across the country and descended into violence within several days. Protesters stormed government buildings and set them on fire, and dozens were killed in clashes with the country’s security forces.

And the Russian Defense Ministry said, on Saturday, that all of its planes carrying soldiers have returned. It was not clear whether forces from other CSTO countries would remain in Kazakhstan.

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