Today, Sunday, the Presidency of Kazakhstan announced that the strategic facilities in the country are guarded by Russian forces.
The Russian Defense Ministry said that Russian paratroopers from the CSTO peacekeeping forces have begun protecting vital installations in Kazakhstan.
The ministry said in a statement that the Russian units of the peacekeeping forces, which were flown on military transport planes from Russian airports, began carrying out their tasks after being briefed on the situation in Kazakhstan.
The ministry explained that the Russian paratroopers were assigned to protect vital facilities, infrastructure and social institutions in Kazakhstan.
Russian military transport aircraft have so far carried out more than 70 flights, using Il-76 and An-124 aircraft to transport units of the CSTO peacekeeping forces to Kazakhstan.
In accordance with the Resolution of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, adopted on January 6, the Collective Peacekeeping Forces of the Collective Security Treaty Organization were sent to the Republic of Kazakhstan for a limited period, to help stabilize the situation and restore calm life.
The organization’s forces included units of the armed forces of Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.
The main tasks of the Collective Peacekeeping Forces of the Collective Security Treaty Organization are to protect important government and military facilities in Kazakhstan.
5,000 people arrested
Local media quoted the Kazakh authorities as saying on Sunday that more than 5,000 people were arrested in the country due to the unrest that engulfed the largest country in Central Asia this week.
The Ministry of the Interior, whose statement was reported by the media, stated that 5135 people were arrested as part of 125 different investigations.
Unprecedented unrest since its independence in 1989 has rocked Kazakhstan of 19 million people, rich in oil and gas, this week, and led to dozens of deaths.
Clashes between protesters and police in the Kazakh countryside on January 5
The protests began in the countryside last Sunday with the increase in the price of gas before they included large cities, especially the country’s economic capital Almaty, where riots broke out and the police fired live bullets at the demonstrators.
On Sunday, the media quoted the Interior Ministry as saying that the initial estimate of the value of the material damages resulting from these disturbances amounted to about 198 million dollars.
More than 100 stores and banks were looted and more than 400 cars were destroyed, according to the ministry.
Interior Minister Erlan Turgombayev said: “The situation has stabilized in all regions of the country. The anti-terror operation is continuing to restore order.”
Relative calm returned to Almaty, with police officers firing in the air from time to time to prevent residents from approaching the city’s central square, AFP correspondents reported on Saturday.
Burnt bus after protests in Almaty
In a timid sign that the situation is returning to normal, about 30 supermarkets reopened their doors in Almaty on Sunday, Kazakh media reported, at a time when residents are expressing concern about a shortage of materials.
Long queues have formed in recent days in front of gas stations, according to AFP journalists.
As for Almaty Airport, which was occupied by the demonstrators for a short period, it will remain closed “until the situation stabilizes,” the authorities said on Sunday. The airport was supposed to resume operations on Monday.