(RoyalPatriot.com )- On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin told the Collective Security Treaty Organization that Russian troops sent last week to Kazakhstan as “peacekeepers” would remain there until their mission was complete. And on Tuesday’s Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said Russian-led “peacekeepers” would begin withdrawing from the Central Asian country on Thursday.
After the recent protests in Kazakhstan turned violent, President Tokayev asked for assistance from the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the Moscow-based alliance of six former Soviet states. Within hours, the CSTO’s council approved the deployment of peacekeepers.
And in a video call with parliament Tuesday, Tokayev said the situation in Kazakhstan has since stabilized.
In his speech, Tokayev also appeared to distance himself from his predecessor, former President Nursultan Nazarbayev. He said the public discontent over income inequality reflected in last week’s unrest was justifiable, and he called on Nazarbayev’s wealthy associates to share their wealth.
While the protests were initially sparked over the skyrocketing gas prices, the speed with which they spread throughout the country reflected a deeper discontent with the Kazakh ruling government which has controlled the country since it gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
Many of the protesters were shouting “old man go,” apparently referring to Nazarbayev, the country’s first president who, despite resigning in 2019, still wields enormous influence over the government.
When the protests turned violent last week and both the presidential residence and the mayor’s office in the city of Almaty were torched, President Tokayev announced that Nazarbayev was leaving his post as the head of the Kazakh Security Council.
In his video address to parliament, Tokayev said it was time for the companies and people that profited heavily from Nazarbayev to “pay their dues to the people of Kazakhstan and help them on a systemic and regular basis.”
Among those whose wealth expanded thanks to Nazarbayev are members of his family.
Tokayev spoke of initiatives to close the wealth gap, raise taxes on the mining sector, and reign in irregularities in state procurement and other areas where Nazarbayev’s wealthy associates have business interests.
He also blasted Kazakhstan’s National Security Committee both for missing the looming threat that led to the protests and failing to act swiftly during the protests turned violent.