(RoyalPatriot.com )- Russia has sent troops into a foreign country this week, but it’s not Ukraine. It’s Kazakhstan.
On Thursday, Russia sent some paratroopers into the country to try to quell an uprising happening across the country following violence that has spread recently. Police in the country said they killed “dozens of rioters” in the main city of Almaty.
According to state television channels, 13 security forces members died in the attacks, two of whom were found decapitated.
Journalists for Reuters further reported that the mayor’s office as well as one of the presidential residences were in flames in that city. Protesters even had seized the airport there, though military personnel regained control of it by the afternoon on Thursday.
In the first half of Thursday, armored carriers were in the main square of the city, and scores of members of the military were there, too. Reuters reported that gunshots were heard as the military approached the crowd.
Later in the day, the square was a much more peaceful scene. There were still a few hundred protesters there, but no service members were present.
Some of the protesters were masked and carried shields and batons that they allegedly had seized from police forces. It’s been tough for people outside the country to verify exactly what was going on in the country, though, as internet service was shut down.
Kazakhstan has been a rather peaceful country after gaining independence from the Soviet Union. The country’s long-time president, 81-year-old Nursultan Nazarbayev, stepped down three years ago but still had control of many parts of the country.
The successor that he picked for the job, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, requested troops from Russia enter the country to help this week. Russia is still a main ally of Kazakhstan.
The president said that the blame for the violence lie with terrorists who were trained in other countries and who had managed to seize weapons and buildings. Tokayev said:
“It is an undermining of the integrity of the state, and, most importantly, it is an attack on our citizens who are asking me … to help them urgently.”
For its part, Russia said they would consult with both Kazakhstan and their other allies on any further measures that could be taken to support the country’s “counter-terrorist operation.” Moscow called the Kazakhstan uprising an attempt by foreign authorities to undermine the security of the country by force.
Neither country was able to provide any evidence that foreign authorities were influencing — either directly or indirectly — the violence currently going on in Kazakhstan.
In addition to Russia, troops have been sent into the country from Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The Russian secretariat didn’t mention how many troops in total were sent in.
The uprising began around New Year’s Day after a huge increase in fuel prices in the country. The uprising started in the western part of the country but had grown significantly in size by the middle of the week.