Russian Led Troops Continue To Flood Into Kazakhstan As Russian Citizens Evacuated

Russian troops including paratroopers and heavy artillery like these tanks continued to head to Kazakhstan over the weekend as the death toll rose during riots caused by a rise in fuel prices.

Video footage obtained by Newsflash shows that Russian paratrooper units have begun arriving in Kazakhstan from Russian bases, including the Ivanovo-Severny airfield to help its president end civil unrest amid violent clashes with local security forces.

During the transfer operation, the Il-76MD-90A transport aircraft were among at least 70 aircraft involved in the transfer of military personnel and equipment. Also flying to Kazakhstan were the massive An-124-100 transport planes.

The arrival of military transport aircraft at the Almaty airfield in Kazakhstan. (Ministry of Defense of Russia/Newsflash)

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev had requested assistance after a mob of protesters stormed the mayor’s office in Kazakhstan’s largest city, Almaty, and overran the airport before the violence then spread to other cities.

The Russian contingent which came to be in the country for “purely protection purposes” included units of the 45th Separate Special Purpose Brigade of the Airborne Forces, the 31st Separate Airborne Assault Brigade and the 98th Airborne Division.

They are reportedly part of the Russian contingent of the CSTO peacekeeping forces deployed to the Republic of Kazakhstan.

The arrival of military transport aircraft at the Almaty airfield in Kazakhstan. (Ministry of Defense of Russia/Newsflash)

The CSTO is the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization, an alliance of former members of the Soviet bloc which was authorised to act in a decision taken on 6th January following an official request from Kazakhstan.

As well as Russian soldiers, there were also Belarusian, Kyrgyz and Armenian military units sent who joined local security officials in securing key areas, around the Republic Square in Almaty.

Military expert Viktor Litovkin explained that in addition to administrative buildings, the military will take control of communication centres, communications, water supply, sewage, banks, arsenals, military units and police stations, weapons arsenals, roads and entrances and exits from cities, including Baikonur, Sary-Shagan, Emba, and other important training grounds and defence research institutes.

The transfer of units of the Ivanovo Airborne Forces from the Russian peacekeeping contingent of the CSTO peacekeeping forces to the Republic of Kazakhstan. (Ministry of Defense of Russia/Newsflash)

The Nursultan airport, the General Staff building and the television centre are reportedly under the control of Russian paratroopers from the 98th Airborne Brigade.

Soldiers of the 45th Airborne Brigade currently control the Almaty airport and the headquarters of the air defence forces in Nur-Sultan, while special tasks are performed by the 31st Airborne Brigade where servicemen guard the facilities of Kazatomprom, the nuclear state company of Kazakhstan, the world’s largest producer of natural uranium.

In total around 3,000 external military personnel are now in the country with the Russian contingent armed with AK-12 assault rifles and night vision devices. There was also other military equipment including Leer-3 electronic warfare systems and establishing a no-fly zone for drones of any type in an area spanning dozens of kilometres.

Marching to mission areas on the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan. (Ministry of Defense of Russia/Newsflash)

Earlier, the government of Kazakhstan officially resigned, with a caretaker government installed but it did little to undermine the protests which escalated into mass riots and looting.

Shortly after the Russian troops arrived, there were clashes with armed protesters, many of whom were seized, and after being unable to explain the origins of their weapons, were handed over to local security services.

Some of the weapons being used by protesters have been identified as coming from thefts in army depots in the west of the country, with potentially several thousand automatic weapons including grenades apparently missing, and even reports that anti-tank grenade launchers are currently being wielded by rioters.

Arrival of the Belarusian contingent of the CSTO peacekeeping forces at the Zhetygen airfield of the Republic of Kazakhstan.(Ministry of Defense of Russia/Newsflash)

A retired Lieutenant Colonel of the Special Forces of the Airborne Forces, Andrei Tarasov, noted that this is the first operation of the CSTO, which he said will allow them to test the skills of the Russian military.

While the Russian military is reportedly assisting the government of Kazakhstan to contain the crisis, Russians citizens stuck in the country during the crisis, which some have labelled an alleged coup attempt, have began to return home on the empty military transport planes.

Yesterday, on 9th January, some 1,422 people took off from Almaty airport, which is under the control of paratroopers, on military transport aircraft belonging to the Russian Ministry of Defence.

Don’t miss Our New Story!

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.