The units plan to leave within ten days.
MOSCOW / NUR-SULTAN. Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (ODKB) units began preparing for the move from Kazakhstan on Thursday, where they were sent after protests against high fuel prices escalated into unrest.
The AFP and TASS agencies informed about it with an appeal to the Russian Ministry of Defense.
“Collective peacekeeping forces have begun preparing equipment and material for loading into the aircraft of the Air Force and Air Force of the Russian Federation and are returning to the places of their permanent deployment,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement published by the Russian media.
The statement further states that ODKB units also began handing over the objects they protected to the Kazakh security authorities. This process is proceeding according to a plan developed by the leadership of the ODKB collective peacekeeping force together with the Kazakh Ministry of Defense.
TASS also reported on Thursday that ODKB troops sent to Kazakhstan by Kyrgyzstan will withdraw from the Central Asian country on January 14. As part of the ODKB mission, Kyrgyzstan sent 150 soldiers to Kazakhstan to protect the heating plant buildings in the city of Almaty.
According to the statement of the Kazakh president Kasyma-Zhomart Tokajev, the departure of ODKB troops from Kazakhstan should not take longer than ten days.
After peaceful protests against rising fuel prices in Kazakhstan after the New Year initially escalated into riots and clashes with security forces, Tokayev dismissed the government, took over the leadership of the State Security Council, declared a state of emergency and asked the ODKB to send a so-called peacekeeping force to Kazakhstan. ODKB complied with his request.
According to Tokayev, 2,030 “peacekeepers” and 250 pieces of equipment arrived in Kazakhstan as part of the ODKB mission. However, the Kazakh opposition describes the mission as an invasion, and many fear that Moscow will use it to strengthen its influence in Kazakhstan, the AFP writes.