Putin says Kazakhstan saved from foreign-backed uprising

Mikhail Metzel/Pool Sputnik Kremlin via AP

Russian President Vladimir Putin declared Monday that Russia saved Kazakhstan from what he called a “foreign-backed invasion,” according to reports.

Putin told the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CTSO) of six ex-Soviet states that the alliance had managed to “prevent the undermining of the foundations of the state” and “the complete degradation of the internal situation in Kazakhstan,” Reuters reported.

He added that the CSTO blocked “terrorists, criminals, looters and other criminal elements.” 

Kazakhstani President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said the CSTO mission included 2,030 troops and 250 pieces of military hardware, Reuters reported.

Putin said the troops would remain “for a limited time” but did not share a withdrawal deadline, according to The New York Times.

He added that Russia would not allow “color revolutions,” a term used to describe pro-democratic revolutions and movements, the Times added. 

“Of course, we understand the events in Kazakhstan are not the first and far from the last attempt to interfere in the internal affairs of our states from the outside,” Putin said, according to the newswire.

He added the “measures taken” show that Russia “will not allow the situation to be rocked at home.”

Russia was asked to intervene in protests in Kazakhstan at the request of Tokayev last week after violence in the country that has so far led to the deaths of dozens of individuals.

Tokayev and Russia on Thursday blamed the protests on foreign terrorists, without providing evidence. Demonstrators have expressed dissatisfaction with high fuel prices and the decades-long political hold former President Nursultan Nazarbayev has had on the former Soviet territory.

The Times reported that around 5,800 people were detained and more than 2,000 were injured last week in Kazakhstan following days of violence. Russian and Kazakh state media reported that 164 people had been killed, according to Reuters. 

Tensions between the U.S. and Russia rose after a back and forth over the weekend about the situation in the country.

Responding to the deployment of Russian troops in Kazakhstan, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Saturday that “once Russians are in your house, it’s sometimes very difficult to get them to leave.” 

Russia’s foreign ministry responded to the comments over the weekend and said the secretary of State’s comment was “typically offensive,” Reuters reported.

Tags Antony Blinken Vladimir Putin

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