MOSCOW, January 7. /TASS/. Colonel General Andrey Serdyukov, the commander of the Russian Airborne Troops, has been appointed to lead the CSTO peacekeeping effort in Kazakhstan, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Igor Konashenkov told reporters on Friday.
The Russian part of the peacekeeping force includes members of three units of the Airborne Troops, he said. They all have combat experience, the spokesman said.
Protests erupted in several Kazakh cities on January 2, later growing into mass riots and attacks on government offices. Thousands of casualties have been reported, including fatalities. The Kazakh president asked the Collective Security Treaty Organization, a military alliance of former Soviet republics, for help. First peacekeeping units have already started fulfilling their tasks in Kazakhstan. The government said order has generally been restored in all of the country’s regions by the morning of January 7, while the situation is the most difficult in Almaty.