MOSCOW, January 15. /TASS/. The first six planes with Russian peacekeepers arrived at the Severny airfield in Ivanovo in central Russia from Kazakhstan, Russia’s Defense Ministry reported on Saturday.
"The first six planes with Russian peacekeepers from the CSTO [Collective Security Treaty Organization] Collective Peacekeeping Forces have arrived at the Severny aerodrome in the city of Ivanovo from Kazakhstan," the ministry said in a statement.
After the last plane touches down at the airfield, an official ceremony will be held to welcome back the Russian peacekeepers, the ministry said.
"After the last plane touches down at the aerodrome’s airfield, a ceremony will be held to welcome back the Russian peacekeepers who accomplished all their assigned tasks highly professionally. Upon the completion of the ceremony, the personnel will start unloading equipment for subsequently departing for their permanent base," the statement reads.
Protests erupted in several Kazakh cities on January 2, escalating into mass riots with government buildings getting ransacked in several cities, primarily in Almaty, a few days later. The ensuing violence left thousands of people injured, with fatalities also being reported. Subsequently, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev turned to the Collective Security Treaty Organization requesting assistance from the Russia-led bloc. As a result, peacekeepers were deployed to Kazakhstan. Law and order, Kazakh authorities affirm, was restored to all of the country’s regions.
The Kazakh president said that the post-Soviet security bloc’s forces played a crucial role in stabilizing the situation in Kazakhstan and called their mission successful. On January 13, the CSTO began the pullout of its peacekeeping contingent from the Central Asian republic.