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First two planes with Russian peacekeepers arrive in Moscow Region from Kazakhstan

The personnel have started unloading armaments, military hardware and equipment

MOSCOW, January 15. /TASS/. The first two An-124 ‘Ruslan’ planes with Russian peacekeepers arrived in the Moscow Region from Kazakhstan, Russia’s Defense Ministry reported on Saturday.

"The first two An-124 ‘Ruslan’ military transport planes of Russia’s Aerospace Force with Russian peacekeepers from the CSTO [Collective Security Treaty Organization] have arrived at the Chkalovsky airfield in the Moscow Region from Kazakhstan," the ministry said in a statement.

The personnel have started unloading armaments, military hardware and equipment, the ministry said.

"Upon the completion of a welcome back ceremony, the personnel will conduct a march to their permanent base," the statement says.

Russia’s Defense Ministry reported earlier on Saturday that the first six planes with Russian peacekeepers arrived at the Severny airfield in Ivanovo in central Russia from Kazakhstan.

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.