Belarus said on Thursday, January 6, that it was deploying “peacekeepers” to Kazakhstan, part of a larger force announced by Russia and allies in the region amid unrest in the Central Asian country.
In a statement, Belarusian Minister of Defense Viktor Khrenin said special operation forces were moved to Machulishchy air base on Thursday, where they were to be transported by Russian aircraft.
Protests in Kazakhstan began on Sunday in Kazakhstan’s western Mangistau region following the removal of a cap on the price of liquefied petroleum gas, which is used to power vehicles in the country. Though the government later rescinded the decision, demonstrations spread to other cities including Kazakhstan’s largest city, Almaty, where clashes between protesters and security forces have turned violent.
The Collective Security Treaty Organization, an alliance that includes Russia and other former Soviet states, announced it would meet a request from Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to assist in securing the country from what he described as “terrorists.”
This video was released on Thursday by the Russian military, which said it showed Belarusian forces at Machulishchy air base. Credit: Russian Military via Storyful