Vladimir Putin sends thousands of 'Spetsnaz' special forces troops into Kazakhstan

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The elite soldiers are allegedly dispatched from former Soviet countries as part of a Moscow-led regional peacekeeping force, but have a reputation for aggression

Russian President Vladimir Putin sends special forces to Kazakhstan (

Image: via REUTERS)

Russian President Vladimir Putin is secretly sending thousands of “Spetsnaz” special forces to Kazakhstan to crush deadly protests.

Many of the 2,500 who have already been deployed are Spetsnaz or members of the dreaded GRU military intelligence service, and another 5,000 that are due to be deployed in the near future are also special units or airborne troops.

The elite soldiers are allegedly dispatched from former Soviet countries as part of a Moscow-led regional peacekeeping force, but have a reputation for aggression.

It came when President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev claimed that overseas-trained terrorists were responsible for the riots and paved the way for ruthless crackdown.

He warned on Friday that he had given “shoot to kill” orders to his police and military, of whom more than 20 were slaughtered in civil unrest and three of whom were beheaded.

Russian military vehicles wait to be loaded onto a military cargo plane at Ivanovo airport. to leave for Kazakhstan
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Russian Defense Ministry / AFP via)

It is feared that dozens of protesting civilians were killed by security measures when Moscow’s Loyali Tokayev yielded to Putin’s offer of aid.

He said: “The militants have not given up their arms, they continue to commit or prepare crimes.

“Those who do not give up will be destroyed.

“I ordered law enforcement and the army to shoot without warning to kill.”

Gunshots could still be heard in Almaty on Friday.

Russian paratroopers board a military cargo plane for departure for Kazakhstan
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Russian Defense Ministry / AFP via)

Buildings were looted and set on fire in the worst violence in the country’s 30 years of independence.

Moscow said more than 70 planes would bring Russian troops to Kazakhstan, and they would now help control Almaty’s main airport.
retaken by protesters on Thursday.

Demonstrations that began in response to an increase in fuel prices have developed into a broad movement against the government and ex-leader Nursultan Nazarbayev, 81, the longest-serving ruler of a former Soviet state.

Protesters clash with police officers during a protest sparked by the rise in fuel prices in Aktobe, Kazakhstan
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about REUTERS)

He turned the presidency over to Tokayev three years ago, but his family is said to retain his influence in Nur-Sultan, the purpose-built capital that bears his name.

Moscow’s swift intervention demonstrated Putin’s willingness to use force to assert his influence in the former Soviet Union at a time when he also alerted the West by deploying troops near Ukraine, whose Crimea peninsula was captured by Russia in 2014.

The mission falls under the umbrella of the Collective Security Treaty Organization – the CSTO – which includes Russia and five former allies of the Soviet Union.

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