Appointment of general who served in Syria raises fears of destruction
REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, MOSCOW — Russia has appointed a military general to lead a peacekeeping mission in Kazakhstan. The general appointed is the same person who led Moscow’s operations in Crimea and Syria over the past decade.
Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said all deployed Russian brigades and divisions had undergone special training and had real combat experience. The appointment of General Andrei Serdyukov was announced directly by Konashenkov.
“Russian military personnel who arrived in the Republic of Kazakhstan immediately began to fulfill the assigned tasks,” Konashenko said.
Konashenko added that Russian troops and Kazakh law enforcement had taken control of Almaty international airport and other important sites such as the Russian consulate. Serdyukov’s appointment has exacerbated fears that Kazakhstan will suffer the same fate as Syria due to Russia’s military intervention.
Serdyukov is in charge of Russian military missions in other countries, where Moscow has intervened. Including the invasion and annexation of Crimea in Ukraine in 2014 as well as the deployment of Russian troops in Syria in 2019. The Kazakh government’s brutal actions against protesters could lead to civil war and instability like those experienced in Syria and Libya over the past decade.
The intervention forces are deployed under the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) or unofficially known as “Russian NATO”. The members of the CSTO consist of ex-Soviet countries.
Widespread and intense protests in the Kazakh city of Almaty stem from discontent over the doubling of fuel prices. The protests that led to clashes caused President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to declare a state of emergency. Meanwhile, the government resigned as an act of chaos.
The security situation continued to deteriorate after clashes broke out between government forces and armed protesters. President Tokayev gave orders to security forces to shoot those involved in the riots. This order aims to suppress terrorists.
Tokayev asked Russia to send troops to help quell the protests and enforce security. About 3,000 Russian troops have been sent to Kazakhstan, including about a thousand troops from other countries such as Belarus, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia.