CSTO soldiers do not participate in hostilities and are not involved in the elimination of militants. Dauren Abayev, First Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Administration of Kazakhstan, explained what the arrived peacekeepers would be doing. According to him, their forces will be directed exclusively to cover and guard functions.
“Dear fellow citizens, we are fully aware of the fact that at present the vast majority of Kazakh residents are extremely worried and are in the dark about what is happening in the city of Almaty, as well as in a number of other regions of the country. Currently, the public wants to understand and get answers to many questions. But, unfortunately, we cannot give a full picture of events just now. A large amount of information is now being identified, refined and verified. As all the data are verified by the investigative bodies, we will promptly inform the entire public and also restore access to Internet services in all regions of the country. As known, the protests in the city of Almaty began on January 3. At first, they were peaceful and the police and the National Guard out of principle did not use firearms against the protesters. However, the voices of peaceful protesters were later drowned in the provocateurs' calls for violence and unrest. The crowd was led by bandits and terrorists armed with weapons, fittings, clubs and Molotov cocktails in their hands. The bandits engaged in looting, while the second organized group of terrorist fighters targeted gun shops and seized police communications equipment. The invaders acted professionally. First of all, they attacked the administrative buildings and TV channels offices in the city of Almaty. Several attempts have been made to go live on central television. Attacks on the TV tower in Koktobe were repelled twice by border troops. The terrorists promptly seized the airport and several planes. They set up barricades and roadblocks at all captured objects. On each floor of the captured mayoral office, militants kept watch and controlled all the entrances and exits. They moved around the city along the most optimal routes. Apparently, they used their own connection network. They attempted to storm the building of the Police Department. Snipers with special rifles acted on behalf of terrorists. Surveillance cameras, communication equipment and audio-visual information were destroyed. The main target was law enforcement officers. At least one case is known when a young cadet was beheaded. At the moment, 18 police officers are reported to be dead. At the beginning, the forces were insufficient. The transfer of additional forces was complicated by the fact that tensions persisted simultaneously in several regions of the country. All this was accompanied by mass violence, looting, and beating of residents, guards, women and old people. There are many questions about the CSTO. I want to note the following - a peacekeeping contingent of the CSTO countries has arrived, the mission is peacekeeping. The CSTO soldiers do not participate in hostilities, they are not engaged in the elimination of militants. One should not confuse a peacekeeping mission with the deployment of a collective rapid reaction force. The combat activity to clean up the city on January 6 was carried out by the forces of Arystan, Arlan, Berkut divisions and the Ministry of Defense. At the same time, the CSTO peacekeepers will perform cover-up and security functions. As a result of the operation, all administrative buildings of the city were cleared of terrorists. Many militants were killed and detained. Now their identities are being established. Various versions of their relation to extremist organizations are being worked out. We ask the residents of Almaty, as before, to restrict their movements, now a search for the rest of the bandits is underway. Law and order have now been restored in all regions of the country. The situation is stabilized. We express our condolences to the families and friends of all the victims, let’s together return Kazakhstan to a peaceful life,” said Abayev.
Translation by Assem Zhanmukhanova, Galiya Khassenkhanova and Saule Mukhamejanova