Putin, after Kazakh unrest, says Russian-led bloc will stymie any coups

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a special meeting of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) Council on the situation in Kazakhstan following violent protests, via video link at the Novo-Ogaryovo State Residence in the ‘outside Moscow, Russia, January 10, 2022. Sputnik / Aleksey Nikolskyi / Kremlin via REUTERS

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NUR-SULTAN, Jan. 10 (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin blamed the violent unrest in Kazakhstan on destructive internal and external forces on Monday, and said the Russian-led CSTO military alliance would not allow that its member governments be overthrown in the former USSR “color revolutions”.

He told an online meeting of leaders of the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization via video link that the deployment of CSTO troops had prevented armed groups from undermining power bases in Kazakhstan. .

“Of course, we understand that the events in Kazakhstan are not the first and far from the last attempt to interfere in the internal affairs of our states from outside,” Putin said.

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Thousands of people have been arrested and some public buildings were set on fire during mass anti-government protests last week.

“The actions taken by the CSTO have made it clear that we will not allow the situation to be shaken up at home and we will not allow the so-called ‘color revolutions’,” he said, referring to several ex-Soviet popular uprisings in the past two decades.

He said the CSTO contingent would be withdrawn after its mission was completed and when Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev believed they were no longer needed.

Putin made the comments after a speech by Tokayev, whose bravery he praised. The Kazakh leader said order had been restored but the hunt for “terrorists” continued. Read more

The protests started against rising fuel prices before erupting into a larger protest against Tokayev’s government and the man he replaced as president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, 81.

“The threat to Kazakhstan’s statehood did not arise because of spontaneous protests and rallies over fuel prices. It is because internal and external destructive forces took advantage of the situation,” said Putin.

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Reporting by Tamara Vaal; written by Tom Balmforth; edited by Andrew Osborn and Mark Trevelyan

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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