Russian paratroopers arrive in Kazakhstan as unrest continues

Russian paratroopers have arrived in Kazakhstan as part of a “peacekeeping” mission by a Moscow-led military alliance to help the president regain control of the country, according to Russian news agencies.

Kazakhstan’s president, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, asked for the intervention from the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) – an alliance made up of Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan – late on Wednesday and it was swiftly approved.

It comes as violent clashes continue between protesters and the police and army in Kazakhstan.

There is little reliable information on the number of casualties, but local news agencies quoted a spokesperson for police in Almaty, the country’s largest city, saying dozens of people were killed during attacks on government buildings.

Almaty city authorities said on Thursday that 353 police and security forces personnel had been injured, and 12 killed.