Putin vows to defend ex-Soviet allies from 'color revolutions

1 week ago 25

The dramatic intervention by CSTO helped embattled Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev crush an uprising that started in protests over fuel-price increases but led to seizure of government building

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Russia | Vladimir Putin

President Vladimir Putin vowed to protect Russia and its ex-Soviet allies from what he called outside efforts to destabilize their governments with public protests, just days after Russian-led troops helped Kazakh authorities subdue nationwide demonstrations.

“We won’t let anyone disturb the situation in our homes and won’t allow scenarios of so-called color revolutions to be played out,” Putin told a televised video conference Monday of leaders of the six-nation Collective Security Treaty Organization, a Moscow-dominated bloc whose deployment of troops to Kazakhstan was the first time it had sent forces to shore up a government under pressure from popular unrest.

“Of course, we understand that the events in Kazakhstan aren’t the first and will be far from the last attempt to intervene in the internal affairs of our states,” Putin said, alleging that some of the Kazakh protesters had been trained in camps outside the country. He also cited the use of what he called “Maidan technologies,” a reference to the 2014 uprising in Ukraine that forced out a pro-Russian leader.

The dramatic intervention by the CSTO helped embattled Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev crush an uprising that started in protests over fuel-price increases but rapidly led to the seizure of government buildings around the country. Tokayev called the events “an attempted coup.”

ALSO READ: 164 killed, more than 5,000 detained in Kazakhstan during protests

Tokayev fired a number of top security officials in the wake of the unrest and authorities charged one with treason. More than two dozen people were killed and about 8,000 have been detained, authorities said. China backed the crackdown, while the U.S. and other western capitals were critical of the harsh moves.

Russia and China have long denounced the ‘color revolutions’ that have over the last several decades toppled autocratic leaders and brought pro-western governments to power.

Putin blamed technology for fueling the destabilizing events in Kazakhstan and elsewhere in the region.

“Using internet communications and social networks, efforts are continuing to draw our citizens into protests, which are the forerunners of terrorist attacks,” Putin said, calling on the CSTO to propose new steps to block “attempts at destructive external intervention” in the region.

Kazakh authorities suspended internet access for several days at the height of the protests last week. The Kremlin has been tightening regulation of foreign technology companies for years.

Putin said that the Russian-led troops would leave Kazakhstan as soon as their mission is completed and the country’s president requests it, but didn’t specify a date. He said the forces had helped Kazakh authorities restore control over the entire country.

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