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Kazakh defense minister fired; last Russia-led troops leave

By DASHA LITVINOVA
Associated Press

MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian Defense Ministry says all the troops deployed to Kazakhstan by a Russia-led security alliance to help quell violent unrest have left the former Soviet nation. The Collective Security Treaty Organization deployed over 2,000 troops to Kazakhstan two weeks ago at the request of Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. He asked the alliance for assistance after protests over fuel prices grew into opposition to the authoritarian government and violent riots that killed over 220. Tokayev dismissed his defense minister on Wednesday for an alleged lack of “leadership qualities” during the unrest. Kazakhstan’s parliament also backed Tokayev’s decision to replace his influential predecessor, Nurstultan Nazarbayev, as head of the National Security Council. 

Associated Press

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