Great Power Rivalry in Central Asia: Russia Sends Paratroopers to its Airbase in Kyrgyzstan

PRAGUE — Russia has sent some 150 paratroopers to its Kant airbase in the ex-Soviet Central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan to ensure the safety of families of Russian military staff, the General Staff chief Nikolay Makarov said.

Protests in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek have left at least 74 people dead and more than 500 injured.

“The president has decided to send two companies of paratroopers there and some 150 people have arrived in Kant,” Makarov, who is with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Prague for the signing of a new arms cut deal, said.

Earlier a source in Russia’s Defense Ministry said the Russian airbase was put on high alert, while the U.S. said its Manas airbase in Kyrgyzstan was continuing to function normally.

Russian Air Force spokesman Vladimir Drik said the Russian airbase in Kant, around 20 kilometers (12 miles) outside the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek, is also continuing to function normally.

Articles by: Global Research

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article. The Centre of Research on Globalization grants permission to cross-post Global Research articles on community internet sites as long the source and copyright are acknowledged together with a hyperlink to the original Global Research article. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: [email protected] contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of "fair use" in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than "fair use" you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries: [email protected]