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Russia flexes surge capability muscles (Analysis)

20th January 2022 - 12:43 GMT | by Alexander Mladenov, Krassimir Grozev in Sofia


VDV troops on 'peacekeeping' duty in Kazakhstan, January 2022. (Photo: Russian MoD)

The recent ten-day deployment of ‘peacekeeping’ troops to Kazakhstan reflects recent and ongoing efforts to enhance Russian airborne capabilities — should Ukraine be worried?

The Airborne Forces (VDV) branch of the Russian Armed Forces demonstrated its rapid deployment capabilities in early January, following a request from the government of Kazakhstan for assistance from the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) group of ex-Soviet republics.

This was all the more impressive given the simultaneous commitment of 100,000 Russian troops to threaten the Ukrainian frontier and the celebration of the Orthodox Christmas on 7 January.

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev appealed for CSTO support on 6 January, four days after anti-government protests erupted in the capital Almaty and other cities.

The first Russian units arrived by the

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Alexander Mladenov


Alexander Mladenov

Alexander Mladenov is a Shephard correspondent based in Sofia, Bulgaria.

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Krassimir Grozev


Krassimir Grozev

Krassimir is a journalist based in Sofia, Bulgaria

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