Russia has deployed hundreds more soldiers to protect its military base in Kyrgyzstan, in the wake of fresh unrest that had left almost 100 people dead in the Central Asian country as of Sunday.
Three Ilyushin Il-96 military planes with a battalion of Russian paratroopers on board have landed at the base in Kant, the Interfax news agency reported. A Russian battalion typically ranges from 350 to 800 soldiers, depending on the situation.
This is an interesting development, in light of the fact that Russia had previously declared it was sending no troops to Kyrgyzstan to quell the rioting.
As reported last Saturday, 12 June, at
"Otunbayeva asked Russia early Saturday to send in troops, but the Kremlin said it would not meddle into what it described as Kyrgyzstan's internal conflict.
"It's a domestic conflict, and Russia now doesn't see conditions for taking part in its settlement," Kremlin spokeswoman Natalya Timakova said in Moscow. She added that Russia will discuss with other members of a security pact of ex-Soviet nations about the possibility of sending a joint peacekeeping force to Kyrgyzstan.
Timakova said Russia would send a plane to Kyrgyzstan to deliver humanitarian supplies and help evacuate victims of the violence."
One has to wonder why Russia would believe that its base in Kyrgyzstan would come under any kind of attack.