With the restoration of normalcy in Kyrgyzstan, Russia on Thursday recalled its paratroopers from its base near capital Bishkek, that were sent to protect Russian military facilities in the wake of violence last month.
“A total of 270 paratroopers have been recalled from Kyrgyzstan as tensions in the republic have eased,” Defence Ministry spokesman Lt Col Alexander Cherednik was quoted as saying by Interfax.
He said the paratroopers of the 31st Independent airborne strike brigade have been flown to their home base in Ulyanovsk (Volga region) this morning onboard three Ilyushin IL-76 aircraft.
President Dmitry Medvedev had ordered to send crack paratrooper units to the Russian base on June 13 to enhance security at Russia’s Kant military base.
He had, however, refused to intervene to stop the ethnic violence in the southern regions of Osh and Jalalabad, saying it was an internal matter of the former Soviet Republic.
Lt. Col. Cherednik said two more paratrooper companies sent by the General Staff in April after the ouster of the Kurmanbek Bakiyev regime, remained at the Kant airbase for protecting the base and its personnel.
Kant airbase in north Kyrgyzstan was set up in 2004 and is seen as Russia’s fore post in the volatile Central Asian region close to Afghanistan and China’s Muslim-dominated provinces.
According to local media reports Moscow has deployed its Su-27 fighter-interceptors and Su-25 assault aircraft on the Kant base.