Russia’s top five offshore military deployments during Putin’s time

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Moscow has sent troops to more than a dozen countries for a variety of reasons since Vladimir Putin came to power just before the turn of the millennium.

The deployment of Russian troops to Kazakhstan after a series of violent protests threatening the regime of Kazakh President Qasym Zhomart Tokayev has highlighted Moscow’s military interventions around the world.

The Collective Security Treaty Organization, the CSTO, a Russian-led military bloc, announced last week that Russian paratroopers had been deployed to Kazakhstan as part of a “peacekeeping force” that includes troops from four other former Soviet republics.

The forces totaled around 2,500, the bloc’s secretariat said, adding that the deployment comes in response to a call by President Tokayev to help stabilize the Central Asian country following the “terrorist attacks” and protests. mass triggered by the price of fuel. to augment.

In recent years, the Russian armed forces have repeatedly participated in conflicts in the territories of the former Soviet republics and in distant countries, including Georgia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Syria, Libya, Sudan, the Central African Republic, Mali, Madagascar, Venezuela and Egypt.

Here we take a closer look at the top five military interventions undertaken by Russia.

Ukraine

The Euromaidan protest movement started in Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, at the end of 2013 after the government suspended the signing of an association agreement with the European Union.

The scope of the protests quickly widened and led to the Revolution of Dignity, also known as the Maidan Revolution, which resulted in the ousting of President-elect Viktor Yanukovych and the overthrow of the Ukrainian government.

In early February 2014, masked and unmarked Russian troops seized control of the Crimean Supreme Council and captured strategic sites across the peninsula. A pro-Russian government came to power and held the referendum on the status of Crimea, declaring Crimean independence on March 16, 2014.

Moscow has annexed Crimea, and Kiev’s forces clash with Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. The fighting has claimed the lives of some 13,000 people so far.

A decision that has not been recognized by most of the nations of the world and which has triggered Western sanctions against Moscow.

Russia currently has around 100,000 troops on the Ukrainian border, according to Ukrainian and Western officials, amid Western fears that Moscow is preparing to invade Ukraine.

Syria

In March 2011, the Syrian regime faced an unprecedented challenge to its authority when pro-democracy protests erupted across the country.

The protesters demanded an end to the authoritarian practices of the Assad regime. But, the regime used violence to quell the protests.

Opposition groups began to form in 2011, and by 2012 the conflict had turned into a full-fledged civil war.

Russia’s military intervention in Syria began in September 2015 after a request from the regime for military aid against rebel groups.

Moscow has deployed troops and military equipment to an air base near Latakia. Since then he has carried out airstrikes against opposition groups.

The Russian government has announced that its troops will be permanently deployed in Syria at the end of December 2017.

Russia’s entry into the Syrian conflict changed the country’s political equation with its direct intervention in support of Bashar al Assad. This made it easier for his regime to take control of most of Syrian territory.

It is estimated that there are 4,000 to 5,000 Russian troops in Syria.

Azerbaijan

Relations between the former Soviet republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan have been strained since 1991, when the Armenian army occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, internationally recognized as Azerbaijani territory, and seven adjacent regions.

New clashes erupted on September 27, 2020 after the Armenian army launched attacks against civilians and Azerbaijani forces.

During the 44 days of conflict, Azerbaijan liberated several towns and nearly 300 settlements and villages from the occupation that lasted for nearly three decades.

According to the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry, despite the November 10 agreement ending the conflict, the Armenian army killed several Azerbaijani soldiers.

As part of the Kremlin-brokered peace deal, Russia has deployed a peacekeeping force to parts of Nagorno-Karabakh for an initial period of five years. This force consisted of around 2,000 to 3,000 troops, a military presence in Karabakh is something the Kremlin has wanted since the early 1990s.

Georgia

Russia’s military presence in Georgia dates back to the later years of the Soviet Union, when resentment between Georgians and Abkhazians and South Ossetians escalated into outright violence.

South Ossetia and Abkhazia declared their independence from Georgia in the early 1990s. Russia played a leading role in the precarious ceasefire with the breakaway regions in 1992, which legitimized the presence of Russian troops there.

Tensions turned into a brief war between Russia and Georgia in 2008.

Georgia tried to reclaim South Ossetia. Russia responded by pouring out troops, driving Georgian forces out of South Ossetia and breakaway Abkhazia. Moscow recognizes both as independent states. And there are now between 6,000 and 10,000 Russian troops in the two regions.

Libya

Libya has been in the throes of conflict since the 2011 Arab uprisings and the subsequent overthrow of leader Muammar Gaddafi, leaving the country with two main rival governments.

The Government of National Accord (GNA) is based in Tripoli and was formed through a process negotiated by the UN defined in the Libyan political process of 2015.

The Tobruk-based House of Representatives was formed after the 2014 elections and is headed by the warlord of the so-called Libyan National Army, Khalifa Haftar.

Russia has engaged in Libyan politics by supporting Haftar, providing him with mercenaries and weapons.

Russia’s largest military subcontractor Wagner Group sent mercenaries to aid Haftar’s forces in Benghazi. Wegner also supports the LNA with tanks, artillery, drones and ammunition.

Russian support for Haftar is not limited to Wagner, there are hundreds of other mercenaries in eastern Libya who are taking part in LNA operations.

More than 7,000 Russian mercenaries of Wagner still operate in Libya, according to Khalid al Mishri, the head of the High Council of State of the country.

Source: TRT World

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