Russia deploys hundreds of extra soldiers to Kyrgyz military base
Jun 13, 2010, 16:05 GMT
Moscow/Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan - 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.
The planes also reportedly carried ammunition.
The troops have been tasked with protecting the base in northern Kyrgyzstan, in case the bloody clashes between Kyrgyz and Uzbek nationals in the south spread.
Russia had previously sent some 150 extra soldiers to Kyrgyzstan after violent protests in early April brought down the government of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev.
Kyrgyz President Rosa Otunbayeva has requested Russian military intervention to quell the new wave of rioting and looting, but Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Saturday rejected her plea.