Nine Il-76 aircraft of the Russian Air Force with airborne troops and equipment landed at the Almaty airfield, the Republic of Kazakhstan. On clarifying the situation, the units from the Russian peacekeeping contingent began to carry out their assigned tasks. Protests erupted in several Kazakh cities on January 2, later growing into mass riots and attacks on government offices. Thousands of casualties have been reported, including fatalities. The Kazakh president asked the Collective Security Treaty Organization, a military alliance of former Soviet republics, for help. First peacekeeping units have already started fulfilling their tasks in Kazakhstan. The government said order has generally been restored in all of the country’s regions by the morning of January 7, while the situation is the most difficult in Almaty.
An air group of more than seventy Il-76 and five An-124 planes formed by the Russian Defense Ministry transfers units of the Russian contingent of the CSTO peacekeeping forces to Kazakhstan around the clock. The servicemen of the Russian peacekeeping contingent will begin to carry out their tasks on arrival. The main missions of the Collective Peacekeeping Forces of the OSCE will be to protect important State and military facilities, to cooperate with law enforcements of the Republic of Kazakhstan aimed to stabilize the situation, and to rehabilitate its legal boundaries. The military transport aircraft are to carry out more than 20 sorties.
The Ilyushin Il-76 (NATO reporting name: Candid) is a multi-purpose, fixed-wing, four-engine turbofan strategic airlifter designed by the Soviet Union’s Ilyushin design bureau. Military versions of the Il-76 have been widely used in Europe, Asia, and Africa, including use as an aerial refueling tanker or command center. The Il-76 has seen extensive service as a commercial freighter for ramp-delivered cargo, especially for outsized or heavy items unable to be otherwise carried. It has also been used as an emergency response transport for civilian evacuations as well as for humanitarian aid and disaster relief around the world. Due to its ability to operate from unpaved runways, it has been useful in undeveloped areas.