Kazakh Troops Spotted Manning Anti-Protest Checkpoints in UN Helmets
Not exactly anti-globalist of them?
Kazakh state media caused a stir after it photographs of state security forces wearing blue UN helmets at a checkpoint in Almaty on January 9.
Last week Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev called in Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) peacekeepers from Russia and the other member states to quell violent protests that threatened to topple the government, and blamed international terrorist groups. However, this was not a UN operation nor was the UN approached for help, raising the question of why are the Kazakh troops wearing the trademark UN blue helmets?
Experts quickly pointed out that the soldiers were part of KAZBAT, a peacekeeping military unit in Kazakhstan’s army trained to United Nations standards. However, despite their training, KAZBAT is not authorised to wear UN insignia unless they are on an official UN peacekeeping mission.
A UN spokesperson told Germany’s Bild newspaper: “United Nations troops and police stations may only use the UN badges if they are performing their mandated tasks within the framework of a United Nations peacekeeping operation mandated by the UN Security Council.”
Alongside the CSTO peacekeeping forces headed by Moscow, KAZBAT soldiers were deployed to quell last week’s demonstrations caused by a sharp fuel price increase. Disenfranchised citizens organised strikes and street protests, and even stormed government buildings. More than 10,000 people were arrested and over a dozen were killed, according to the authorities during the unrest.
In response to online criticism, the Permanent Mission of Kazakhstan to the United Nations released a statement that “measures were taken to prevent the use of any equipment bearing the UN inscription” but the mission failed to explain why the helmets were being used.
Source: bne IntelliNews
Editor’s note: The article goes on to claim that Belarusian troops in Kazakhstan were also spotted wearing UN patches, but as even Meduza explains this is not true. The Belarusian peacekeeping patch is visually similar to the UN patch, but not the same.
The patches have the inscription “Peacekeeping Company” in both Belarusian and English. Like the UN emblem, the insignia of the Belarusian Peacekeeping Company depicts a map of the world surrounded by olive tree branches. However, it also includes crossed swords.