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International relations

Russian-led CSTO's Kazakhstan mission leaves lingering bootprints

Analysts see short deployment putting Moscow's security stamp on Central Asia

Russian soldiers fold the national flag during a ceremony marking the beginning of the CSTO withdrawal from Kazakhstan in Almaty on Jan. 13.   © Reuters

MOSCOW -- The Russian-led forces that intervened in Kazakhstan's political crisis are set to fully depart the country by this coming Wednesday, but analysts say the mark they made on the region's security architecture could linger significantly longer.

The withdrawal of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) troops began on Thursday, a week after they swiftly deployed to key strategic facilities across a territory the size of Western Europe. "Everything worked like clockwork: fast, coherent and effective," Russian President Vladimir Putin said on TV, according to Reuters.

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