Russia’s foreign ministry on Saturday criticized comments by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who on Friday questioned the country’s recent decision to send troops to Kazakhstan.
Kazakhstan asked Russia to send troops as the nation faces unrest and violent protests triggered by a rise in gas prices.
On Friday, Blinken told reporters officials have “questions about the nature” of Kazakhstan’s request, adding that it appears that “the Kazakh authorities and government certainly have the capacity to deal with protests appropriately – to do so in a way that respects the rights of protesters”; and at the same time maintain law and order. “
“A lesson from recent history is that once Russians are in your house, it’s sometimes very difficult to get them to leave,” Blinken added.
This was reported by Reuters on Saturday that Russia’s foreign ministry called Blinken’s comment “typically offensive”.
“If Antony Blinken loves history lessons so much, then he should take the following into account: When Americans are in your house, it can be hard to stay alive and not be robbed or raped,” the foreign ministry said on the social media platform Telegram, according to Reuters . “We learn this not only from the recent past, but from all 300 years of American statehood.”
On Wednesday, Russia and other nations of the Post-Soviet Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) agreed to send peacekeeping troops to Kazakhstan in the wake of the unrest. In addition to Russia and Kazakhstan, the alliance also includes Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
As the protests became more violent, with dozens of protesters and police officers killed, Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev declared a two-week state of emergency on Wednesday. On that day, protesters broke into the presidential residence and the mayor’s office in the city of Almaty.
On Friday, Tokayev instructed security forces to shoot to kill civilians involved in the anti-government protests, calling the protesters “bandits”, “terrorists” and “militants”.
“I have ordered law enforcement and the army to fire to kill without warning,” the president said. “Those who do not surrender will be eliminated.”
On Friday, Kazakhstan’s Interior Ministry said security forces had killed 26 protesters, while dozens had been wounded and more than 3,800 people had been detained. Eighteen police officers had been reported killed and over 700 wounded.
The U.S. State Department did not immediately respond Newsweek‘s request for comment Saturday afternoon.