Incorrect blue helmets were also spotted in the country.
The United Nations has questions as to why in the photographs soldiers in Kazakhstan are wearing blue helmets similar to those used by UN peacekeepers during the protests. Complaints about Belarusian chevrons have also appeared on the Internet. What's happening?
Photographs taken by photographer Uladzimir Tratsyakou on January 8, published by journalist Jake Hanrahan, show armed men in blue helmets with the inscription UN.
On January 10, a representative of the UN peacekeeping mission confirmed that the armed people seen in the images were not part of the UN peacekeeping mission and said: “We conveyed our concerns on this issue to the permanent mission of Kazakhstan.”
Later, UN spokesman Stéphane Dujarrick said:
“We checked the sources of distribution of photographs, which depict representatives of the security forces who have been in Kazakhstan for the last days, wearing UN helmets. I will tell you about the basic principles and about our response. Obviously, countries contributing military and police to the UN should use UN symbols only when it comes to fulfilling the mandate of UN peacekeepers and participating in UN peacekeeping operations approved by the UN Security Council. The UN shared its concern with the Permanent Mission of Kazakhstan to the UN, where in response they assured that this issue had been resolved.”
It is known that a representative of the Ministry of Defense of Kazakhstan in Almaty on January 10 told reporters that the soldiers in blue helmets are part of the KAZBAT battalion associated with the UN. And he admitted that they were not part of any mission of this organization, but carried out a mission to “protect strategic facilities, airports and government buildings,” writes Radio Azattyk.
“You may have seen on the Internet that KAZBAT was in Libya. This is our peacekeeping corps. You can also search for information on the Indian Peacekeeping Force. Half of KAZBAT is now in Libya with [Indian forces], the other half is here,” he added.
At the same time, the permanent representative of Kazakhstan to the UN, Magzhan Ilyasov, wrote on his Twitter account on January 10 that “with the exception of helmets, which were worn as part of the official uniform of local peacekeepers in alarm, equipment with the letters “UN” “was not used”, and measures were taken to prevent the use of any equipment with the inscription “UN” during the operation in Almaty.
Questions to Lukashenka's occupants
Questions also arose on the Internet about the photos and videos that appeared in the Belarusian state media, to the “peacekeepers” from Belarus, who were sent to Kazakhstan within the framework of the CSTO.
Will Belarusian security officials be sent to suppress protests in Kazakhstan? Tokayev asked for help. The CSTO agreed.
In particular, some have argued that the sleeve chevrons of the Belarusian military are modified insignia of the United Nations.
It turned out that in fact this is the sleeve insignia of the Belarusian unit of the Armed Forces of Belarus - “Peacekeeping company” (”Miratvorchaya Rota”). Almost identical to the UN design, it features the Northern Hemisphere surrounded by wreaths to symbolize peace. However, crossed swords behind the hemisphere have been added to the Belarusian insignia.
The Belarusian unit also served in Lebanon.