Kazakhstan has established a small new air base in the western port city of Aktau, part of the country's push to strengthen its maritime defenses on the Caspian -- Aktau is also the base of the country's nascent navy. But it's also apparently engendering some suspicion among residents, who have been embroiled in recent oil- and gas-industry strikes and who see the presence of fighter jets as a means of domestic intimidation.
The 612th air base in Aktau will include two Su-27 fighter jets, seven Su-27 pilots and 12 helicopter gunship pilots, according to a report in Interfax-Kazakhstan (not online, via BBC Monitoring). The report doesn't say what kind of helicopters, or how many, but they're presumably Mi-24s.
The curious part of the story is how the locals reacted. Interfax cites a press release from the military:
[T]he fighter jets conducted training flights between 31 May and 22 June.
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