• KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00212 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09388 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00212 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09388 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00212 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09388 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00212 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09388 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00212 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09388 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00212 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09388 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00212 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09388 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00212 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09388 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

Viewing results 1 - 6 of 130

How Kazakhstan Is Cleansing Itself of Nursultan Nazarbayev’s Legacy

“New Kazakhstan,” the term introduced by Kasym-Jomart Tokayev after the attempted coup d'état in January 2022, has also given birth to a thesis about “Old Kazakhstan." "Old Kazakhstan" is associated with the country's first president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, and his numerous relatives, who penetrated all spheres of life in the country. So,  which former head of state's relatives fell into the clutches of justice? Gulmira Satybaldy Gulmira Satybaldy, former wife of Kairat Satybaldyuly, nephew of the first president of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, is currently on trial in Almaty. She is accused of locking up her relative and business partner, Abai Zhunusov, for 165 days and, after intimidating him, transferring his shares in various companies to her proxies. Damages are estimated at $2.2 million (1.4 billion KZT). The guilty verdict, which few doubt will be passed, will not be her first. On 4 May 2023, the Astana court sentenced Gulmira Satybaldy to seven years' imprisonment for self-rule and kidnapping. A month later, on 30 June 2023, the Kyzylorda court sentenced her to eight years in prison for embezzlement and misappropriation of other people's property. The new, harsher sentence absorbed the previous punishment. Kairat Satybaldyuly Next is Kairat Satybaldyuly, a rather grim figure from the Nazarbayev clan. In the early noughties, on the now defunct Internet site “Aziopa,” which was attributed to Nazarbayev's former eldest son-in-law Rakhat Aliyev,  Kairat Satybaldyuly was painted black with hints of his handcuffing his wife to the radiator and beating her. It also pointed to Kairat's presidential ambitions. Satybaldyuly is the son of Nursultan Nazarbayev's younger brother, Satybaldy, who died in 1981 in a car accident. According to Forbes Kazakhstan, during his uncle's presidency, Kairat was listed as one of the country's most influential business people with a fortune of 163 million dollars. According to Kazakhstan's media, the nephew of the former president of Kazakhstan was listed as the sole founder of the offshore firm Skyline Investment Company S.A., which owns over 24% of the shares of Kazakhstan's telecommunications company Kazakhtelecom. In addition to working  in the civil service, including in the National Security Committee, he was deputy akim of Astana, and held senior positions in national companies. Detained in March 2022 on suspicion of abuse of power and large-scale embezzlement of funds by Kazakhtelecom JSC and Transport Service Center JSC, Satybaldyuly was held in custody until the trial. In court, Satybaldyuly reached a mediation agreement with the injured parties and paid 40 billion tenge ($89.5 million) in damages. He also entered into a procedural plea agreement. In September 2022, he was sentenced to six years in prison. The court ordered the confiscation of his property and banned him from working in the civil service for ten years. A submission was also made to the President of Kazakhstan to strip Satybaldyuly of the title “Major General of the National Security Bodies of Kazakhstan,” as well as the state orders “Kurmet” and “Parasat.” Despite reports that the Anti-Corruption Service of Kazakhstan is investigating criminal cases against Satybaldyuly involving tax...

Protecting Women and Children Helps Preserve, Not Contradict, Traditional Family Values in Kazakhstan

In today's rapidly evolving world, traditional values can sometimes clash with progressive movements advocating for inclusivity and modern perspectives in many areas of life. While these values are often seen as barriers, they can instead serve as a source of stability and continuity when thoughtfully upheld. President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev is aligning legislative reforms with Kazakhstan's family values while integrating them with the society's progressive aspirations. At a recent meeting with young scientists in Almaty, President Tokayev took aim at domestic violence calling it “a manifestation of backwardness and moral degradation.”  He added that “only a society that values ​​and respects women can be considered truly civilized and cultured.”  Regulatory actions In his speech, Tokayev placed “strengthening of the institution of the family” at the center of modernizing Kazakhstani society. “After all, comprehensive protection of the rights of women and children does not at all contradict the preservation of traditional family values ​​and, on the contrary, contributes to their further strengthening”, he said. “From the first days of my presidency, I have been paying great attention to protecting the rights of women and children. We are consistently taking legislative and institutional measures in this direction,” he noted.  This is not a new issue for the President, who in his September 2022 address, had already ordered stricter penalties for domestic violence. His agenda to strengthen protective measures sped up following the high-profile murder of Saltanat Nukenova in November 2023 by her husband, an influential former minister.  The events following this tragedy helped bring about new laws, inspired a culture of zero tolerance for any form of violence, and perhaps even opened the way for further reforms. On April 15, 2024, Tokayev signed a landmark law criminalizing violence against women and children, reversing a 2017 decriminalization. In two weeks, these amendments will be put into effect. The government’s response to the death of Nukenova and to the events following it, including the public reaction, has garnered international praise.  Promoting a values-based society Tokayev in his Almaty speech expressed that “not all problems can be solved by passing or tightening the law,” and adding that “everyone must start with themselves changing for the better”. “Family values ​​should be established in every home”, he said, highlighting the key role of women in raising the new generation.  Tokayev also prescribed enforcing good values in educational institutions while acknowledging that the country’s education system still had shortcomings. This is another example of how the leadership’s rhetoric matters in advancing a society. Tokayev continues to set the tone for his country on women’s rights. As the Washington Post wrote on May 13, 2024, “Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has repeatedly spoken about strengthening protections for women.”  Tokayev’s messaging of values has indeed been consistent – with a focus on rule of law as a basis for the protection of rights of all citizens.  The future The President’s actions have already begun inculcating a culture of no tolerance for aggression against women. “Today, the problem of domestic violence is widely...

Nazarbayev In-Law, Askar Kulibayev’s Oil Terminal Seized

Representatives of the General Prosecutor's Office of Kazakhstan have reported that an oil terminal in the port of Aktau belonging to Askar Kulibayev has been returned to the state. The 134-hectare property is valued at $66 million. “It was established that in 2011, the oil terminal was alienated into the ownership of Kulibayev's company. On February 26th, 2024, by the decision of the Specialized Inter-district Economic Court of Mangistau region, the claim of the Almaty city prosecutor was satisfied, and the oil terminal was returned to the state's ownership," said the supervisory body. The Almaty prosecutor's office stated that the claim was filed to compensate for the damage caused by the unlawful seizure of a foreign investor's property. However, the official message does not name the affected company. Now 87-years-old, Askar Kulibayev served as First Secretary of the Guryev (now Atyrau) Regional Committee of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan and as the Minister of Construction in independent Kazakhstan. He is the matchmaker of former President Nursultan Nazarbayev's daughter, and the father of Kazakhstan's richest man, Timur Kulibayev. In 2024, Timur Kulibayev and his wife Dinara Kulibayeva, still sit atop the list of the richest Kazakhs. The combined fortune of the Nazarbayev family is estimated at almost $10 billion.

Turkmenistan Residents Detained for Public Displays of Affection

Police in Turkmenistan have detained couples for holding hands, sitting close together, and public displays of affection. A young married couple in Turkmenabat, witnessed cuddling in a parked car, were horrified when a policeman threatened to detain them for “undermining moral values.” In his defence, the man said, “I hugged my wife to calm her down. She was crying as we were discussing where to get enough money for essential medicines." Describing what had ensued, he said that the policeman had demanded to see both their passports and marriage certificates. However, after receiving verification that they were married, the policeman continued to harass them in hope of a bribe. The case is not unusual and in recent weeks, Turkmenabat, the administrative center of the Lepab province, has received reports of many similar incidents in which the city's police have seen fit to reprimand  couples who hold hands, sit beside each other, kiss, or hug in public places. Although public  displays of affection are not banned in Turkmenistan, the police in the country's regions, including the capital Ashgabat and Mary province, have detained young men and women in parks and on the streets for violating “social norms.” In the worst case scenario, "violators” in Mary were handcuffed and forced to attend lectures on moral values at the local police station. Residents say that restrictions imposed in Turkmenabat  since April, have created a backlash of complaints from  local students and other young people of being ambushed by security forces who appeared to be acting as vice police. According to several people targeted by the raids, most incidents ended with the police taking monetary bribes from the couples.

Justice Prevails in Kazakhstan Murder Trial Exposing Rift Between Government and Old Regime

The trial of Kuandyk Bishimbayev, a former Minister of the Economy of Kazakhstan, was a watershed event representing the growing role of civil society in the country, as well as the new political leadership’s success in breaking a decades-old cycle sustained by corrupt elites. In spearheading reforms to align his country with international best practices, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has also answered people’s demands. But public worries that Bishimbayev, sentenced to 24 years in prison for killing his wife, may be pardoned as soon as Tokayev leaves office shows how fragile the country’s institutional development remains and how its progress may still be on a ticking clock. Kazakh politician Kuandyk Bishimbayev was convicted of murdering his common-law wife, Saltanat Nukenova, during an altercation between the couple in November 2023 at an Astana restaurant. Throughout the course of his trial, which started in March 2024, it became apparent that the violence caught on a CCTV camera was not a one-off incident, but the latest in a string of abuse. The video, also seen by the jury, includes scenes of a man grabbing a woman by the hair, kicking her, and hitting her in the face. Nukenova is said to have subsequently died from brain trauma. Several factors drew international attention to the case, including the high-profile names involved, broadcasted court proceedings, wide social media engagement, and the commentaries from human rights figures and opinion leaders. The ultimate verdict handed down to Bishimbayev, 24 years imprisonment in a maximum-security institution, is in many ways unprecedented in post-Soviet states, and became a harbinger of changes in both Kazakhstan’s justice system and society. Bishimbayev’s cousin and the director of the restaurant where Nukenova was killed, Bakhytzhan Baizhanov, was also sentenced to four years in prison.   How a tragedy precipitated positive change Saltanat Nukenova’s death, and the events following it, helped bring about new laws and perhaps even opened the way for further reforms. Just as importantly, they also increased legal literacy among Kazakhstan’s civil society. The government’s response, for its part, has garnered international praise. Critically, the public tragedy expedited the implementation of positive steps that President Tokayev had previously wanted to take. Contrary to popular belief, Nukenova’s murder was not the basis of the initiative to re-criminalize domestic violence. This change had already been proposed by Tokayev in 2019, but was opposed by legislators, some of whom reportedly had themselves been previously associated with cases of domestic violence or abuse. The events surrounding Nukenova’s death provided the government with an opportunity to overcome domestic opposition and take steps to correct the country’s course on violence against women and children. On April 15, 2024, Tokayev signed a landmark law criminalizing violence against women and children, reversing a 2017 decriminalization. The need for full-fledged judicial reforms has been advocated for by several international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and public associations, as well as institutions in the United States and Europe. This is not surprising given that the country’s existing judicial system was largely formed under its first...

The Fight Against Corruption Allowed Kyrgyzstan to Increase the State Budget

The head of the Kyrgyz Cabinet of Ministers, Akylbek Zhaparov, has said that thanks to the fruitful work of the government, “a new era in the financial sector of the Kyrgyz Republic has begun.” During a conference, which was attended by ministers, deputies, officials of various levels, representatives of the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and other international organizations, Zhaparov spoke about the new monetary policy. According to him, in 2020, the consolidated budget amounted to 247.8 billion KGS ($2.8 billion), whereas in 2024, the budget is estimated at 670 billion KGS ($7.6 billion). In four years, the authorities were able to increase the state budget by almost 400 billion som ($4.5 billion). “The reason for such achievements was the elimination of corruption. The main disease was the Kumtor deposit. Dividends received from it from 1994 to May 2021 amounted to $100 million. Over the past two and a half years, we have made a profit of $300 million,” Zhaparov said. The head of the Cabinet emphasized that Kyrgyzstan's GDP has reached 1.4 trillion som ($15.9 billion), while at the time of the collapse of the USSR and independence, the republic's GDP was only 100 million som ($1.1 billion). “The growth of state budget revenues has become a solid basis for the implementation of policies to improve the socioeconomic situation of citizens,” Zhaparov summarized.