ALMATY (Reuters) – That chilly day in December is etched in Anatoly Yankovoi’s memory — thousands of angry young Kazakhs faced police cordons rimming Brezhnev Square in the centre of what was then the capital of Soviet Kazakhstan.
“We were told they were drunken hooligans, but that was the beginning of the end. The end of the Soviet Union,” says the retired police lieutenant-colonel, choking up at the memory. “My heart is still aching, and the pain doesn’t go away.”
ALMATY, Dec 5 (Reuters) – Uzbekistan’s Senate voted on
Monday to cut the presidential term to five years from seven,
reducing the authority of future leaders while veteran President
Islam Karimov buys time to anoint a successor to run Central
Asia’s most populous country.
Karimov, a 73-year-old former Communist Party boss, has
crushed opposition and dissent in more than two decades at the
helm of his resource-rich nation, repeatedly extending his rule
through legal changes rubberstamped by the docile parliament.
ALMATY (Reuters) – Five suspected militants and two security officers were killed in a shootout near Kazakhstan’s commercial capital Almaty, prosecutors said on Sunday, in the latest of a series of attacks in the oil-producing Central Asian state.
The five gunmen barricaded themselves in a house in the village of Boraldai outside Almaty late on Saturday after fatally wounding two security officers, prosecutors said.
ALMATY, Nov 25 (Reuters) – Kazakh President Nursultan
Nazarbayev’s eldest daughter is set to return to politics after
being named as a parliamentary election candidate, but analysts
said it was premature to conclude she was being groomed to
succeed her father.
Foreign investors routinely cite the uncertainty around who
will eventually succeed Nazarbayev as the single biggest risk to
stability in Kazakhstan, which mines more uranium than any other
and holds 3 percent of the world’s recoverable oil reserves.
ALMATY (Reuters) – The U.S. Peace Corps is withdrawing nearly 120 volunteers from Kazakhstan, ending its 18-year presence in Central Asia’s largest economy following a spate of Islamist militant attacks.
The Peace Corps said on Friday it was suspending its operations in Kazakhstan for “a number of operational considerations,” without giving further details. It said its 117 volunteers in the country were safe.
ALMATY (Reuters) – The United States is preparing to withdraw its Peace Corps volunteers from Kazakhstan, ending its 18-year presence in the Central Asian state, the U.S. embassy said Friday.
There are 121 Peace Corps volunteers currently working in Kazakhstan, according to its official website, kazakhstan.peacecorps.gov.
ALMATY, Nov 16 (Reuters) – Kazakh President Nursultan
Nazarbayev dissolved the lower house of parliament on Wednesday
and called a snap parliamentary election for Jan. 15-16, in a
move that will dilute the ruling party’s monopoly in the
oil-producing Central Asian state.
The election from party lists will be held on Jan. 15. The
next day, other deputies will be chosen by the People’s Assembly
of Kazakhstan, a consultative body loyal to Nazarbayev.
ALMATY, Nov 14 (Reuters) – Kazakh President Nursultan
Nazarbayev called on his people on Monday to stay vigilant in
the face of rising extremism, two days after an Islamist
militant killed seven people in a rampage through a city in the
Central Asian state.
The prosecutor-general’s office said a 34-year-old “follower
of jihadism” had killed five members of the security forces and
two civilians in the attack in Taraz on Saturday, the latest in
a string of such incidents in the oil-producing state.
BISHKEK/OSH, Kyrgyzstan (Reuters) – Kyrgyzstan’s Moscow-backed prime minister claimed victory on Monday in a presidential election, but observers reported some voting abuses and supporters of defeated candidates rallied in the south of the restive former Soviet republic.
With 99 percent of ballots counted, pro-business Prime Minister Almazbek Atambayev had 63 percent of the vote, an outright majority that would avoid the need for a second round run-off against a potentially strong rival from the south.
BISHKEK/OSH, Kyrgyzstan (Reuters) – Kyrgyzstan’s Moscow-backed prime minister was poised to become president of the strategically important former Soviet republic on Monday, with nearly all votes counted in a poll set to be disputed by rivals alleging electoral shortcomings.
The vote is a test of reforms designed to make Kyrgyzstan, a landlocked country of 5.5 million, the first parliamentary democracy in Central Asia after 20 years of failed authoritarian rule that triggered a bloody revolution in April last year.