Events and opinions

Astana

In a sign of growing social and political turmoil in Central Asia, Kazakhstan’s 78-year-old president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, who has been head of state of the country since its formation out of the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, announced his immediate resignation on Tuesday, March 19.

Nazarbayev 2019On March 19, 2019, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev announced he would be stepping down after nearly three decades in power.

Nazarbayev wonderingThe major economic strides made by energy-rich Kazakhstan during President Nursultan Nazarbaev's nearly 30-year reign often overshadow reports chronicling an undemocratic, repressive tenure punctuated by jailings and the suspicious deaths of opposition leaders, activists, and journalists.

ASTANA (Reuters) - Kazakhstan took a step closer to a carefully choreographed dynastic succession on Wednesday as the daughter of its long-serving ruler was named to a post that put her in line for the presidency a day after her father stepped down.

Authorities hope greater social spending helps defuse creeping mood of discontent.

Dozens of people have been detained while attempting to demonstrate in Kazakhstan’s capital as the ruling party held its congress in the wake of a major government reshuffle triggered by the country’s weak economic performance.

Police in Taraz – including anti-terrorism officers – raided two Baptist worship meetings on successive Sundays in February. Police summarily fined three Baptists and issued two warnings. 

Serikzhan Bilash
Security services in Kazakhstan had their steely gaze locked onto Xinjiang-focused activist Serikzhan Bilash long before his  over the weekend.
When a Eurasianet correspondent met Bilash for the first time last July, prosecutors in his home city, Almaty, had just handed him a formal caution to refrain from participating in a rally summoned by a foreign-based opposition figure.

muratharriMurat Harri Uyghur, a doctor in Finland, is helping to compile testimonies from other Uighurs in exile about loved ones who may be in Chinese internment camps.

glassesblackThe strongman can keep firing ministers, but analysts feel he’s avoiding Kazakhstan’s bedrock economic problems.

fnquhrzzwmzzNurbots fill comment sections across the Kazakh internet. They may not be convincing but they pollute online discourse.