Kazakhstan. In January, part of the country’s parliament was elected, and officially President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s ruling party received four-fifths of the vote. But the election was judged undemocratic by the European Security and Cooperation Organization OSCE. See smartercomputing.org for Kazakhstan economy.
In 2013, Kazakhstan ranked 160th (out of 179) on Reporters Without Borders list of press freedom in the world, and the country was said to have had the worst trend in Central Asia. According to the Freedom House organization, the regime in 2012 banned some 40 opposition media, and that policy continued throughout the year. A number of magazines were banned, confiscated or sentenced to fines.
According to Countryaah, regime opponents were imprisoned and prosecuted in large numbers. Notable was the power struggle between the regime and the oligarch Muchtar Abljazov, who was in exile. He was accused of cheating his former bank BTA on large sums but claimed himself innocent and politically persecuted. Abljazov was arrested in France.
Islamic groups were banned, and long prison sentences were condemned for plans or calls for terrorist acts and for the dissemination of forbidden teachings. In western Kazakhstan, the military rebelled against what was described as Islamic extremists and terrorists. A Christian preacher was arrested and charged with malicious influence, and an atheist blogger was placed in a psychiatric clinic and then in prison.
The chairman of the Opposition Party of Freedom, Bulat Abilov, announced that he would cease his political activities. He had been arrested earlier this year by police, and one of his closest associates had been murdered in 2006.
A lawyer who was forcibly placed at a psychiatric clinic the year before was released in November. She herself claimed that she was locked in for political reasons after complaining to a regional governor. Human Rights Watch had demanded her release.
- According to AbbreviationFinder.org, Nur-Sultan is the capital city of Kazakhstan. See acronyms and abbreviations related to this capital and other major cities within this country.
Vadim Kuramshin, who fought for the rights of prisoners in Kazakhstan, was awarded the Ludovic-Trarieux Human Rights Prize, which is awarded in Paris. Kuramshin was sentenced in 2012 to twelve years in prison accused of extortion. The award is awarded each year to a lawyer who defended human rights, and the first prize winner was Nelson Mandela. The regime decided during the year to increase the share of renewable energy, especially wind and solar energy, and construction of Central Asia’s largest solar power plant was underway. At the same time, it was said that building nuclear power plants is also necessary to meet the rapidly growing energy demand. Although Kazakhstan does not yet have nuclear power, the country is the world’s leading uranium producer with over a third of world production.
Kazakhstan signed an agreement with China during the year on its involvement in the large Kazakh oil field of Kashagan. President Nazarbayev also met with the President of the Russian Federation and signed agreements on bilateral relations in the 21st century.
TeliaSonera’s business in Kazakhstan was submitted at the end of the year for the investigation of Swedish corruption prosecutors. It involved the purchase of networks and frequencies in 2012 for billions, where the Kazakh company owner had ties to the country’s power elite.
HUMAN AND ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY
Independent republic since 1991, with a population of 16.3 million. (according to estimates of 1998) well over 2, 7 million km ², Kazakhstan, a founding member of the CIS, maintains and strengthens close relationships of various kinds with the Russian Federation and, in the economic field, with neighbors Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan; like other Central Asian countries it looks culturally and economically to Turkey, but also to Iran and Pakistan and their Economic Co-operation Organization (ECO). Kazakhstan has developed economic relations with the West, also facilitated by the adoption of the Latin alphabet in 1996. On the other hand, relations with China are less friendly, despite the entry into service (1992) of a railway line between the Kazakhstan and Sinkiang, destined to complete the connection between Istanbul and Beijing, and the definitive mutual recognition of the common border (May 1998).
The population represents a true ethnic mosaic, with two dominant components, the Kazakhs and the Russians, who together make up almost four fifths in proportions today almost equivalent (but with a tendency to increase the local ethnic group, with a more lively demographic behavior). of the population. Then there are Germans (6 %: heirs of the ‘Volga Germans’, deported here by Stalin during the Second World War), Ukrainians (5%), Uzbeks and other more modest minorities. The dispersion of these populations over the territory has not made it convenient to establish autonomous territorial units on an ethnic basis, so the country is divided into provinces on a simple administrative basis, even if there are mainly Russian-speaking parts of Kazakhstan, especially in the North they give some concern for separatist tendencies. The Muslim (Sunni) religion of the ethnic Kazakhs coexists, apparently without problems, with the Christian one of other populations. Mutual suspicion remains latent among ethnic Kazakh people, who fear Moscow’s ‘fifth column’ behavior by the ethnic Russian population, and the latter, who fear a hegemonic attitude of the former and try to maintain their positions of power.
The peripheral capital Alma-Ata (Almaty), located in the south-eastern corner of the country, was replaced in June 1998 with Akmola, called Celinograd in Soviet times, and renamed Astana (‘capital’ in Kazakh) with a presidential decree of the May 1998 (all toponymy is evolving after independence, and only in part due to the adoption of Kazakh only, since 1995, as a ‘state’ language). Astana is in a relatively central position and is appreciated by the Russian component, which is in the majority there (but the role of capital will perhaps favor the influx of ethnic Kazakhs). Alma-Ata, pleasantly rich in public greenery, remains the largest city in the country, with 1, 1millions of residents. The urban network of Kazakhstan is however balanced: the second largest city in the country is Karaganda (Qaraghandi) with about 450. 000, while Čimkent (Simkent) has almost 400. 000 and the other major centers, such as Semipalatinsk (Semey), Pavlodar and Oskemen exceed 300. 000.