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Astana Turns 20

10 Jul

10 July 2018

kazaxia is just back from a trip to the capital, Astana, which celebrated its 20th birthday last Friday, coincidentally the same day as President Nursultan Nazarbyev turned 78.

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To mark this momentous occasion, the good burghers of Qazaqstan kindly sent presents to Astana such as a fish-shaped bridge and a botanical garden, while the city also received an international financial centre, soon to be located on the premises of EXPO 2017.

 

 

 

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Russia 2018: The Return of Psychic Saiga!

14 Jun

14 June 2018

It’s been four long years, but with the World Cup about to kick off in Russia, kazaxia has finally managed to track down Psychic Saiga, that elusive soccer tipster, and he’s pointing to France as the competition winners.

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Psychic Saiga, a long-nosed antelope with paranormal powers, who is located in a secret location somewhere on the steppe in Kazakhstan, is predicting a victory for France over Brazil in the 2018 World Cup Final in Russia.

Psychic Saiga makes his choices by pointing his right horn at lamb bones bearing an etching of the national flags of the competing teams. This time round, he’s predicting that France will triumph over Brazil in the final, while Peru and Portugal will be the losing semi-finalists, with the Portuguese grabbing third place on penalties for Christian Ronaldo’s swan song.

When asked to make two choices for Group A, the long-nosed antelope with special powers controversially pointed at Egypt and Uruguay to progress, with host-nation Russia unceremoniously dumped out in the group stage, discounting the notion of home advantage – Russia are the weakest team in the tournament, according to FIFA’s latest rankings.

He also made his predictions for Group B, with Portugal and Morocco expected to advance, suggesting that Morocco will take advantage of strong favourites Spain’s disarray – they sacked their manager just before the start of the tournament. This will make up for Morocco’s disappointment in failing in their bid to host the 2026 World Cup Finals.

For more predictions of who will get through the group stages, follow us here on kazaxia or follow @psychicsaiga on twitter.

Saigas, which are members of the antelope family, once roamed the Eurasian steppe from the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains and the Caucasus into Mongolia and Dzungaria. Their numbers are now critically endangered, with 60% of the world population wiped out in a mysterious epidemic in 2015.  Nowadays, saiga herds are restricted to remote areas of Kazakhstan, Russia, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan

POTUS to Face no Charges over Qazaq Flag-gate

10 May

9 May 2018

US President Donald Trump is to face no charges over an incident when he wrapped himself in the Qazaq flag during President Nazarbayev’s visit to the White House in January.

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Let’s make Qazaqstan great!

The decision came as part of a general amnesty for 9 May – the day that commemorates the cessation of hostilities in World War 2 for former Soviet Union countries.

Abusing the state flag usually carries a hefty sentence in Qazaqstan, which operates a strict zero tolerance policy, but due to President Drumpf’s diminished responsibility, it was decided no further action would be taken at this moment in time.

Lady Fudge, a prominent member of Lord Venal’s legal team, told kazaxia that taking legal action would have created problems, especially in the light of arch-rival Uzbekistan sending a high-level delegation headed by President Mirziyoyev to the White House later this month.

“In Qazaqstan once charges are pressed you are de facto considered guilty until proven guilty so if the case involving POTUS had made it to court, it would almost certainly have ended in a conviction,” Lady Fudge said.

(Editor’s note: the acquittal rate in Qazaqstan hovers around 1%)

Venal Recalls Uchkuduk 1992 Summit

15 Mar

15 March 2018

On the momentous occasion of most of Central Asia’s leaders getting together in Astana for a chinwag, Lord Venal remembers the last time all Central Asia’s leaders gathered together on the Ides of March.

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“I’ll never forget the look on Islam’s face when Saparmurat (aka Turkmenbashi) gave him that Turkmen hat,” he recalled with a tear in his eye for the only two Central Asian leaders to have died in office. “And of course, that was before Turkmenbashi started dyeing his hair.”

“It was back in 1992 in Uchkuduk, Uzbekistan” he recalled over a glass of merlot or two in an Astana wine cellar. “I remember that the meeting was held in a constructive manner, with many issues discussed and a joint statement was signed after the meeting.”

 

Qazaqstan: Adios to the Apostrophe

20 Feb

19 February 2018

Astana has announced a new version of Qazaq’s latin alphabet using 32 symbols and ditching the much maligned apostrophe version launched last year.

Despite only unveiling the new alphabet in October last year, the Leader of the Nation has now changed his mind and the apostrophe-heavy alphabet has now been strangled before its birth in 2025 in favour of a diacritic-laden version.

There was an immediate reaction on social media with the Twitter hashtag #A’po’s’t’rof’dunS’a’qtap’Qal’  (#SaveTheApostrophe) getting at least three likes as pro-apostrophe fans defended the October version of the alphabet.

 

Astana’s Death Star Heading for London?

26 Jan

26 January 2018

It looks like Lord Venal’s lobbying is finally paying off as bigwigs in London have agreed to his ambitious scheme to bring Astana’s Death Star to the UK capital’s skyline.

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Astana’s Nur Alem, aka The Death Star, which London wants to ape

Plans were unveiled on Wednesday for the Golf Ball, a daring declaration of intent for post-Brexit Britain. According to the plans seen by kazaxia, a huge glass orb, dwarfing St Paul’s Cathedral, may be constructed by east London’s Olympic Park.
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London’s proposed riposte to Astana’s Death Star – the Golf Ball

Lord Venal was so impressed with Expo 2017’s Nur Alem pavillion, dubbed the Death Star by one hack, that he started hassling his London contacts to bring a similar Star Wars-themed glass globe to London.
“In these Brexitian times it is vital that London match Astana in its global ambition if it wants to remain a key financial centre after Britain crashes out of the EU,” the good Lord told kazaxia.
“That’s why London needs its very own Death Star to show the world that, like Astana -the fruit of Elbasi’s great vision, it is open for business.”

When Nureke meets Donny

16 Jan

16 January 2018

Later today Qazaqstan’s Leader of the Nation, Nursultan Nazarbayev, is due to meet America’s novice president Donald Drumpf in Washington.

In this opinionated piece, kazaxia speculates on what may pass in this meeting between one of the world’s longest serving non-royal heads of state and the orange haired golfer who has enjoyed a gaffe-strewn first year in the White House.

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(image borrowed from https://www.kazakhembus.com/content/president-nazarbayev-meets-president-trump)

What advice can the world’s fourth longest-serving leader give to the newbie, whose forebears left Germany when it was quite a shithole?

kazaxia has identified three areas for advice:

Media

President Drumpf’s first year has been marred by a stormy relationship with the media, with many a foul-mouthed outburst on Twitter coming out of Donny’s Mar a Lago golf resort in the middle of the night.

Qazaqstan has reined in its pesky media by forcing outlets, such as Respublika, to close or encouraging owners to sell their outlets, such as Svoboda Slova, to more compliant, pro-goverment owners.

Opponents

Donny’s campaign to become president saw calls of ‘Lock her up’ directed at his main rival Hillary Clinton. This method has proved a most effective one in Qazaqstan with the authorities throwing many opponents, such as Vladimir Kozlov, behind bars.

Hagiography

2018 got off to a bad start for the White House with Micheal Wolff’s ‘explosive’ exposé of the Drumpf presidency – ‘Fire and Fury’. To counteract this ‘fake news’ account of the day-to-day workings of the regime, Don should consider using Elbasi’s personal hagiographer, ex-jailbird Jonathan Aitken, who can be guaranteed to give a glowing account of life in the White House.

It looks like these guys’ll get on like a house on fire!