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Qazaqstan: Free Bus Travel for Astana Day

5 Jul

Almaty Bus Company is proud to announce that new routes on Days of National Importance will become a permanent feature of our transport solutions for citizens in Qazaqstan’s premier city. The new routes were successfully trialled for the first time on 9 June 2019.


Almaty Bus Company: After successful experiment, new routes on Days of National Importance

“Almaty Bus Company did a fantastic job getting people to their correct destination on 9 June,” Almaty pensioner QZ Qotaev declared. “Everyone appreciated their prompt, efficient service – and it was free for the travelling public.”

Almaty Bus Company therefore advises its customers that on all future Days of National Importance (which will often coincide with elections), where many people love to gather in the streets of the city centre, some routes will have to be suspended. But they will be replaced by a team of shuttle buses, ready to take you from central city locations directly to your destination (police station or other national security facility).

Please note that while such shuttle buses will be free for all passengers, you will have to be among the lucky people to be selected to travel. The free travel on offer will, however, only be one-way.


Qazaqstan: Venal Resurfaces after “Preventative Chat”

14 Jun

Seasoned election observer Lord Venal, missing in Nur-Sultan since last Sunday, election day, has resurfaced in Almaty. He was in Nur-Sultan to observe the election but was not seen again for a few days after a heavy lunch.

Voters head to the polls in Almaty, Qazaqstan

“We were in a polling station in the morning,” he told kazaxia, “Then we went for lunch. I must have had one or two Pravda Punches too many and then felt sleepy. The next thing I recall is waking up in a sauna with a high-ranking police officer who told me he wanted a little ‘preventative chat’ about my observing.”

You can’t run away from Pravda Punch!

Also present at the ‘briefing’ were Venal’s fellow observers Wanda Ditt, from the Tax Avoidance Advisory Committee, and Bungle, an old-Etonian and Tory MP from the UK. “I was distressed to learn of the intemperate attacks on my good friend and learned parliamentarian [Bungle] because of his long-standing friendship with the people and leaders of the great nation of Qazaqstan. Although we did not go to the same school, our paths crossed later on numerous occasions, most recently over a most congenial drink where the subject of Qazaqstan’s remarkable progress was eagerly applauded,” Venal told kazaxia.

Commenting on the peaceful protests that marked election day in many cities, Lord Venal had this to say: “As for the unfortunate reports of one or two cases of rowdiness on the streets by mostly the youth of the cities, I can say I personally saw nothing untoward and I am sure the guardians of law and order acted with their usual impeccably high standards. Regrettably I will have to make mention of such unfortunate incidents in my election monitoring report, but I will stress how efficiently the law-enforcement agencies dealt with such isolated incidents, which did not mar an otherwise thoroughly enjoyable election experience for all.”

We have received this from Bungle’s solicitors:

British MP’s comments on Kazakhstan’s Presidential Election – Important Advisory Note from Shilling and Pence

Our client has been quoted in Qazaqstan’s media commenting on the free, fair and democratic presidential elections there and the isolated but unfortunate cases of unruliness by a very small minority of people on the streets of several cities.

Our client notes how frequently constituents in the part of London our client represents, who follow developments in Qazaqstan with keen interest, ask our client about the inspiring progress in the country.

Our client has asked us to make absolutely, completely and utterly clear that these remarks were motivated uniquely, solely and only on the basis of facts known to our client, a close student of the remarkable transformation of that emerging country under wise and steady leadership.

Any insinuation, implication or hint that these views are motivated by anything other than an honest assessment of the facts will attract an immediate response, not excluding the possibility of libel action in any jurisdiction, including in the English courts.

Our client has also asked us to make clear that any hospitality from Qazaqstan’s Embassy in London, not excluding visits to view live football matches in a spirit of conviviality, is accepted on the basis of politeness and is duly entered as appropriate in the House of Commons register of members’ interests.

Shilling & Pence

London, EC4





Qazaqstan Election 2019: Venal’s Preliminary Report

3 Jun

With just under a week to go until Qazaqstan goes to the polls to anoint a new president, Lord Venal, head of the Kleptis Observation Cabal (KOC), has shared his preliminary findings on the vote with kazaxia.

A selection of campaign posters in Almaty, Qazaqstan

“The motto of this election has been ‘You can’t run from the truth’ and the truth is that this is Qazaqstan’s most free and fair vote ever. There are seven, I repeat seven, candidates to choose from including a woman,” Venal told kazaxia. “This gives the voters an unprecedented choice. This truly is Qazaqstan standing on the threshold of a glorious new dawn.”

The new president getting some wise advice from some former leaders

There has even been a lively televised debate in which one of the candidates, Sadybek Tugel, railed against “Satan’s places” calling for night clubs, saunas and casino-masinos to be closed down. Lord Venal recalls someone who looked remarkably like Tugel sharing a pitcher or two of Pravda Punch with him in a Nur-Sultan sauna-cum night club a few weeks ago in a KOC sponsored event.

Sadybek Tugel in all his finery

One worry raised by the seasoned election observer is the role of the Communist People’s Party candidate, Zhambyl Akhmetbekov. The representative of the party’s ruling troika, who is hoping to build on the 1.36% of the vote he garnered in 2011, seems to have come under overt Western influence, whilst raging endlessly against the pernicious values of the West. He has fallen under the spell of cult German philosopher Carl Marks and his utopian ideas and has has taken to courting the lucrative Burger King customer-base vote.

Eat Burger King, Vote Communist…


Qazaqstan: Let’s Get Steve Bannon a Kumys Milkshake

23 May

Guess who’s visiting Almaty as a guest speaker at the Eurasian Media Forum this week? Here’s a clue…

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Good ole boy Steve looking like he’s in need of a milkshake

Yes, it’s none other than Steve Bannon, the controversial far-right rabble-rouser from America. Bannon, Donald Trump’s former chief strategist in the White House, is now trying to stir up trouble in Europe. For some reason he has been invited to take the podium at Almaty’s mediafest, run by Dariga Nazarbayeva, the Leader of the Nation’s eldest daughter.
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Steve’s mate Nigel Farage gets ‘milkshaked’ in Newcastle

To welcome Steve, we here at kazaxia suggest he try kumys, fermented mare’s milk, the local drink of choice.
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Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (aka Tommy Robibson) gets ‘milkshaked’

Is there anyone at the forum who would like to oblige and give Steve a traditional British-style milkshake welcome, as meted out to his fellow far-right cronies Nigel Farage and Tommy Robinson (aka Stephen Yaxley-Lennon) in the UK recently?

The Nur-Sultanification of London

1 Apr

The UK government is calling for London to be re-named Nigel, after the hero of the UK’s attempt to escape the grasp of the eurocrats and regain its independence, Nigel Farage.

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Jack Taylor/Getty Images

In the latest desperate bid to bring the nation together in the aftermath of the Brexit debacle, the UK’s prime minister Theresa May cast her robotic eye far and wide and came upon Qazaqstan, which has recently seen its hero of the fight for liberation from the Soviet Union and president for almost three decades, Nursultan Nazarbayev, finally hand over power (of sorts).

His successor, Qasym-Jomart Toqayev, immediately called for the capital to be renamed after the first president and, hey presto, Astana is now known as Nur-Sultan! Upon reading  this news in The Economist, May immediately summoned her cabinet to tell them her latest wheeze to make everyone forget the kilos de merde that the UK finds itself in.

Westminster is still debating whether it will be ‘Ni-Gel’ or just plain ‘Nigel’. A series of indicative votes are to held to decide what the fuq is going to happen…

You’re Welcome to the New Qazaqstan!

22 Mar

It’s been three days since Qasym-Jomart Toqayev took over as president in Qazaqstan. Astana may have had its name changed to Nur-Sultan, meanwhile not much else has changed in the country…

Here are some images from the Nauryz (spring equinox) celebrations in Almaty:

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Qazaqstan: Adios, Astana!

21 Mar

Well, well, well, it’s been quite the week of changes in our Qazaqstan. On Tuesday, 19 March, long time president Nursultan Nazarbayev dropped his resignation bombshell and on the next day, following his inauguration as Qazaqstan’s second-ever president, Qassym-Jomart Tokayev announced that Astana, which means ‘capital’ in Qazaq, would henceforth be known as Nur-Sultan!


Just another gloomy day in Nur-Sultan

With this bold move, Qazaqstan became the second country in the world to name its capital after its first president, with the USA’s Washington being the other. It’s interesting that the first name rather than the surname was chosen here. Trying to come up with some other examples of this, We could only think of Gary, Indiana, Mary, Turkmenistan and Sydney, Australia where a first name has been chosen.

4.The First President awaits visitors_paul_bartlett

The First President enjoying some well-earned rest

As Leader of the Nation, Nazarbayev still has a tight grip on the reins of power in Qazaqstan, leaving Tokayev as the Leader of Sorts. Perhaps the choice of Nur-Sultan for the capital’s new moniker was  a warning shot from President Tokayev – surely the plan was for Nazarbayev, or at a pinch, Nur-Astana as the new name for the capital.

Could we be about to see challenges to the Leader of the Nation’s rule for the first time in a generation (or two)? According to Lord Venal, probably not: “When you consider that President Tokayev is a regime insider and a savvy diplomat, than he probably just got confused in all the excitement of being anointed president,” Lord Venal told kazaxia.





Qazaqstan: Au Revoir Nureke!

19 Mar

It’s the end of an era as Qazaqstan’s long-ruling leader Nursultan Nazarbayev finally relinquishes the reins of power.


The end of an era – Nazarbayev resigns, Niyazov and Karimov dead…

After nearly 30 years of President Nazarbayev at the helm, Lord Venal is said to be excited by the prospect of observing a presidential election without the presence of the soon to be ex-president.

“It won’t be the same without Nureke,” Venal told kazaxia, with a tear in his eye. “I sort of remember 2005, oh what a party that was,” he added wistfully.

kazaxia’s political guru, Gerry Kefali, had this to say: “Nazarbayev, who  remains the Leader of the Nation, is likely to continue to pull the strings in Qazaqstan for some time to come yet. While he may step aside from the top job, the system he has constructed will trundle on, it just remains to be seen who the new figurehead will be.”

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We direct you to Joanna Lillis’s excellent book Dark Shadows: Inside the Secret World of Kazakhstan to get the lowdown on how that system was created.



Top o’ the Morning to Ya, Ashgabat!

14 Mar


             Shamrock in Ashgabat: President’s new Irish pub to open on St Patrick’s Day!



Ashgabat’s Irish community are excited over the imminent opening of the city’s Irish pub, due on 17 March – St Patrick’s day. President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov is showing a personal interest, visiting the future venue to give the staff the benefit of his experience in styling party venues for the masses.


The venue admittedly looks rather bare at present, especially the area projected for the beer garden. But President Berdymukhammedov’s inspiration, combined with detailed instructions to the workers, will ensure the complete fitting out of the exciting new venue by the celebrated date.


“This will be right up there in Ashgabat’s social calendar,” Lord Venal, our regular friend barside, enthuses. “My charming young assistant has already put it in my diary.” He is intending to fly in for the event and expects, as is customary on his visits, to also be received at the presidential palace.

GooGoosha Lives!

6 Mar

6 March 2019

Sensational reports have reached kazaxia’s ears claiming that Gulnara Karimova, the errant first daughter of late Uzbek president Islam ‘Butch’ Karimov, is alive and, hmm, probably not so much well, and still in Uzbekistan.

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GooGoosha in happier times with her mate Gerard 

Karimova, known to her legion of fans by her stage name GooGoosha, disappeared form public view in 2014 and was long rumoured to be under house arrest in Tashkent. Now Uzbekistan’s General Prosecutors Office has confirmed that she was indeed being held in her apartment in Tashkent, accompanied by her daughter Iman.

While she may have been expecting to celebrate 8 March, International Women’s Day, with what remains of her family at home with some flowers, chocolates and a new iron, those plans have now been scuppered – the former pop diva and leading fashionista has been sent back to prison to complete her five-year term for ‘violating’ the terms of her domestic detention.

It seems she just couldn’t resist getting back on social media….