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.


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.”

Once Upon a Time in Amerika

20 Jan

20 January 2018

Qazaqstan’s diplomats in Washington deny absolutely that novice president Trump used an offensive word to their visiting president in their White House encounter, kazaxia has learnt.

don_and _nureke

What did the president just say?!?

“Trump did not use that word,” they insisted. “He may lack the long years of experience of our leader, but would not dream of insulting our great and wonderful homeland known throughout the world as a beacon of tolerance and human rights which people are striving to enter, not to flee.”

Diplomats also denied reports that Trump intended to build a wall between Qazaqstan and the United States. “This would not stop enterprising Americans managing to reach Qazaqstan to seek refuge,” one Qazaqstani diplomat joked. “Our banks are already full of money stashed by worried Americans seeking a safe haven.”

Qazaqstan: Taking the plunge

19 Jan

19 January 2018

Today is Epiphany in the eastern Orthodox church – a day when hardy souls take a plunge into a icy pool to wash away their sins and commemorate the baptism of Jesus Christ. It’s also a time to stock up on some holy water.

Check out kazaxia’s photo-essay from Almaty’s Nikolsky Cathedral:

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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.

Nazarbayev Trump

(image borrowed from

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:


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.


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.


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!

Lord Venal: “I’m no Wolff in Ermine Clothing”

10 Jan

10 January 2018

Lord Venal has expressed his distress at the abrupt cancellation by the presidential administration of his pioneering project of fly-on-the-wall observation of the workings of the administration and publication of a book. Akorda had gained wide recognition for its inspiring move to allow the populace a glimpse into the inner workings of the smooth machine that runs Kazakhstan so efficiently. However, critics claim Akorda’s abrupt abandonment of the project is fall-out from US President Donald Trump’s unhappy experiences over Michael Wolff’s controversial book “Fire and Fury”.


What might have been…

Lord Venal dismisses any such comparison with his ill-fated US colleague. “Nothing could be further from the truth,” the good Lord told Kazaxia, apparently close to tears. “I’m no Wolff in Ermine Clothing.” He said he had stepped in to pen the volume when his good friend, former jailbird Jonathan Aitken, had proved overburdened, being only half-way through his biography of the veteran inspirational president of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang.

“I’ve had the privilege of attending Akorda only twice – and the cocktails and company were quite congenial,” Lord Venal noted. “I’m saddened that my latest project has ended like this.”

Qazaqstan: Vanity is in the Eye of the Beholder

8 Jan

As Lord Venal was enjoying a New Year’s drink (well maybe one or two) in an Astana nightclub, a young man who knew his charming companion came over to talk. Learning that Lord Venal was from the UK and after a few more drinks, the young man recounted the fury in Akorda at the outrageous 27 December editorial in the Financial Times belittling Astana as a “vanity project”. He offered what he said was the original draft of a letter sent from Qazaqstan’s UK embassy, which was somewhat modified before publication.



Your editorial “When a national capital becomes a vanity project” (December 27) asserts, with not a shred of evidence, that Astana, the great capital city of Qazaqstan, is a “vanity project … plastered with [the president’s] portrait”. This is sheer rubbish. What is vain about our great leader building a great capital worthy of our great nation and great leader?

The decision in 1997 to establish the new Qazaq capital in the central part of the country was a stroke of genius which no mere mortal could have devised. Today, more than 1m people live in the city, which is still growing fast and boasts the beautiful Nazarbayev University, Nazarbayev Airport and the Nazarbayev Fertility Clinic, to name a few of its awe-inspiring monuments.

The editorial speaks of the great capital being “plastered” with portraits of the great leader. This too is rubbish. The people have repeatedly demanded and themselves installed portraits as a sign of their undying affection for their president. These portraits are dignified and carefully installed in pride of place, not “plastered” carelessly here and there as your editorial implies by implication.

Such slanders are not something we expected of a once great financial newspaper in a once great country that used to help our well-connected citizens store their ill-gotten gains. We expect that within 24 hours you will have removed this editorial from your website, called back all issues of the printed paper to remove the offending text, will fire those “journalists” responsible and issue a public apology in your printed “newspaper” and on the home page of your website. Be assured that our lawyers are waiting.



Embassy of RQ in UK

About ****ing Time!

7 Dec

“About *****ing time!” and “What the **** took you so long?” were reportedly two of the expostulations from the presidential lips over Almaty officials’ foot-dragging in renaming local streets in his honour, according to rumours emerging from the royal palace in Astana. “The idiots are only seven years behind the Turks!”

Officials told Kazaxia on condition of anonymity (they’re not stupid) that the royal palace had repeatedly sent to akimats across Kazakhstan copies of Turkish press reports from 2010 covering the installation of an elegant 5-metre bronze statue of a seated Nazarbayev in Ankara’s Ataturk Boulevard and the renaming of a street in central Adana “Nursultan Nazarbayev Avenue”.

“Eventually the tenge dropped,” a royal palace flunkey told Kazaxia, with visible relief.

“Even the tinpot town of Comrat in Moldova has a statue of me!” the royal palace’s chief resident is said to have expostulated in frustration over the denseness of his compatriots.

Equilibrium is said to have been restored with Almaty officials’ belated rush to catch up with more progressive foreign leaders.

British senior statesman (and former jailbird) Jonathan Aitken is close to completing a lavishly-illustrated book “Immortalising the Dictator: An Encyclopedia of inspirational Nazarbayev Monuments Around the World”, due out in time for the Christmas market.

In an inspired move, Aitken has turned to Kazaxia’s old friend Lord Venal to provide a foreword. “Honoured and touched, I’m sure,” the good Lord said of his latest project, as he headed out on the arm of a charming young lady for an Almaty nightclub (or two)