Tag Archives: Russia

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

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Kazakhstan: EXPO 2017 Hits and Misses

11 Sep

11 September 2017

With Astana’s EXPO 2017 done and dusted, kazaxia is having a look at some of the hits and misses at Kazakhstan’s window to the world, which was on the theme of Future Energy.

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Crowds heading to Nur-Alem aka the Death Star

Top prize, of course, goes to Kazakhstan’s pavilion Nur-Alem, unflatteringly dubbed the Death Star by Foreign Policy. This was the biggest draw of the event with crowds queuing for hours to check out the eight floors of interactive displays on the green energy theme.

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Queueing to enter Nur-Alem at EXPO 2017

kazaxia’s particular favourite was the pedal-powered  race which saw two teams face off to pedal as fast as they could and generate energy.

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Pedal power face off in Nur-Alem

Special mention goes to Uzbekistan, which fully embraced the Future Energy concept with its Chevrolet (formerly Uz-Daewoo) Matiz adapted to run on a hydrogen-powered fuel cell.

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Uzbekistan’s fuel-cell powered Matiz

Turkmenistan seemed more intent on pushing President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov’s books and the upcoming Asian indoor martial arts fest in Ashgabat.

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A warm welcome to Turkmenistan’s pavilion

Georgia’s pavilion predictably focused on wine production, ignoring the Future Energy message, but the kazaxia special prize was reserved for Russia  with its novel take on the theme – it proposed using nuclear-powered ice breakers to crash through the ice cap to get at the fossil fuel deposits lurking in the depths of the Arctic Ocean.

The EXPO circus now moves on to the UAE leaving Astana with the task of transforming the site into a regional financial centre. Nur-Alem will remain as a museum for the general public to keep riffing on the green energy vibe.

Independent Scotland to Join Russia-led Customs Union?

5 Sep

With just under a fortnight to go until Scotland goes to the polls to decide whether to leave the United Kingdom, support for the yes camp has come from a surprising source – Russia.

Sergi Lossossoff a prominent figure in the world of Russian business, told kazaxia that Scotland would find a ready ally in Russia if it were to go down the rocky road to freedom.

“As a representative of the people of the ancient Rus, I think it is a great step that Scotland is taking to free itself from the tyranny of the crypto-fascist-Banderov London pseudo state. As we saw in Crimea, when people are given their voice, free from tyranny and oppression, they want to join Russia,” Lossossoff told kazaxia.

“Scotland would be welcome in the Eurasian Economic Union. The European Union is a decadent monolith that has had its day. Russia, along with the other members, [Belarus, Kazakhstan and possibly Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Syria, Vanuatu and North Korea] would be only too glad to have as much haggis and whisky as our little Scottish brothers could supply,”he continued in reference to concerns that have been raised as to Scotland’s future in the European Union were it to vote yes.

There has been much talk about whether Scotland could retain the pound after independence. Lossossoff feels that Scotland need not worry about this as it could easily adopt the rouble to its benefit. “With the current parlous state of Russia’s currency, Scots with savings of just £16,500 [at current exchange rates] would immediately be turned into [rouble] millionaires,” he quipped.

Defence is another area that would not be an issue as Russia has unlimited supplies of ‘little green men’ who could be parachuted in at a moment’s notice to defend the territorial integrity of Scotland, according to Lossossoff, who has had meetings with his drinking buddy Captain Haddock, who is widely tipped to be Minister of Defence in any new Scottish state.

As to the question of the BBC’s role in a free Scotland, Lossossoff said that “Russia has always been a champion of a free and fair media, and unlike the biased BBC, we have a model in Russia Today that Scotland would do well to follow.”

Russia to Quit Eurasian Economic Union?

30 May

After Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan inked the Eurasian Economic Union treaty in Astana yesterday, observers have started to question whether the treaty is valid by raising concerns over territorial issues.

Lord Venal told kazaxia that Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea in March, widely condemned by the international community, could result in complications for the fledgling economic union.

And then there were two?

“Kazakhstan has insisted that Armenia will be allowed to join this exclusive club only if it does so within its internationally-recognised borders thus excluding the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh,” Lord Venal told kazaxia.

“This decision could have serious implications for Russia as it has illegally-occupied sovereign Ukrainian land. This could mean Crimea being excluded from the Union or even Russia having to leave the bloc,” he continued.

This would leave Belarus and Kazakhstan as the leading lights of Eurasian integration. The possible inclusion of Armenia and Kyrgyzstan would be unlikely to make up for the loss of Russia’s economic clout.

Abkhazia, a largely unrecognised breakaway region of Georgia, has also been mooted as a potential member. Doctor Gött, of the Gött Institute of Serious Thinking (GIST) thought it highly improbable that Abkhazia would be able to join the union.

“It’s not even a real country, is it?” he told kazaxia. “The actual details of the [Eurasian Economic Union] treaty have not been made public but I’m sure there’s no provision for including pretend countries”.

Doctor Gött suggested that if Russia were to be kicked out and these other countries (even pretend ones) were allowed in then KABAK (marrow or courgette) could be a suitable acronym for the grouping.

Moscow: Eurasian Economic Union Name Dispute Rumbles on

8 May

More top-level meetings are taking place in Moscow as the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan talk with other possible member states about the expanding Eurasian Economic Union project. The sides are believed to be trying to come up with an acronym for the regional grouping.

Kazakhstan is said to favour KRB while Belarus is said to be leaning towards BRK. Russia has proposed Armenia be fast-tracked into the fledgling economic union to bring a much-needed vowel to the possible acronyms. Kazaxia likes the sound of BARK, other observers are keen on KRAB.

This ‘A’ is a significant development as ‘U’ is currently off the agenda as it doesn’t look like Ukraine or Uzbekistan will be joining any time soon, and Azerbaijan won’t join anything that involves its arch rival Armenia.

Further complications could be on the horizon as Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are possible contenders for membership. It is not clear where these letters would go. Syria is an outside bet for inclusion in this intercontinental economic club – an ‘S’ is always useful, as any scrabble player knows.

Vladimir Putin’s Neo-Colonial Can of Worms

18 Apr

Lord Venal has shared his thoughts with kazaxia on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Q&A on April 17.

In this Q&A Putin called into question the status of Ukraine, referring to parts of the threatened country as ‘Novorossiya’.

Here’s what Putin had to say:

I would like to remind you that what was called Novorossiya (New Russia) back in the tsarist days – Kharkov, Lugansk, Donetsk, Kherson, Nikolayev and Odessa – were not part of Ukraine back then. These territories were given to Ukraine in the 1920s by the Soviet government. Why? Who knows. They were won by Potyomkin and Catherine the Great in a series of well-known wars. The centre of that territory was Novorossiysk, so the region is called Novorossiya.

Let’s apply this Putinlogic to some other cases:

1. Orenburg

Orenburg, now in the Russian Federation, stradles Europe and Asia and once functioned as the capital of the Kirghiz Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic – present-day Kazakhstan. It served as the capital from 1920-1925, after which the republic was renamed the Kazak Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic and Kyzylorda was made the capital, while Orenburg joined mother Russia.

So the question here is should Orenburg rejoin Kazakhstan as Putin proposes for Novorossiya?

2. Calais

Following the annexation of Calais, in northern France, by England’s King Edward III in 1347, the area was a territorial possession of England until the perfidious French captured it in 1558. In fact, the very first of the Venal line fought in the ultimately doomed defence of Calais (on the English side).

There are reports that representatives of England’s elite blue-rinse brigade have been landed in Calais as a vanguard for any operation to annex the port. My cousin saw a number of grannies in the hypermarkets of Calais stocking up on cheap booze and cigs. They were speaking English with distinctive regional accents.

[Editor’s note: When kazaxia contacted Britain’s Ministry of Defence to verify if these grannies were indeed linked to the UK government, it received no answer as the Ministry is taking a day off for Good Friday.]

Pro-England separatists stocking up on cheap booze in Calais

If England were to invoke its territorial claims, following Putinlogic, and re-take Calais – as Russia has annexed Crimea, then I would hope to be able to reclaim the ancestral Venal seat in the Pas de Calais.

Finally, I could return the impoverished Venal legacy to its former glory and not have to grub around the world looking for election observing handouts.

By the way, if anyone in Orenburg or Calais wants a referendum, I would be only too pleased to observe the legitimacy of the process.

 

 

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Customs Union says Boycott America, Buy Russian

26 Mar

In a bid to show solidarity with Russia’s invasion of Crimea, kazaxia has it on good authority that officials in the Customs Union stalwart of Kazakhstan are reportedly being asked to give up their iPhones and iPads and use Russian technology instead of the products of America’s Apple Corporation.

This goes one step further than Russia itself, which has seen its officials switch to Samsung tablets over security concerns.

Here is a picture of the latest in Russian-built mobile technology, assembled in Sevastopol – the Putinov Crimea 16-03-14: