08ASTANA422, KAZAKHSTAN: ALMATY NOTES, FEBRUARY 11 – 22, 2008

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08ASTANA422 2008-03-04 10:43 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO4488
RR RUEHAST
DE RUEHTA #0422 0641043
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 041043Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1877
INFO RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 1875
RUEHEK/AMEMBASSY BISHKEK 8247
RUEHNT/AMEMBASSY TASHKENT 8125
RUEHAH/AMEMBASSY ASHGABAT 7304
RUEHDBU/AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE 2335
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 1520
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY 0269

UNCLAS ASTANA 000422 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN: ALMATY NOTES, FEBRUARY 11 - 22, 2008 
 
 
1. The "Almaty Notes" series is intended to maintain focus on 
developments in civil society, the media, and the opposition in 
Kazakhstan's "southern capital" following the move of the Embassy to 
Astana. 
 
KNB Trying to Discredit Alga? 
----------------------------- 
 
2.  The National Security Committee (KNB) is launching a campaign to 
discredit the un-registered Alga party, the party claims.  The KNB 
plans to focus on persuading ethnic Kazakhs to reject Alga on the 
basis that its leadership is dominated by ethnic Russians.  Two 
weeks ago a KNB officer reportedly tried to recruit Sholpan Musina, 
an Alga staff member.  The officer told Musina she should be an 
ethnic Kazakh patriot and cooperate with the KNB.  (Alga Party 
newspaper, February 14) 
 
Sergey Duvanov's Summer House Robbed 
------------------------------------ 
 
3. On February 21, well-known opposition journalist Sergey Duvanov 
reported that his summer house in the village of Kaynar, Almaty 
Oblast, had been robbed.  Duvanov said that two watch dogs 
disappeared and the intruders took away some of his belongings, but 
claimed that the robbery appeared to be staged.  A copy of the 
opposition newspaper Respublica was tacked up on the inside of the 
entrance door.  Duvanov alleged that the incident was an attempt to 
intimidate him.  He filed a police report requesting an 
investigation. (zonakz.net, February 21) 
 
Almaty Mayor Derides Opposition, Abilov Responds In Turn 
------------------------- ------------------------------ 
 
4. Almaty Mayor Imangali Tasmagambetov derided the Kazakhstani 
opposition during a meeting with Almaty residents on February 12. 
"One [oppositionist] opposes Almaty street crossings, but uses them. 
 He opposes his wife, but eats the dinner she cooked.  The other one 
is a temporary oppositionist who returns to the government when he 
is invited and goes back to the opposition when he is chided," 
Tasmagambetov said in response to a question by a Svoboda Slova 
correspondent about a construction project on Almaty's Republic 
Square.  (www.almaty.kz, February 13) 
 
5. "Imangali, how can you explain to your children where you got 
your luxurious house that cost several million U.S. dollars, when 
you are just a public servant?," opposition leader Bulat Abilov said 
in public remarks in response to Tasmagambetov.  Abilov claimed that 
Tasmagametov's house includes a stable and tennis court.  He accused 
Tasmagambetov of making a fortune of "billions" by illegally selling 
municipal land through his son-in-law.  Abilov contrasted 
Tasmagametov's wealth with the disastrous situation in Almaty's 
underfunded schools and hospitals. (Svoboda Slova weekly, February 
21) 
 
Almaty Migrants 
--------------- 
 
6. Skilled labor is in great demand in Almaty, but the majority of 
migrants from rural areas work at local markets in unskilled 
positions, Almaty Mayor Tasmagambetov explained on February 12. 
According to Tasmagambetov, last year the city government allocated 
more than 2.2 billion tenge ($18.3 million) to develop settlements 
for migrants.   Nevertheless, more funds are needed to provide 
sufficient roads and electricity, water, and gas linkages, 
Tasmagambetov reported.  "All our efforts will be half-measures if 
some of these problems are not solved by the national government," 
Tasmagambetov contended.  (Interfax, February 12) 
 
ORDWAY

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