Archive for category Kyrgystan

more on Kyrgystan: dominant ‘third party’

In Russia, Putin deals with the Jewish oligarchs at least partially in the open. Sometimes he cooperates with them, and other times he opposes them. But in any case, there’s no love lost between Putin and the oligarchs.

In the United States, our government leaders do not dare to oppose powerful Jewish interests or they simply won’t be government leaders anymore. So they don’t lead exactly, they just pretend to lead. They actually follow.

Who is better served by their leaders, the Russian people or the American people?

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It looked to me that Russia helped along the recent Kyrgystan changes. Perhaps Russia did. Putin certainly had good reasons to want the Bakievs out. But Aangirfan recently pointed out that Roza Otunbayeva, the new Kyrgystan opposition leader, is a CIA ‘asset.’

People Power is usually organised by the CIA.

Reportedly, in Kyrzygstan, the CIA toppled President Akayev in 2005, and President Bakiyev in 2010.

In 2009 the Kyrgyz government of Kurmanbek Bakiyev announced that it was evicting US forces.

It changed its mind when the USA offered it $60 million to reverse its decision. (AARAN AARDVARK’S GARDEN OF EARTHLY DELIGHTS - A Blink in the Eye …)

But the CIA may have lost trust in Bakiyev.It is possible that the CIA used people power to topple Bakiyev in April 2010, and put Roza Otunbayeva into power.

Perhaps Russia is just going with the flow. Or, maybe Otunbayeva works for the Russians too. Who knows. Foreign policy is evidently nothing but deception, all day long. God knows no one seems to work for the actual people they supposedly represent.

According to another source, Otunbayeva made a private visit to Israel in September 2005 to convince an unnamed oligarch hostile to Russia to support Felix Kulov against Bakiyev. He could not be convinced that Kulov is a “real anti-Russian figure.” After this meeting Otunbayeva joined the opposition. (Links removed, click through for additional links.)

Once in September of 2005 she lost the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs in the first “revolutionary” government of Kyrgyzstan, Roza Otunbaeva made a private visit to Israel. Here, she met with a large Russian-speaking businessman , known for his hostility to the Kremlin and Russia’s “hegemony” in the post-Soviet space. Otunbayeva tried to convince Israelis that his friends in the West to support the then Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Felix Kulov in competition with President Kurmanbek Bakiyev. This portal IzRus said one of the witnesses of those contacts with the Israeli side.

According to him, Otunbayeva tried to convince his interlocutor that the forces interested in establishing the pro-Western democratic regimes in the CIS and neutralize Russian influence there should be counted on Kulov. However, her Israeli counterpart, as well as his comrades in England were not convinced that Kulov is a “real anti-Russian figure,” and denied him support.

According to the source portal IzRus, the Israeli side, there were several witnesses to this meeting.

Just at that time, having lost the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs, former ambassador to the United States and Britain Rosa Otunbayeva moved into the ranks of the opposition. In March this year she publicly criticized the government of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev in connection with financial advisers - Russian-speaking Jews from the United States.

Notice the connections to the US and England, as well as Israel of course. This information supports the contention that Otunbayeva is a CIA asset.

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Click here to see some pictures published in the Telegraph UK of the Kyrgystan riots.

Image 20:

A Kyrgyz opposition supporter fires an automatic weapon near the main government building during a protest against the government in Bishkek. Picture: AFP/GETTY
click to enlarge

According to this editorial at Oriental Review, that holographic weapon site on that opposition fighter’s rifle could only have come into Kyrgystan on a license by the US Departments of State and Commerce.

The HWS (holographic weapon sight) attached to the AK gun in the hands of an opposition fighter is the product of the US L-3 Communications EOTech Corporation, 500 series, retail price 600 USD each one (four average monthly salaries in Kyrgyzstan). According to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) of the USA, the commercial sales and exports of this equipment requires a license issued by the US Department of State and Department of Commerce. These models were not officially delivered to Kyrgyzstan or Russia. Hence this AK with an advanced HWS could NOT be used by a regular Kyrgyz special unit officer and then captured by a protester at the ‘battlefield’. The Telegraph snapshot clearly indicates that the ‘pro-Russian revolt’ in Bishkek was surprisingly supplied from a US military site in Kyrgyzstan or, perhaps, Afghanistan.

So the only pending question is the following: who is the dominant ‘third party’ in April events in Kyrgyzstan? Whether international narco-mafia is subject to the orders from Washington or maybe in reality the American administration is just a docile servant to those who generously invest into the US political campaigns?

Looks like it.

watch it spread

In March, Kyrgyz authorities were “spoken to” about their pressure on independent news channels.

In its letter, the OSCE has called on the Kyrgyz government to respect its international obligations to protect freedom of speech and to restore access to a number of online media sources and to Azattyk Radio (the Kyrgyz Service of RFE/RL). Similarly, “Press freedom violations seem to be increasing in frequency and intensity,” Reporters Without Borders and other groups have lamented. Since 10 March, agencies like ferghana.ru, centrasia.ru and paruskg.info (whose editor Gennady Pavlyuk was murdered last December) have been blocked.

Local sources report that independent media have been pressured not to report certain news or lose their licence. Consequently, many have refrained from publishing articles critical of the government. The opposition press has also been targeted. All 7,000 copies of the newspaper Forum were seized by the police in Bishkek on 15 March without any explanation, whilst its editor, Ryskeldi Mombekov, and five other journalists were detained. President Kurmanbek Bakiev appears eager to prevent news from reaching Kyrgyz that a businessman close to his inner circle was arrested in Italy on suspicion of mafia links. Mr Yevgeny Gurevich is a financial consultant to the Central Agency for Development, Investments and Innovation, which is run by the president’s son, Maksim Bakiev.

Not just “mafia links,” but links right to Berlusconi and other very highly placed people. Here’s the news that Bakiev wanted suppressed:

BISHKEK — A business associate of Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev’s son says he will step down as head of his company after a warrant was issued for his arrest in Italy, RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz Service reports. Yevgeny Gurevich, who is also known as Eugene Gourevitch, told journalists through a representative in Bishkek today that he is leaving all his posts to “fix misunderstandings [that have] occurred in Italy.” Italian media reported on March 9 that a judge in Rome had issued an arrest warrant for Gurevich, who is accused of embezzling some $2.7 billion from divisions of Telecom Italia and the Fastweb telecom company between 2003 and 2006.

So March 9th Italian media report the arrest warrant for Gurevich, and March 10th the websites are blocked. Because it’s not just Gurevich.

He is being charged with criminal conspiracy and money laundering as part of a bigger case involving dozens of others. Gurevich has reportedly held a U.S. passport since 1990. The MGN Group has been actively involved in the Kyrgyz investment market since 2008. It has numerous holdings, including banks, and is one of Kyrgyzstan’s most powerful conglomerates. MGN became a major partner of Kyrgyzstan’s Central Agency for Development and Investments, which is led by President Bakiev’s son, Maksim Bakiev. The acronym MGN is thought by many to stand for Maksim, Gurevich, and Nadel, the last name of businessman Mikhail Nadel. Both Gurevich and Maksim Bakiev have repeatedly denied having business ties with each other.

Kyrgyzstan’s state Development Fund, which reports directly to the president, announced today that it has annuled all agreements it has made with MGN.

As noted yesterday, MGN stands for Maksim, Gurevich, Nadel. In other words, the Kyrgyzstan president’s son, Gurevich the Kyrgyz Jewish banker, and Nadel the Russian Jewish oligarch.

MGN’s mission: “to realize the investment potential of Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia.” MGN receives a license in November 2008, and by the end of 2009 manages assets of $250 million. Key sectors of the Kyrzyg economy came under MGN management.

The Kyrgyz leadership also plays a prominent role in NATO logistics for Afghanistan. In Bishkek, Gurevich is considered the most influential financial consultant and government agencies and state corporations use his services.

Kyrgystan’s population: approximately 5,000,000. The number of Jews in Kyrgystan: approximately 1,200.

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Connections to Italy:

In Italy, the allegations include laundering money through fictitious companies set up in the UK, Switzerland, Panama and Luxembourg. (Excellent article at Russian Mafia.)

One of the people named in the warrant is Gennaro Mokbel. Allegedly Mokbel used his contacts in the Calabrain mafia to elect his friend to the senate. Mokbel has alleged relations to right-wing extremists including terrorists. He collects photos and memorabilia of Mussolini and Hitler. Italian newspapers suspect the group has connections with intelligence operatives, police and political leaders. One suspect, Paul Anthony O’Connor was often accompanied by a former agent of MI6.

Being confident that none of his calls could have been intercepted, Mokbel openly chatted on the phone. In one of the angry calls to “his” Senator - Nicolas Dia Girolamo - he is believed to go outraged: “You may become the president of Italy, but for me you will always be a doorman, or to be more precise - my slave.” The newly elected senator, as suggested, meekly replied: “Please forgive me.”

From November 1-3, 2009, the richest Jews in the world gathered in the luxurious palace of Silvio Berlusconi, as his personal guests. (On December 13th, a man struck Berlusconi in the face with a replica of the Milan cathedral. Maybe some symbolism there…)

The event is held regularly in various capitals of the world, the Israeli national fund “Keren Ha-Yesod” - International Leadership Reunion (ILR). Only the elect are invited to attend. 180 people.

Members of this Congress offers luxurious balls, inspections of palaces and villas of Italian nobility, traveling on Jewish places of Rome and visit closed to normal tourist facilities Vatican.

Oooh, that’s so nice.

The fund attaches great importance to the “business elite of post-Soviet space” — the CIS countries.

International Leadership Reunion (ILR) - an exclusive club sponsors “Keren Kha-Yesod,” brings together hundreds of leading businessmen and philanthropists. Among the members of this elite club are the following: Sheldon Edelson (USA), representatives of the De Rothschild dynasty, members of the Safra family, Mendel and Robert Kaplan (South Africa), Charles and Edgar Bronfman (Canada), Frank Lowe (Australia), Richard Pratt (Australia, New Zealand), Pierre Besnaynu (France) and many other representatives of the financial elite of various countries, including Russia and other CIS republics.

They “raised” $40 million dollars in three days. Look at these statements:

On three days’ stay in Rome, the largest Jewish philanthropists portal IzRus told a representative of the Keren Ha-Yesod, “in Russia Ronny Vinnikov. He said that the commemorations have begun in a symbolic location - near the Arch of Titus, which depicts the victory of the Romans over the Jews and the imposition of the menorah from the Temple of Jerusalem (AD 70). Former Chief Rabbi of Israel Yisrael Meir Lau asked the guests: “Where are those Romans and where are we? the language of the Emperor Titus long been told of his empire was nothing left, and Jews have preserved their language, have created their own state, and revived their culture.”

Then, Jewish philanthropists, accompanied by a government escort motorcyclists have visited the palaces of the president and prime minister of Italy, met with Speaker of Italian Parliament, the Mayor of Rome and the chief rabbi of the country. In one of the palaces of Italy’s best opera singers sang “Hatikva”. At the Villa Madama, the official residence of the Prime Minister for receiving heads of state, the Jewish oligarchs met at a top level - with a solemn guard, saluting each guest as a leader of a foreign power. By the way, the ball to Jewish patrons of the palace came from Berlusconi and the Ambassador Russia to Italy Alexei Meshkov.

“The joy of Jewish organizations and beneficiaries, the ranks of the world of philanthropy is increasingly supplemented by people of the” Russian “origin - those who live in the CIS, Europe, USA, Canada and Israel. The arrival of these people to charity - this revolutionary moment,” - said Ronnie Vinnikov. He expressed the hope that the leaders of world Jewry “open the door to benefactors of the CIS could go with the right foot to the leading position in the Jewish world.” According to Vinnikov, vote-rich Russian Jews should be equally heard on all matters of collection and distribution of funds from donations.

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Connections to the US (surely just a start):

In 2005, the NYT reported that Pentagon’s Fuel Deal is Lesson in Risks of Graft-prone Region.

WASHINGTON, Nov. 14 - Soon after the American invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, the Pentagon opened an air base in neighboring Kyrgyzstan and made a deal to get jet fuel from the only two suppliers in the country. The companies just happened to be linked to relatives of the country’s president. Now the two businesses are under scrutiny by Kyrgyz prosecutors and F.B.I. agents who are looking into whether the president at the time, Askar Akayev, and his family pocketed hundreds of millions of dollars, partly from Pentagon fuel contracts, before he was ousted this year.

…Pentagon officials say the two businesses, Manas International Services Ltd. and Aalam Services Ltd., were used not because of their connections but because they were the only ones with facilities to transport and store fuel at the air base in Bishkek, the capital. Though the Akayevs may have benefited, the officials said, Pentagon rules do not bar contracts with companies that have ties to a foreign leader.

An internal F.B.I. report given to Kyrgyz prosecutors in September found that the two businesses might have been involved in money-laundering through accounts at Citibank in New York and the Dutch bank ABM Amro. The companies also had transactions with “a myriad of suspicious U.S. shell companies” associated with Mr. Akayev, his family and arms traffickers, the report said.

…Lacking its own facilities in Bishkek, Avcard, a Maryland aviation fuel company, proposed using Manas and Aalam as its only subcontractors there, said Warren E. Boin Jr., a company vice president. The Pentagon awarded the Maryland company the contract in early December 2001 without soliciting any other bidders, documents show. Kathryn Fantasia, a Defense Energy Support Center official, said in an interview that Avcard had been brought in because it had promised to meet the military’s needs, using Manas and Aalam or other suppliers.

Soon after the fuel deliveries began, Avcard’s president, Linda Kropp, said she had learned that Aydar Akayev, the president’s son, was a part owner of Manas. The general manager of Manas boasted about the Akayevs’ involvement, she said. She then asked about Aalam, where an executive told her that Adil Toiganbayev, the president’s son-in-law, was one of the owners, she said. The discovery led her to call Ms. Fantasia and Deborah L. Vankleef, the Defense Energy Support Center officials responsible for the fuel contract, to report that the president’s family members were benefiting from the deal. “They said they were aware of it from other sources and there really wasn’t anything they could do about it,” Ms. Kropp said. Ms. Hampton, the agency’s spokeswoman, said the two women did not recall that conversation.

Hmm. Wrong answer.
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According to this writer, the coup was about the base. I would just add: At the very least.

Russia considers the Central Asian Republics as its sphere of influence. ALl of them used to be part of the USSR. US encroachment into Central Asia is not welcome. Only those living in caves may not know the goings on in Bishkek. Kyrgyzstan’s deposed president, Kurman Baki (Russianized to Kurmanbek Bakiyev) took the Russians for a ride, and now he has paid for it. He tried to hoodwink the Russians by promising to shut down the US base. Mr. Kurmanbek did actually shut down the American base, he then took the Russian money ($2 billion) worth more than the total budget of the country and then double crossed Moscow by allowing the US to operate a base. Mr. Kurmanbek thus was trying to be very smart. The coup was all about the US base.

If Washington thought that Mr. Kurmanbek would get away with his double dealing then there are a few naive diplomats working in the State Department.

pretty much self-explanatory

More news from Kyrgystan — translated.

The scandal centered on a Russian Jew with American citizenship in Israel is not noticing. But, according to a Knesset, the story involving Italian politicians, mafia, big businessmen of the EU, USA and Russia and Kyrgyzstan, may continue in Israel.

In the last week in Kyrgyzstan, a scandal erupted in the center of which was a number of big businessmen of Jewish descent. The protagonist of this story was born in the USSR and U.S. citizen 33-year-old Yevgeny Gurevich. Authoritative Central Asian Internet resource Ferghana.ru dubbed him “personal financier (president’s) family Bakiyev, contributing to its partners in the project to control the most profitable sectors of the Kyrgyz economy.”

According to Western media, last week the Roman court issued a warrant for the arrest of Hurewicz, which Italian law enforcement authorities are suspected of involvement in criminal groups engaged in fraud and money laundering in the amount of billions of euros. In this case, were issued arrest warrants for 55 more people, including executives of several Italian companies and politicians from the encirclement of President Berlusconi [worth clicking through to this one -ed.] According to the Sun Francisco Chronicle, the 1600 pages of the indictment brought against Gurevich, alleged that he played a key role in laundering illegal proceeds of Italian criminals. According to La Stampa, employees of the Central Bank of Italy received a warning from the Cypriot colleagues that the company Gurevich used for laundering the proceeds through a scheme of carousel fraud and smuggling of tobacco and drugs, committed, apparently, in Italy and the United Kingdom. ” Austrian publication Profil added that the investigation of the case involved and law enforcement agencies of this state.

Chief Jew Kyrgyzstan

Publications in the Western media to embarrass the Kyrgyz leadership, which had a prominent role in logistics contingent of NATO in Afghanistan. In Bishkek, Evgeny Gurevich still considered the most influential financial consultant, whose services are used by government agencies and state corporations. In Kyrgyzstan, he founded the MGN Group, and before the outbreak of the “Italian scandal” is its CEO.  In October last year, Gurevich explained Kabar.kg, that its holding “is focused on Central Asia, and offers a range of services in asset management and corporate finance.”  He noted that the mission MGN - “to realize the investment potential of Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia.”  After receiving a license in November of 2008, the consulting structure in record time included in the list of its clients the biggest bank in the country AUB (AUB), the government’s Social Fund and Development Fund, whose shares are managed by the Central Agency for Development, Investment and Innovation (TSARII ), chaired by the President’s son Maxim Bakiev. By the end of 2009, MGN, according to Gurevich, managed assets totaling $ 250 million. He himself went to the boards of a number of major Kyrgyz companies as well as the International airport “Manas” (the leader of the local market in air services), “Power Station” (State monopoly for the production of electricity), Kyrgyztelecom, Kyrgyzgaz, etc.

Distribution of activity of holding company led by foreigners, especially in such a short time, the key sector of the economy led to mounting criticism not only to the Hurewicz as his alleged backers around President Bakiyev.  In the local media began to appear publications that MGN owes his meteoric rise to Maxim Bakiyev, eager with the help of foreign consultants to take control of the most profitable market segments. Gurevich categorically rejected such accusations.  “We are absolutely without any support for the president’s family or the government” - he said in October last year.  And only in February of 2010 MGN CEO said in his blog that “had the honor to meet recently with Maxim Bakiyev,” after he led TSARII (October of 2009).  “I do not have long to meet a more talented and creative leader,” - noted Gurevich, although the president’s son is in the country rather odious figure.

Linking Hurewicz with Bakiyev, Jr., and “implementation” MGN in the public sector of the economy, caused manifestations not yet characteristic of Kyrgyzstan’s anti-Semitism. This was facilitated by the fact that other key positions in the leadership of the holding and take Russian-American Jews, and business partner

MGN is the founder of a Russian Jew - the owner of AUB Michael Nadel, who played a role in the emergence of Yevgeny Gurevich in the Kyrgyz market. As a result, he himself declared Zionist, but on local Internet forums began to appear the following remarks: “Walking in the wake of the Max (Maxim Bakiyev) resulted in a financial power of the country’s Jews, amerovskih and Russian, for which Kyrgyzstan - a base for enrichment, and people for them - black cattle.  Journalism is one of the leading online editions of the republic is explained in this regard, local visitors and blog-sphere, that the Jews “was originally in the blood is no such thing as a conscience - therefore they Kyrgyzstan just another litter, they poimeyut and thrown out ….”

Against this background, it is natural that with the publicity “the Italian scandal, opposition leaders tried to use” popular anger “to intensify attacks on clan Bakiyev.  March 11 Party Ata-Meken, led by former parliament speaker Omurbek Tekebayev, demanded the resignation of the president and his son - Director TSARII.  They are accused of that lobbied for the “interests of individuals to the detriment of national interests” and created an environment in which private company will have a fabulous profits at the expense of the impoverishment of the population.  Another opposition activist Edil Baisalov added: “The company is so deeply intertwined Gurevich with the current regime, that it is not limited to just financial, he actively participated in the gosreformy, promoted the idea of constitutional change.”

March 10, leaving all their positions (including CEO MGN), Gurevich publicly responded to the accusations made against him by the Italian court. Categorically refuting them, and calling a “misunderstanding”, he said that he intends “to the end to defend his innocence and innocence in court.” But the next day to a warrant for his arrest in Italy added to the charges of the company Eventis Telecom, lost in last year’s control over the second mobile operator of the republic “Bimikom.  By announcing now Gurevich involvement in the raider attacks, representatives Eventis Telecom announced that they would seek redress through the Court of Arbitration in Stockholm.

Some customers and partners even Gurevich rushed to distance themselves from him.  Since March 10, the Development Fund announced the termination of the agreement with MGN. 12-second press-service of the Holding Company issued a formal statement, which stated: “the charges against Yevgeny Gurevich charges not related to the activities of MGN Group, and refer to that period of time when the company MGN Group did not exist.”

Although the number of the local Jewish community is just over a thousand people, the special role of Jews in Kyrgyzstan’s economy - not a new phenomenon.
Even before the overthrow of the first president, Askar Akayev, Bakiyev of the clan in 2005, a noticeable influence on the economy benefited from an approximate one of the key Kyrgyz politicians Felix Kulov - Yuri Sosnowski.  Being a native of the republic, the former staff member of the Institute of Physics and Mechanics of Rocks of the Kyrgyz Academy of Sciences, in the early 90’s went into business, mostly food imports from Kazakhstan and Russia.  Eventually he became the unofficial financial adviser Kulov, who until the change of power had time to visit the vice-president, minister of national security, the head of Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Mayor of the capital.  After the coup, from mid-2005’s to the beginning of 2007, Kulov was the head of government, and another three months before the official formation of the new cabinet proposed Sosnovsky take the post of Minister of Finance.  Preferring to remain in the shadows, he refused such a tempting offer, and at the same time, the virtual monopoly of foreign trade contacts Kulov.  How then, and Gurevich, special attention he paid to the development of linkages with foreign investors, especially from Western Europe and the USA.  In 2006, Sosnowski tried to draw on the local market, and Israeli businessmen, in particular liaising with the former IDF Chief of Staff Lipkin-Shahak.

But as soon as the clan Bakiyev sufficiently appreciated in the power, the new president hastened to get rid of a strong competitor, and squeezed Kulov from the government.  Replaced by Yuri Sosnovsky came other “gray cardinal” of Jewish origin. Besides revealing that, on suspicion of Moscow in the coming to power clan Bakiyev played a role disgraced oligarch Boris Berezovsky and his partner, Latvian banker Valery Belokon (one of the biggest foreign players in the Kyrgyz market).

In the second half of 2000’s local and Russian media have brought to the role of the new “gray cardinal” Michael Nadel - the main shareholder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of AUB (AUB).  This - the largest commercial bank in Kyrgyzstan, which account for, according to Russian sources, “more than half of the republic’s budget, including salaries of employees of the public sector, all types of compulsory insurance, retirement savings, loans.  According to some media, AUB has managed to achieve such a special situation in the Kyrgyz market in no small measure due to the close connection with Bakiyev

This also contributed to the emergence of a banker in the country Yevgeny Gurevich. “I arrived in Kyrgyzstan, because my close friend, Michael Nadel, a long time working here, and built the most advanced and just a cool commercial bank in the country (and I helped him a bit) - Gurevich, admitted in early February of 2010 in its blog. For the three months before he is called AUB one of the main clients MGN Group.  However according to several media in the past few years Gurevich par with an allotment was a member of AUB Board of Directors.

As the portal IzRus one of the Knesset, which supports communication with Kyrgyz colleagues in Bishkek does not rule out that some representatives of business community of the republic, the situation will be interested to receive Israeli citizenship and even return to their historical homeland.

Interlocutor portal IzRus chose not to name any specific names, but noted that “there are already clear signs of this.” According to him, talking about individual representatives of an entire group of big businessmen and top managers, subject to the Israeli Law of Return.  And although almost all of them have American or Russian citizenship, “in the current difficult situation, Israel might be their ideal destination.”

“Another question: whether Israel is ready to accept them. In this case, is difficult to draw a parallel here with some of repatriated Russian businessmen. They are in contrast to the” Kyrgyz “colleagues before moving preoccupied by the creation of - sponsored various humanitarian projects, including those of national importance , acquired bonds among the local establishment. But representatives of the business community in Kyrgyzstan within the Law of Return, Israel has so far not interested. Moreover, the current scandalous background obviously will not help to provide them with Israeli citizenship, “- said the same MP.

In related news, 4/9/10:

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Israel is following with concern the developments in Kyrgyzstan and, given the friendly relations between the two countries, unpleasantly surprised by the anti-Semitic incidents in Bishkek. We hope that the government clearly favors on this occasion.”

MK Amnon Cohen of Shas, is actively involved in relations with Muslim countries of the CIS, believes that Israel should be ready for more drastic measures if the new government of Kyrgyzstan is not put to anti-Semitism in the country….A native of Uzbekistan, Amnon Cohen, a member of Knesset since 1999 he has served as chairman of the Inter-Parliamentary Association Israel, Uzbekistan, and is also active in relations with Tajikistan and Azerbaijan. The last time Cohen visited Central Asia last December, when held in Tashkent a series of meetings with senior Uzbek officials. In addition, the MP is considered one of the most prominent figures of the World Congress of Bukharan Jews , whose president is an Israeli tycoon Lev Leviev.

From April 2009:

Tuesday, March 31, several hours before the formal entry of Avigdor Lieberman into the new office, the Israeli ambassador in Astana Yisrael Mei-Ami, who is also a non-resident ambassador in Bishkek, presented his credentials to Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev.

Day on March 31 Mei Ami went to the residence of the president to par with the ambassadors of Egypt, China, Vatican, Mexico, Switzerland, Greece and Hungary, to present his credentials Kurmanbek Bakiyev. As the portal IzRus mentioned Kyrgyz officials, in the waiting room an Israeli diplomat shook hands with his Egyptian counterpart.

Addressing foreign ambassadors Bakiev stressed that Kyrgyzstan is ready to cooperate with Israel without exception in all fields and relations between the two countries have absolutely no problems.

After the ceremony at the presidential palace Tsur and Mei-Ami, met with leaders of the Jewish community of the republic, whose strength is about 1200 people. As the portal IzRus one of the local Jewish leaders, at the cocktail party was attended by more than a dozen guests, of whom stood out: the Chief Rabbi of Kyrgyzstan Arie Reichman, chairman of the Society of Jewish Culture “Menorah” Boris Shapiro, and the leader of the local branch of the international Jewish charitable organization “Hesed” ( “Joint”) Rose Fish.

…Before them, the last official representative of Jerusalem, visited Bishkek in June of 2008, was the then Deputy Foreign Minister Majali Uahabe. But the history of diplomatic relations established between the two countries in 1992, Kyrgyzstan has been only one representative of the Government of Israel - Avigdor Lieberman in July 2001 the.

the fire of corruption flashes over

Peter Chamberlin has collected various interesting news articles about the upheaval in Kyrgystan.

Blood in the Streets of Bishkek
Kyrgyz protestor: “The Jews are Kaput”
Is the Kyrgystan upheaval bad for the US?
Maksom Bakiev appears online — from the US evidently
Trouble in the Stans: Which is the next country to blow up?

Let’s break this down.

Vanity:

The corruption that pissed people off in Kyrgystan — mainly the president using his position to enrich himself and his family — also happens in Uzbekistan, except that it’s worse. (Independent UK)

In Uzbekistan, a similar process has been under way. The president’s daughter, Gulnara Karimova, is a glamorous, Harvard-educated socialite based in Geneva, and, according to Mr Murray and others, controls the regime’s billions of dollars of assets through the Zeromax company. She has her own jewellery and fashion lines, and occasionally releases saccharine pop songs. She is also said to have provided the money for one of the regime’s biggest vanity projects – the Bunyodkor football club, based in the capital Tashkent. The side, which plays in the obscure Uzbek League, has paid millions to lure stars such as the Brazilian Rivaldo to play for them, and last year recruited former Brazil and Chelsea boss Luis Felipe Scolari to manage the team, giving him the highest salary of any football manager in the world.

Last month we learned that international organized crime rings cooperate and use legitimate businesses, including sports teams among other things, to launder money. This is from a Telegraph UK story.

In July last year, police arrested seven alleged mafia members suspected of attempting to buy into the Lazio soccer team [to launder money - ed.]. … After the offer was turned down, the Casalesi allegedly tried purchasing shares in the club through front companies based in Switzerland or Hungary. Police said the attempt to acquire a soccer club was “a new phenomenon”.

Vanity projects in Uzbekistan. Vanity projects in organized crime rings. Do vanity projects reliably indicate the presence of organized crime? We do not know.

Nepotism:

Speaking of presidential daughters, next door in Kazakhstan the president’s daughter Dinara has an important role in the business of the country, particularly in the oil and gas sector, through her marriage to Timur Kulibayev.

An intelligent and ambitious President and CEO of the KMG group since June 2006, Kulibayev is married to President Nazarbayev’s second daughter Dinara. Until his promotion, he used to be KMG’s first vice president of KMG. In his 30s, he began his career in the finance ministry’s division which was once in charge of the petroleum sector. In March 1997, as Nazarbayev made Balgimbayev president of KazakhOil, the latter made Kulibayev the financial boss and vice president of the company. The oil and gas firms then were transferred from the finance ministry to KazakhOil.

Timur Kulibayev, the president’s son-in-law, has reportedly fathered a “love child” with Goga Ashkenazi. Goga has also dated Prince Andrew. And, come to find out, they’re all good buds, helping each other with selling mansions and what-not! Turns out that moneyed people and British royals just love to hang out in Kazakhstan. Who knew?!?

Goga Ashkenazi and Prince Andrew, from News of the World
Does any of this matter? We do not know. It sure is interesting though.
Israel:
Meanwhile, Kazakhstan is actually “Israel’s Partner in Eurasia” according to Ariel Cohen, writing for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. (source) (source: http://tinyurl.com/yfw6d8h)
  • Israel and post-communist, resource-rich states have similar geopolitical priorities in opposing terrorism and radical Islam.
  • By developing closer ties with Kazakhstan - and with Eurasian countries in general - Israel can expand its ties to the secular Muslim Turkic states and its role in the new “great game” of Eurasia: economic development fueled by exports of the region’s massive natural resources.
  • Israel and the countries of Eurasia are economically complimentary: Central Asian countries are rich in natural resources, and can benefit from Israeli solar, irrigation/agricultural, medical and other know-how. Israel can offer high-tech, military, and advanced agricultural technology, cutting-edge medical sciences, and educational opportunities. As always in international relations, common interests define strong ties.
  • On occasion, President Nursultan Nazarbayev used his good services to appeal to Iran on behalf of missing Israeli servicemen or call on Tehran to abandon its nuclear weapons, as Kazakhstan did in 1994. Unfortunately, these appeals usually fall on deaf ears.
  • With oil prices rising, Kazakhstan may have left the nadir of economic decline behind, although banking and construction sectors were hurt particularly hard.

Kazakhstan is much larger than Kyrgystan, and the two countries share a long border. You can read more about the two countries and their possible connections to Israel here.

The “Stans” — click to enlarge (source)

So far we have established:

  1. a culture of corruption in Kyrgystan and Uzbekistan
  2. a culture of nepotism and the strong presence of moneyed people from the UK
  3. connections to Israel

But wait there’s more.

^^^^^^^

Consequences:

So now that things have gone wrong, Kyrgystan presidential son-in-exile Maksim Bakiev may have fled to the US, according to State Department spokesman Phillip Crowley.

As for Maksim Bakiev, Crowley said, “We believe he is in Washington.” He had no further details.

Bakiev, or someone claiming to be him, then appeared online posting from New York, muttering something about the Rule of Law….

Livejournal, one of the Russian-language blogosphere’s leading platforms, showed that a user named “maksimbakiev” had created a profile today, and has posted two entries.
The first was a link to his father’s defiant interview with Ekho Moskvy.
The second, posted just minutes later, was a statement allegedly written by the deposed president himself.

In it, Bakiev Sr. writes, “I am ready to take responsibility for my guilt in the tragic events taking place if my guilt is proven by objective and impartial investigation.”

Whenever powerful people start invoking the Rule of Law, that’s a pretty reliable indicator that they’ve been bagged. I have noticed that they rarely show the slightest concern for the Rule of Law until they get in some trouble, and then they suddenly become legal experts.

Why did the Kyrgyz people expel Bakiev? Because they were sick of his corruption.

Why did Bakiev reportedly flee to the US? Because his corruption is safe with us.

Azimbek Beknazarov, the new government’s vice prime minister responsible for legal matters, said that U.S. officials were apparently indifferent to Bakiyev’s human rights violations, while providing the means for the Bakiyev family to become extraordinarily rich.

“The last two-three years, Kyrgyzstan’s democratic values have been destroyed,” Beknazarov said in an interview with GlobalPost amid the debris of the looted presidential administration building, which was the focus of Wednesday’s violence. “America closed its eyes to this,” he said. “That’s why the majority of people now think that America only needs its military base and nothing else interests it.”

Now the US military might lose access to Manas Air Force Base. The US and NATO use Manas as an important logistical hub for the Afghanistan operations.

Beknazarov said that the provisional government has not yet formally started to discuss whether to keep the base open, although many ordinary people are asking them take up the question. “My own personal opinion is that Kyrgyzstan doesn’t need such a base,” he said.

Meanwhile, operations at Manas air base have been curtailed sharply. A press spokesperson there said that troop transport flights have been temporarily suspended, although other “normal operations,” such as re-fueling, continue. He did not provide details why the troop flights were halted.

The truth is that Kyrgystan unrest poses a dilemma for US military.

Losing Manas would have been a major setback for U.S. operations. In 2005, Air Force Col. Randy Kee, then the commander of the 376th Air Expeditionary Wing, said the Kyrgyz base had become the “primary logistics hub” for Operation Enduring Freedom. That same year, neighboring Uzbekistan cut off U.S. access to Karshi Khanabad (also known as “K2″), a former Soviet airbase that had been an important staging area for operations in Afghanistan, and many of K2’s operations shifted to Manas.

Since then, Kyrgyzstan’s importance to the U.S. effort in Afghanistan has only grown. Among the chief reasons: As rising violence in Pakistan threatens U.S. and coalition supply lines, the U.S. is keener than ever to ensure that northern supply routes to Afghanistan remain open. Underscoring Kyrgyzstan’s strategic role, Gen. David Petraeus, the head of U.S. Central Command, paid a visit last month to the country.

Continued unrest in Kyrgyzstan could pose a serious problem for U.S. military planners. After Wednesday’s events, Bakiyev fled the capital. His whereabouts are not confirmed, although news reports say he flew to southern Kyrgyzstan, where he maintains a regional power base.

^^^^^^^

Networking:

The US government is very supportive of business opportunities in Kyrgystan.

On November 10, [2009] the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Embassy held a seminar “Doing Business with the USA” providing information to Kyrgyz companies on how to conduct business with U.S. partners and identifying future business opportunities. U.S. Ambassador Tatiana Gfoeller and Maksim Bakiev, the newly appointed Head of the Central Agency for Development, Investment and Innovation, opened the Bishkek seminar with comments on the importance of expanding bilateral business ties (the Ambassador’s remarks appear below). The seminar attracted over 120 participants, and stimulated many companies to explore possible ways of increasing business ties with the U.S. This was the fifth “Doing Business with the USA” conference held in Kyrgyzstan.

…On November the 12th 2009, AmCham in the Kyrgyz Republic in partnership with U.S Department of Commerce held the Second Annual Conference “Trade and export in Kyrgyzstan: how to strengthen capacity?” in the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Over 100 guests participated in this event….Glen Lockwood, Board Chair and President of TFI opened the Second Annual Conference and stressed the importance of the conference, strengthening the connection between governmental authorities and business. The keynote addresses were delivered by U.S. Ambassador in Kyrgyz Republic Tatiana Gfoeller (whose remarks appear below) and Aidar Mokenov, Deputy Minister of Economic Regulation in the Kyrgyz Republic.

Very cozy. Happy hours and Christmas celebrations, etc.

^^^^^^^

Mystery:

The other day I came across a story from a newspaper on the Texas border, the Del Rio News Herald. Del Rio is next to Laughlin AFB. The story was reported on April 6, 2010. The Kyrgystan unrest took off the very next day.

A man was found dead in his hotel room. He apparently worked for a company called TolTest in the Indianapolis area.

Justice of the Peace Precinct 3 Fred Brockwell identified the man found in the room as Alvin L. Lehman, 46, a resident of Indianapolis, Ind. Brockwell pronounced Lehman dead at 2:45 p.m. Monday and ordered an autopsy of the body to determine the cause and manner of Lehman’s death. Brockwell said Lehman was found sitting in the bathtub inside the motel room, but added there was no trauma to the body and no obvious signs of foul play.

So, probably nothing. But I looked up TolTest and it’s a very large defense contractor. (You would never know this from the news item.) For example, it was awarded part of a $4 billion contract to the USAF in 2004. TolTest has locations throughout the world including Guantanamo Bay, the Azores, Spain, Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Afghanistan, South Korea, Japan and Guam. (http://www.toltest.com/?event=locations)

So not a rinky-dink operation. In fact TolTest comes in above Lockheed Martin on this list of top 100 contractors:

1 KBR (formerly Kellogg Brown and Root)
2 DynCorp International (Veritas Capital)

…..

12 Blackwater USA

….

17 Toltest
18 Lockheed Martin

So this guy, Alvin Lehman, just happens to die mysteriously while on business for TolTest, down in Texas right next to Laughlin AFB. And the next day the Kyrgystan people toss out their president and his son. Again, I’m sure it’s probably nothing. But it got me thinking about the accusations of corruption in Kyrgystan, and Manas, and the logistics of running NATO operations. Because one of TolTest’s core business is bulk fuel services. (http://www.toltest.com/?event=news.read&newsid=169)

Services include asbestos; lead abatement/demolition; bulk fuel services; construction; design/build; environmental consulting & remediation; general contracting; operations & maintenance (OM); site engineering; telecommunications installations; transportation and disposal; underground/above-ground storage tank management, removal & installation; and value engineering.

So anyway, for the third time, it’s all probably neither here nor there. It just flicked my whiskers. The point is that some people are making a lot of money in Central Asia. And those people probably know each other, because let’s face it, that’s how business is done. It’s all about who you know, and there aren’t all that many people mixing it up in Kyrgystan based on the reports of these US Department of Commerce conferences. So when we start talking about corruption, the problem can flash over very quickly and engulf others. Thus whenever we see people dying mysteriously or getting tossed off buildings or committing “suicide,” like all those bankers, then we must ask whether these deaths are really fire doors slamming shut to prevent the corruption exposures from spreading.

^^^^^^^

Control:

Getting back to this story about trouble in the Stans and which one is next to blow, we learn a little more about Uzbekistan and Kyrgystan:

…Ordinary Uzbeks live in crushing poverty, with no free press and in fear of the rapacious security services. The country’s border with Kyrgyzstan has been shut off since the unrest began last week, and the Uzbek authorities have ensured that local media do not cover the uprising. Nevertheless, the fear for the Uzbek regime will be that news of the collapse of the Kyrgyz regime may put thoughts of revolution into the heads of Uzbeks.
In May 2005, roughly two months after the Tulip Revolution that brought Mr Bakiyev to power in Kyrgyzstan, protests erupted in the Uzbek town of Andijan, not far from the border with Kyrgyzstan. Uzbek troops fired into the crowds, and it is estimated that several hundred people died. The government refused to hold an independent inquiry into the events at Andijan, and claimed that the uprising was organised by terrorists, but those who were there speak of unarmed civilians being sprayed with machine gun fire and later buried in mass graves.

That is pretty much exactly the method covered in yesterday’s post about state-sponsored violence in Guatemala: refusing to hold inquiries, blaming the violence on terrorists:

Social cleansing and state-sponsored violence does not get investigated.

What may arguably be the strongest indication of the state’s role in the current violence is an absolute void of effective homicide investigations. Null or non-existent forensic investigations are a textbook indication of social cleansing. They allow for complete impunity, a heightened culture of terror, and increased powerlessness of victims’ family members, and more widely, civil society.

As for the border between Kyrgystan and Uzbekistan, a company called TFI (Task Force Innovation Internation) reported in their December 2007 newsletter the completion of two projects in Kyrgystan. The president of TFI is Glen Lockwood, the guy who chaired the U.S Department of Commerce Second Annual Conference “Trade and export in Kyrgyzstan: how to strengthen capacity?” on November 12, 2009.

Lockwood’s company completed several Kyrgystan projects in 2007. One was a border crossing.

On the 1st of October 2007, the official opening ceremony of Bekabad Border Crossing Point (Kyrgyzstan –Uzbekistan border) was held and attended by Glen Lockwood, The President of TFI International; Marie Yovanovich, The US Ambassador in Kyrgyzstan; Zlatko Zigic, The Head of Mission of International Organization for Migration in Kyrgyz Republic; Zamir Moldoshev, The Head of Kyrgyzstan Border Services; Jusupjan Jeenbekov, The First Deputy Minister of Emergency Situation of Kyrgyzstan, and other border and customs control officials. Construction of Bekabad Crossing Point was funded by US Department of State within the bounds of EXBS program implemented by IOM in Kyrgyzstan, and successfully completed by TFI International.

The second project involved the construction of showers and latrines at Manas AFB.

Glen Lockwood got married in Kyrgystan on September 11, 2001.

After his marriage, Lockwood planned to work for John Dawkins, who attended the wedding and was part owner and General Director of a Moscow technology company called IPSOTEL. But without explanation Russian authorities denied Lockwood entrance and sent him back to Kyrgystan.

Those crazy Russians. Who would think such a thing?

Anyway, a fascinating story thus ensues involving money, military people, contractors, Turkey, Iraq, intelligence operatives, etc. People coming in and out, companies changing names, giant egos, bitter grudges ending in a death and a disappearance.

In 2004, eight months after the disappearance of Kirk von Ackermann and six months after the death of Ryan Manelick, it appeared that the US Army had finally begun an aggressive investigation into what had happened to the two men. Initially the investigation was assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) of the U.S. Army’s Fourth Infantry Division, based in Tikrit, Iraq. By May, the case had moved to the Major Procurement Fraud Unit (MPFU) of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command (HQCID) in Fort Belvoir, Virginia. The general assumption is that the Army’s renewed interest was the result of Greg Manelick’s tireless efforts to uncover the truth of who killed his son. In August of 2005, Geoff Nordloh met with agents of the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division for a second time. The investigation into the disappearance of Kirk von Ackermann and the murder of Ryan Manelick was said to be close to “wrapping up.“

Pretty serious. And somehow Glen Lockwood managed to survive all that because he’s still the president of TFI and up until last week, he was presumably acquainted with Maksim Bakiev.

^^^^^^^

Let’s recap. From this one incident in Kyrgystan we can detect the following:

  1. a culture of corruption in Kyrgystan and Uzbekistan
  2. a culture of nepotism and the strong presence of moneyed people from the UK
  3. connections to Israel
  4. Bakiev hiding in the US and Manas now at risk
  5. US government and business personnel exposed to the fallout of Bakiev’s corruption
  6. the possibility of other contractors deeply involved in corruption
  7. the possibility of state-sponsored violence and intelligence operatives at work
hot

administering the dope slap

In December a Russian journalist was murdered.

Gennadyi Pavlyuk, a well-known political journalist and media-expert, was pronounced dead December 22 in Almaty, Kazakstan. Pavlyuk’s death is the latest in a string of suspicious incidents and violent attacks against freelance reporters in Kyrgyz Republic. According to Radio Free Europe’s Kyrgyz branch, “Azattyk,” on December 16 in the city of Almaty (Kazakstan), Kazakh police responded to a report, arriving to a scene where unconscious Pavlyuk was found on the ground by a residential building, after falling off the sixth floor. (See more)
Kazakh police confirmed that Pavlyuk’s death was violent. RFE/RL reported that his feet and hands were bound behind his back with duct tape.
Pavlyuk has been working as freelancer for various Russian news agencies in Kyrgyzstan. He is also a founder of a popular and independent news outlet Parus.kg in the country.

I wrote a post about Kyrgystan and Kazakhstan
after reading a Sorcha Faal report (yes I know just stay with me for a sec…)…
which mentioned a secret Mossad base in Kyrgystan.

It was this paragraph that I found so interesting:

Important to also note in these reports is that the US spray plane shot down in China was reported to be targeting a secret Israeli base located in the Central Asian Nation of Kyrgyzstan, which many Ashkenazi Jews (Ashkenazi Jews make up approximately 80% of Jews Worldwide) consider their ‘spiritual homeland’ after their long exile their under Soviet Communist rule, and where Russian Intelligence Analysts report the Israelis are nearing the end of their decades long deciphering of the ancient Epic of Manas manuscript (with close to half a million lines the Epic of Manas is twenty times longer than Homer’s Odyssey and Iliad combined) that they believe contains our World’s oldest warning to our present age and which (coincidentally?) agrees with the ancient Mayan peoples that the year of 2012 will see the ending of our present age.

A month earlier I wrote about Birobidjan and the Northern Caucasus and the Khazars, excerpting from Koestler:

…The history of the Ashkenazi Jews was widely known and appreciated in the former Soviet Union. Ashkenazi militants traced the area where the Turkic Khazars originated before their migration to Southern Russia to Birobidjan, an Eastern Siberian area as big as Switzerland bordered by the Amur river, by China and Mongolia. Around 1928 they started building settlements with the Soviet government’s help and in 1934 the Autonomous Republic (Okrug) of Birobidjan Yevrei came into being with official languages of Yiddish and Russian. It is still there as an Autonomous Republic to this day, offering the only historically legitimate settlement area for Ashkenazi Jews willing to exercise their “right to return”…

And concluding:

Of course I can’t speak for anyone else but I find this amazing.

In fact, today, Birobidjan is a virtual Jewish paradise. The home of two synagogues, Birobidjan City has 77,250 inhabitants. Yiddish theaters opened in the 1970s. Yiddish and Jewish traditions have been required components in all public schools for almost 15 years, taught not as Jewish exotica but as part of the region’s national heritage.”

The Birobidjan Synagogue, completed in 2004, is next to a complex housing Sunday School classrooms, a library, a museum and administrative offices. The buildings were officially opened in 2004 to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Jewish Autonomous Oblast (JAR). Concerning the Jewish community of the region, Governor Nikolay Mikhaylovich Volkov stated that he intends to “support every valuable initiative maintained by our local Jewish organizations.”

But noooooooo. That solution would require a lot of people to eat a lot of words. I’m sure they’d rather die in some blaze of glory. And that’s why nobody talks about this because Jesus God who needs the pressure of some common fucking sense solution complicating sixty years of elaborate Zionist propaganda?

Hey maybe Birobidizhan wouldn’t solve anything but we’ll never find out if it can’t be discussed, right? Exactly. And it can’t be discussed because it de-links the Jewish narrative from the Holy Land, and the Jews can’t be God’s Chosen People unless they came from the Holy Land, and if they’re not really God’s Chosen People… well you see it all just falls right apart like spit and toilet paper.

So Birobidizhan doesn’t exist.

And about halfway between the Northern Caucasus and Birobidjan lies Kyrgystan. I was wondering about that Epic of Manas translation, whether that could be verified, and why Israelis would be so interested.

I think some people might have their eyes on more than natural resources.
It’s just a suspicion.
Knowing how people are.
But I could be wrong.

If you wanted to control how the Kyrgyz people think, aside from the terrorism method, you’d have to insinuate yourself somehow into their Manas epic, into their ancient history.

It would take time, decades perhaps, of scholarly work. Of cultural appreciation. Of sharing and helping, until the “discovery” of long lost brotherhood, before. Before.

^^^^^^^

And then the embarrassment of Richard Holbrooke at Manas last month, beginning of March.

…Holbrooke and his party become concerned when Kyrgyzstan 454 is late. When the flight arrives, Holbrooke is told Rigi is not on board the flight and that two men were taken off the plane at Bandar Abbas. Holbrooke, clearly embarrassed and angry, departs Kyrgyzstan knowing the Iranians have nabbed one of the CIA’s top assets in the military operations being planned against Iran. Holbrooke, one of the most powerful American Jewish Zionists in the Obama administration, has egg all over his face, courtesy of a well-planned Iranian intelligence operation.

So regarding Kyrgystan, it’s not clear to me what’s going on, but this might be a clue:

February 23, 2010: Moscow chills relations with Kyrgystan

Relations between longtime allies Russia and Kyrgyzstan seemed as close as ever when Moscow agreed to provide Bishkek with a $2 billion loan and a large grant in February 2009. The pledges, announced during a visit to Moscow by Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev, followed his surprise announcement that the Manas air base outside Bishkek would be closed.

Considering Russia’s vocal displeasure with the United States’ use of the base as part of its military operations in Afghanistan, observers widely assessed the announcements as a quid pro quo. That appraisal seemed to grow more likely when Bakiev and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev later signed a memorandum that would bring more Russian troops to Kyrgyzstan and allow Moscow to establish another military base there.

The developments caused concern near and abroad. In Washington, officials scurried to find an alternative air bridge to supply the military campaign in Afghanistan. Uzbekistan, meanwhile, shuddered at the thought of Moscow allying with its neighbors in regional squabbles.

One year later, however, Moscow is not concealing its anger with the Kyrgyz government and has frozen its financial pledges. Uzbekistan appears to be trying to use the discord to advance its own regional ambitions. And the United States is again using Manas, not as a base, but as a “transit station.”

According to Vitaly Skrinnik, the first secretary of the Russian Embassy in Kyrgyzstan, everything was going fine between Bishkek and Moscow until Russia’s financial aid began to arrive in Bishkek.

…”Nobody will give you that kind of money with such low interest,” Skrinnik says. “But what does the [Kyrgyz] government do with the money? They establish a new foundation [the Central Agency for Development, Innovation, and Investment, headed by Bakiev's son, Maksim], deposit the money there, and begin loaning it out with interest.”

Skrinnik describes the Kyrgyz actions as “complete nonsense,” saying the funds were provided “to pay Kyrgyz teachers, doctors, police, judges, etc. The Russian State Duma had to pass a law about this money. But the Kyrgyz authorities decided to make money out of that money.”

Yeah, so they start acting like little bankers. What of it?

Presidential son Maksim Bakiev (source)
I would like to be a banker using the Russian people’s money!
What could possibly go wrong?
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin reportedly made the Kremlin’s unhappiness with Bishkek apparent at a November meeting in Yalta with his Kyrgyz counterpart, Daniyar Usenov. The Kyrgyz weekly newspaper “Belyi parus” reported that Putin told Usenov: “I’ve heard there is family business going on in Kyrgyzstan at the state level. Why is Russian money to Kyrgyzstan going straight to commercial banks?”

Putin’s statement was seen as an answer to Usenov’s question about when the rest of Russia’s promised $2 billion would be delivered to Bishkek.

So then, not content with merely pissing off Vladimir Putin, Maksim decides to kick some sand in his face.
The Kyrgyz government, apparently seeking a new financial suitor, didn’t travel far. Last month, the increasingly powerful Maksim Bakiev — in his new role as head of the cash-infused Agency for Development, Innovation, and Investment — led a high-profile Kyrgyz business delegation to China.

Modest Kolerov, editor in chief of the Regnum Information Agency in Moscow and who worked in the Kremlin from 2005-07 as chief of the department for interregional and intercultural relations, says the Beijing visit outraged Moscow.

“Maksim Bakiev, without waiting for the results of negotiations with Russia — negotiations on vital projects in Kyrgyzstan — goes to China, and offers to China some of those projects,” Kolerov says. “This kind of approach — it would be an understatement to call it ‘irresponsible’”

Among the investment opportunities reportedly discussed was the Kambar-Ata hydropower plant for which Moscow had already pledged funds, and which it had expressed interest in helping construct. A group of Chinese specialists recently visited Kambar-Ata and inspected the site.

Kolerov downplays the role the U.S. use of Kyrgyzstan’s Manas air base has played in Bishkek-Moscow relations. But he says the way in which Bishkek apparently played the United States and Russia off each other — offering Washington use of the base as a “transit station” after initially having told the United States the base would be closed — certainly damaged bilateral relations with Russia.

What a dope.
And then there is the matter of the Russian journalist who was tossed off a building.
There are other apparent bones of contention as well. Moscow has expressed concern over several incidents in which ethnic Russians have been attacked and beaten in Bishkek in recent months, not to mention the killing in Almaty of journalist Gennady Pavluk, who was thrown from a high building after having his arms and legs bound with masking tape.

One of the ethnic Russians attacked was Kyrgyz political scientist Aleksandr Kniazev, the director of the regional branch of the Moscow-based Commonwealth of Independent States Institute think tank, who was beaten in December in Bishkek. It was Kniazev who then announced at a press conference in January that that all assets and bank accounts in Russia that belong to Maksim Bakiev had been frozen due to a criminal investigation launched against them.

There were no media reports of such actions having been taken against any Russian-based assets belonging to Maksim Bakiev or anyone else in the Kyrgyz government. The statements by Kniazev are seen by many as a public warning from Moscow to the Kyrgyz government.
Kniazev is still in Bishkek, and has not been sued or charged with defamation. For his part, Maksim Bakiev denied the reports and that he has assets in Russia.

And we even have an oligarch in the mix.
In addition, there is also the well-known shadow of former Russian oligarch and Kremlin enemy Boris Berezovsky looming over Kyrgyz-Moscow relations.
Right after the 2005 Tulip Revolution that brought President Bakiev to power, Kyrgyz authorities were accused publicly — in parliament — of having secret relations with the self-exiled tycoon.

Kyrgyz officials, and even Berezovsky, denied any connections existed between them, but his influence and role in relations with Moscow are among the topics often discussed in Kyrgyzstan.

The palpable change over the past 12 months in Russian-Kyrgyz relations seems to be caused by an intentional disregard by Bishkek to Moscow’s wishes. Although it is unclear how upset the Kremlin is with the Kyrgyz government, one must note that Kyrgyz public opinion is strongly pro-Russian — over 90 percent of Kyrgyz in some surveys say they trust Russia – and be wary of the Kremlin’s ability to manipulate Kyrgyz politics if it so chooses.

March 10th, Maksim Bakiev is being asked to leave.

NARYN, Kyrgyzstan — Some 3,000 people rallied today in the central Kyrgyz city of Naryn to demand that President Kurmanbek Bakiev’s son, Maksim, resign as head of a state agency and leave the country, RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz Service reports.

April 8th, they’re out.

The toppled President of Kyrgyzstan refused to admit defeat today despite a bloody uprising against him and formation of an interim government. Opposition leaders announced that they had taken power after a day of rioting that left as many as 100 dead and hundreds wounded. Vladimir Putin, the Russian Prime Minister, has in effect recognised the new leadership and the opposition this morning took control of the country’s armed forces. They also demanded the resignation of President Bakiyev, who has fled to the city of Osh, in his southern heartland, after demonstrators set fire to government buildings and fought running battles with riot police in the capital Bishkek.

Punk: 0, Putin: 1
works for me