Who Is Behind the Media Attacks?

The Russian internet-resources are now publishing compromising materials on the representatives of the Kazakhstan elite. In particular, on Chief of the National Security Committee Karim Masimov, President of National Chamber of Entrepreneurs Atameken Timur Kulibayev, Kazakhstan Ambassador to Russia Imangali Tasmagambetov and his son-in-law Kenes Rakishev.

This kind of attention on the part of the Russian media-resources seems nonsensical against the backdrop of the almost complete absence of interest on the part of the Russian audience towards Kazakhstan. Therefore, we may conclude that these publications, first and foremost are directed towards the Kazakhstan Russian-speaking reader.

And so, the question arises — who is requesting them and who paying for them? And with what purpose?

The idea that this «kompromat» is the doing of Kazakhstan oppositionist politician Mukhtar Ablyazov makes no sense. Ablyazov is freely operating the social media, already has his own media-resources and, therefore, has no reason to pay others to do it for him.

In the past, the person responsible for organizing and monitoring this kind of activities in the Russian informational field was Baglan Maylybayev, the former Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration who has been convicted for state funds embezzlement and is now serving his prison term. Note that he pleaded guilty and, thanks to this, received a relatively light sentence.  

We believe there are three possible answers to our question.

According to the first version, certain journalists (not necessarily of just the Russian origin) have chosen this tactic as a way to make money. The thing is that the first publications were devoted to only one person — businessman Kenes Rakishev. Based on the received information, the latter had no other choice but to pay so that the compromising materials would be taken away and never published again.

It is possible that, having «made decent money» at the time of the crisis, the Russian media-resources of a certain kind decided that they had found their business-niche and started to expand it. Note that they do not do their own research, do not try to find information sources in Akorda but simply rework the materials earlier published in the open sources and present them under their own «sauce».  

According to the second version, the attack against the influential persons from Akorda was organized by the second-hand elite groups that are now actively trying to rise to power. We see no point in commenting on that since there are several groups of this kind. Therefore, the circle of the potential «buyers» is so large that it is easy to start making unfounded accusations only on the basis of whether or not a certain person has some kind of political or business ambitions.

The third version is based on the insider information that we have not been able to verify. According to it, the publication of the compromising materials was requested by Minister of Information and Communications of the Republic of Kazakhstan Dauren Abayev who, based on that same insider information, had supposedly «inherited» all Baglan Maylybayev’s contacts in the Russian media, internet-resources, and the expert community and is now using them to exert the moral and political pressure on his opponents.

By the way, our sources name the Kazakhstan branch of RIA Novosti and media-managers Artur Nigmetov and Evgeniy Kochetov among the channels of this shadow influence. The former was in charge of the Russian Central Communications Service until the middle of 2017, the latter, up until recently, served as the Chairman of Kazkontent JSC. However, we have not yet been able to verify this information.

The weak point of this version lies in the fact that Dauren Abayev, even though he serves as the Minister of Information and Communications, used to be the Head of the Presidential Administration in the past and, according to the insider information from Astana, still has a relatively free access to Nursultan Nazarbayev, is not among Kazakhstan’s first-class political players. And, although his ambitions are quite strong, he has no real political weight. Therefore, for him, an attempt to pressurize Akorda’s heavy-weights would be disastrous.

Of course, he could have received a direct order. Say, from the Leader of the Nation himself who is undoubtedly concerned about the talks in the country and the ruling elite about the upcoming power transit and his possible successor as the President of Kazakhstan. Or it could have been another hyper-influential person from Nazarbayev’s circle. If so, then everything starts to make sense.

Consequently, we find it curious that, so far, the only person among Nazarbayev’s closest allies that has not been mentioned in the compromising publications in the Russian internet-space is the President’s eldest daughter Dariga Nazarbayeva who is presently serving as a Deputy of the Senate of the Kazakhstan Parliament.

Why is that so, we wonder?


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