Why They Appointed Isekeshev a Member of Security Council

On January 16, 2020, Kazakhstan experienced yet another personnel «revolution». Following the order of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Kalmukhanbet Kasymov was released from his duties as the Secretary of the Security Council and appointed the Chief of Kazakhstan’s State Security Service. At the same time, former Head of the agency Anuar Sadykulov was moved to the position of the NSC’s Deputy Chief — the Head of Special Service «A».

People had immediately assumed that current Chief of the NSC Karim Masimov would be appointed the new Secretary of Kazakhstan’s Security Council while Samat Abish, the Leader of the Nation’s nephew who is currently holding the position of the First Deputy Chief of the agency, would replace him as the head of the secret service. The mystery, however, did not last for long: on that same day, Aset Isekeshev, formerly the COO of the Fund of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, quite unexpectedly became the Secretary of Kazakhstan’s Security Council.

Since both Kasymov and Isekeshev represent rather influential figures in Kazakhstan, people immediately started to try and guess the reasons for these «revolutionary» personnel moves on the part of the second President; the moves that had undoubtedly been approved by the First President and perhaps even initiated by him. Meanwhile, according to our sources in Akorda, nothing out of the ordinary has happened: this is just the current authorities’ standard op on patching «the holes».

The thing is that, according to our sources, Kazakhstan’s State Security Service, one the most inaccessible secret service agencies to the press, the experts and the general public, had seriously ceded its ground under the leadership of Sadykulov. Its staff started to include too many people who got their positions through good connections and those who may be loyal to Nazarbayev personally but, as professionals, were not even nearly on par with the required level.

The chaos in the agency intensified by the fact the now the State Security Service must watch over not only the Leader of the Nation and the members of his large family but his successor as well was the unavoidable consequence of this. By the looks of it, they are trying to restore the order by replacing the management.

The fact that Tokayev has also released Azimkhan Dzhusipov from the duties of the Deputy Chief of the State Security Service replacing him with Talgat Mukhtarov testifies to the veracity of our insiders’ data.

Let us remind you that Mukhtarov used to serve as the Head of the Department of Military Security and Defense at Kazakhstan’s Security Council, in other words, was under the direct supervision of Kalmukhanbet Kasymov. And now, he has been moved to the State Security Service along with the latter. If we are to compare these men’s careers, we will see that, directly, they intersected only while they were working at the Security Council. Indirectly, this shows that Talgat Mukhtarov is not Kalmukhanbet Kasymov’s personal placeman. It also testifies to the fact that the state of affairs at the State Security Service was so critical that Akorda and the Library had to dismiss both the head of the agency and his deputy in order to give a free hand to the agency’s new management.

Of course, it is possible that, owing to his old habit not to trust anyone, Nazarbayev has hedged his bets and, together with Kasymov, has sent an NSC «native» to the State Security Service since the NSC has traditionally been standing against the Ministry of Interior in the interdepartmental dealings and elite collisions.

As for appointing Aset Isekeshev the Aide of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan — the Secretary of the Security Council and appointing Anuar Sadykulov the Deputy Chief of the NSC, these appointments seem quite logical form the Leader of the Nation’s perspective. We are more than certain that it was Nursultan Nazarbayev who had made these personnel moves whereas Kossym-Jomart Tokayev had only made them official via his orders.

So now, Aset Isekeshev who is rather close to Dariga Nazarbayeva (Nursultan Nazarbayev’s eldest daughter and the Speaker of the Senate of the Kazakh Parliament) has been moved from the position of the COO of the First President’s Fund to the position of the Secretary of the Security Council. In other words, instead of being a subordinate of Ms. Nazarbayeva who chairs the Fund of the First President, he has become an assistant of the Leader of the Nation who chairs the Security Council of the Republic of Kazakhstan. In other words, he’s got a raise.

As for Anuar Sadykulov who, for a number of years, had chaired Nursultan Nazarbayev’s personal security team and, in the capacity of the secrets keeper (political, professional and personal), he has been sent to the place where his professional and personal qualities will serve to the agency’s advantage. With that, he will not get too sour on his boss since he has not lost much in terms of the rank (even though he has lost a lot in terms of his political influence). However, if he does not have any political ambitions (which, according to our insiders, is the case), then, for him, this is anything but important.


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