We cannot but get back to the resonant topic tentatively called “The National Security Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan”. And not just because the country’s main secret service continues to protect the interests not of the whole nation but of a small group of people in power.
The thing is that the aforementioned agency has the hidden means to significantly influence the matters and the processes that have nothing to do with national security.
How? Very simply – by exerting pressure on local businesses and state officials. As a rule, this pressure is exerted via the two channels:
а) the officers/curators of governmental agencies, national and quasi-national companies, economy sectors and areas of public activities,
б) the officers of the ready NSC reserve holding executive positions in governmental agencies, national and quasi-national companies, defense enterprises, some large private business-structures, universities, etc. By the way, according to our insiders, the number of such “moles” surpasses one thousand persons.
At the same time, the unofficial pressure on the part of the NSC officers (both the curators and the officers of the ready reserve) is always carried out under the pretext of national security while, in reality, it serves their own private interests as well as the interests of their bosses (in the past, those of Karim Masimov and Samat Abish). And almost always this pressure is conducted viva voce. So, it can only be registered by means of special equipment imported in Kazakhstan subject to the NCS approval and used exclusively as part of special operations.
As a result, the Kazakh business and the body of officials are forced to consider not only the interests of the state, the influential officials, the members of Nazarbayev’s family and their allies but the representatives of the secret service as well. For, the latter can create trouble for practically any entrepreneur or governmental official since they serve as one of the main channels for collecting inside (and, of course, rather sensitive) information.
In the aftermath of the January 2022 events, the NSC RK was officially labeled as the agency that, under the leadership of former Chief Karim Masimov and his henchmen, had overlooked the coming coup d’état (if not orchestrated it itself). Hence, not only has President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev reinforced the country’s main secret service by appointing the people he trusts but given them carte blanche regarding what steps to take.
We are not going to relate the story of “reforming” the NSC. Those who wish to know more on the subject may read our publications, such as -
On Masimov’s People and Kenes Rakishev (text available in Russian)
In our opinion, little has changed in the agency in the course of the past three months. The NSC RK remains the main protector of the Kazakh authoritarian political system and the “super-presidential” vertical. Except that, instead of Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev now plays the semi-official role of the agency’s supreme boss. But that’s the extent of it.
Worst of all, there is zero chance that the so-called reforms are going to transform the National Security Committee into a normal intelligence agency performing the tasks it was created to perform. This is quite evident from the fact that, apart from renaming the structural branches, all the “reforms” boil down to a large-scale purge of the agency off the people of Masimov, Abish and other fired (arrested) deputies.
By the way, according to our insiders, the total number of the fired “komitetchiks” is skyrocketing – more than 700 persons. Mainly, these are the employees of the central apparatus and the three regional departments (Almaty, Zhambyl and Kzyl-Orda). It means that approximately every seventh NSC officer has lost their job. And, by the looks of it, this is not the end.
At the same time, the newcomers that have replaced the former employees are no different (expect they have their own familial and personal connections). As a result, nothing in the agency has changed. In other words, the second President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, just like his predecessor, needs the agency combatting not so much the spies, terrorists and traitors as the political and personal enemies of Akorda and Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.
As to the habit of abusing authority by the curators and the officers from the ready reserve for their personal (and their bosses’) benefit, not only has it survived but it seems to be expanding. The thing is that the new NSC employees have begun removing (pushing out) their predecessors in order to replace them with themselves in the shadow incomes carve-up schemes.
In view of this, our sources predict that the scandals involving the NSC officers and the incidents of exerting illegal pressure against business and state officials will not only grow in number but will become a part of the public domain. For, the powers of the influence traders have been dramatically reduced after the pandemic and the January tragedy. And everyone needs to eat.