Who Is Behind the Uzyn Qulaq Attacks on Rakishev?

It looks like a new information attack has started in Kazakhstan and abroad. The attack is directed at businessman Kenes Rakishev, a son-in-law of recently retired Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Russia Imangali Tasmagambetov who used to be one of the most influential people in the First President’s immediate circle and held almost all the highest posts in the state apparatus with the exception of presidency.

What’s interesting to note that if, in the press, the attackers and those who stand behind them do try and observe the decencies (more or less), then, on social media, «the dirt» is simply flooding out in a shameless fashion.

In this regard, Telegram channel Uzun Qulaq that has devoted as many as four recent publications to Mr. Rakishev is behaving in a particularly ugly manner. Uzun Qulaq is using Russian investigative report «A Road to Nowhere» that mentions Tasmagambetov’s son-in-law’s real estate situated near Moscow as a news peg.

Note that Uzun Qulaq calls Rakishev not only on his real wrong-doings but generously adds to them huge portions of disinformation as well as the data that, in our opinion, looks at the very least doubtful.

We are not going to analyze and comment on these publications if only because this is exactly that the people standing behind the new information attack on Kenes Rakishev want. Apart from that, the very attempt to do so will invariably force any commentator to pick a side and, in this matter, both sides are equally «deserving».

Something else is of interest to us here — the question of who is attacking Kenes Rakishev again and for what purpose are they doing it. And who is the real target of the attack — Rakishev himself or perhaps his father-in-law who we believe has already left the circle of those habitually called «the puppet masters» or figures of influence in Akorda.

According to one scenario, Uzyn Qulaq chose Kenes Rakishev as the victim of its attack to force him to pay for silence. To confirm this, we may recall the numerous rumors circling the Kazakh and Russian media-community about how much the Kazakh oligarch is paying to journalists to keep silent about him and his business-contacts.

However, the aggressiveness and «dirtiness» of the information that is being published on the aforementioned Telegram channel testifies against it. It is more likely that Imangali Tasmagambetov’s son-in-law is not simply being blackmailed, he is being «annihilated». And they are doing it not only in the Kazakh and Russian but in the Western information space as well. 

This, among other things, can be seen from the emphasis laid on the tight personal and business connections between Kenes Rakishev and Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov as well as from the accusation that he is actively investing not just his own money but the money of Nazarbayev’s son-in-law Timur Kulibayev in Israel, Europe and the US.

Then, there come the criminal accusations. For instance, according to Uzyn Qulaq, it was the Kazakh entrepreneur who stood behind the attempted assassination of CEO of Pharmaceutical Company Zdorovye Alexander Dorovsky that took place in 2018 in Ukraine. They also say that Kenes Rakishev maintains tights connections with Arman Dzhumageldiyev aka «Dikiy Arman» («Wild Arman»).

Let us point out that several Russian internet-resources have also joined in the attacks on Kenes Rakishev. And, we believe, the attack is unlikely to end with the mentioned leakages.

The thing is that, according to the insider information (that we cannot verify at this point), Minister of Information and Social Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan Dauren Abayev who has «inherited» the «Russian connections» from Bagdat Maylybayev is the one standing behind the Uzyn Qulaq channel. Now then, Abayev’s team includes (once again, based on the insider information) former Kazakh journalists now working in Russia and… Daniyar Ashimbayev who claims to be a political expert.

Once again, let us underscore that we cannot confirm this information via documentary evidence at this point. But it does seem to be correct since Mr. Ashimbayev has already been caught in being involved in similar projects twice.

♦ first, it happened in 2001-2002 when it was proved that he was the one orchestrating the super-scandalous internet-project Aziopa that operated to Nazarbayev’s son-in-law Rakhat Aliyev’s benefit,

♦ second, it happened in 2015-2016 when it was revealed that he, under the charge of the National Security Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan, was the one stage-managing the campaign against Mukhtar Ablyazov and the democratic opposition on several websites including Nomad.  

If our insiders’ data is correct, then the information «defilement» of Kenes Rakishev and Imangali Tasmagambetov may be regarded as a preventive action — perhaps, in order to stop «Nazarbayev’s product» from trying to squeeze it the internal political game in a capacity of a private player.


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