Kazakhstan: Political Economy and Blocked Blogs

It has been more than a month since Kazakhstan’s telecom monopolist blocked access of the users to Livejournal, the most popular blog platform in the Central Asian country. At the same time, the networks of online discussions did not get bleaker, still providing speedy reaction to the socio-political and economic developments and vibrant activity of the blogosphere. Last week President Nazarbayev urged the Kazakhstanis to buy housing now, when the prices have decreased. Slavasay is wondering [ru]: Obviously, neither me nor any of my friends having income “above average”, do not belong to the “people”, which the president means. I…

LiveJournal Blocked in Kazakhstan

On October 7th, the Kazakhstani users have found themselves unable to access popular social network LiveJournal. This website is the most popular blogging platform in the Russian-speaking communities on the post-Soviet space. Bloggers in the neighboring Kyrgyzstan were also cut off – particularly, those whose ISPs use the facilities of KazakhTelecom, the Kazakhstan’s state-owned telecom monopoly. The Kazakhtelecom officials kept silence for more than a week, and only on October 15th, they have publicly denied any implication in filtering the content [ru].

Kazakhstan: Language, Economics and Foreign Policy

The Kazakhstani authorities have again brought up the issue of state language. Kazakh language has been heavily depreciated in the Soviet times against the background of inculcation of Russian language. Earlier, officials restrained themselves from outright expulsion of the Russian language (which still dominates in the official paperwork and in other spheres), leaving this field to a few nationalist movements. Now everybody is concerned over the plan to introduce a TOEFL-like standard Kazakh language test, which will be required at employment starting from 2010.

Kazakhstan: Who Lives Well in Kazakhstan

As long as Kazakhstan still aspires to enter the top 50 most competitive states of the world (although these efforts have so far resulted in decline of its competitiveness, as the World Economic Forum’s annual reports show), the republic has managed to enter another list of countries, unfortunately, a shameful one. Ehot reports that Kazakhstan has been included in the blacklist of Ebay web-shop as a country, to which they don’t ship any products due to the theft of packages in these countries [ru].

Shell + KMG

As was predicted by the expert community of Kazakhstan – and confirmed by the insider sources in the government, Kazakhstan’s state oil-and-gas company KazMunaiGas would create a joint venture with Royal Dutch Shell Plc to handle the production segment of the Kashagan oilfield, Reuters reported. KMG in the beginning of 2008 expanded its stake in the Kashagan project following a row of tense negotiations around repeated delay of production by the Eni-led consortium and increased costs of the exploration and production.  Now the state wants KazMunaiGas to  take the lead in the production in five years, as other companies developing…

This Dutch is not Hiddink

Kazakhstan football federation decided to fire Dutch coach Arno Pijpers after losing their last two 2010 World Cup qualifiers. However, to be fair, the first match was won – the Kazakh national team defeated Andorra 3-0, but then lost to Croatia (with the same score) and Ukraine (3-1). Also, to be completely fair, the sportsmen now play far better than before Pijpers assumed the post – but, certainly, they still lack technique and speed. The KFF said Kazakhstan under-23 coach, German Bernd Storck, will lead the senior team for the Oct. 11 qualifier against England. The acting coach Storck is…

Hot Blog: Almaty Today

This weblog a group of enthusiast Almatians, united by the love and devotion to the Kazakhstan’s former capital, share the city news, discuss the problems of Almaty, post their photos and videos, update the readers on the new architectural projects. The core team of established bloggers also plan to prepare a survival travel guide for those who plan to visit Almaty, to run a number of photo-contests and many other ideas are blowing up their heads. The blog’s entries are broadcasted to Livejournal, the most popular platform on the post-Soviet space.

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