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Kazakhstan political analysts see no political motives in Prime Plaza clashes

02.09.2013
Opinion Opinion Commentary

Kazakhstan political analysts believe that the clashes at the concert near Prime Plaza in Almaty that left 90 wounded and hundreds scared had no political motives.

The incident that happened in Almaty on August 31 during a concert of a popular Kazakh singer Kairat Nurtas was in no way related to celebration of the Constitution Day or the wedding of Kazakhstan President’s grandson Aissultan Nazarbayev that happened the same day, the expert Marat Shibutov believes.

“I don’t think this was purposefully planned. This was just a combination of incompetence of the concert's hosts and the general degradation of the population that manifested themselves in the lack of behavioural culture,” Shibutov said. According to him, the uncontrolled spin of the mob was caused by a whole set of circumstances: poor choice of venue for the concert, insufficient number of security personnel, free entrance and gathering of unexpectedly large number of people.

Marat Shibutov. ©Tengrinews.kz

Marat Shibutov. ©Tengrinews.kz

Kazakhstan analyst Nurlan Yerimbetov has a similar opinion. He put it shortly: “This is a diagnosis: we are talking about marginalization of our young people. This is a problem far greater than a masterminded campaign.”

Nurlan Yerimbetov. ©Yaroslav Radlovskiy

Nurlan Yerimbetov. ©Yaroslav Radlovskiy

Analyst Rustam Burnashev also agreed that there was no political motives in the incident. “Judging from the information available in the media, we can talk about a coincidental combination of circumstances, poor organization of the event and improper behavior of the concert’s participants,” the expert said.

Rustam Burnashev. ©Yaroslav Radlovskiy

Rustam Burnashev. ©Yaroslav Radlovskiy

Director of Alternative Center for Topical Studies Andrey Chebotarev has a different opinion. He does not preclude that the incident was deliberately organized and orchestrated by someone: “I think that it was very well organized. It is possible that some forces interested in influencing the situation in the country orchestrated this incident -- that was a sort of a drill -- in preparation for arranging similar outbursts at critical times."

"Considering that the existing opposition has no such capacities and resources, there must be some third party interested groups or extremists behind it,” Chebotarev said. He also believes that considering the number of people that gathered for the event -- 2000 people -- preventive measures should have been taken instead of “quenching” the fire after it started.

Andrey Chebotarev. ©Yaroslav Radlovskiy

Andrey Chebotarev. ©Yaroslav Radlovskiy

Late on August 31 around 2000 people gathered near Prime Plaza mall for a concert of a famous Kazakh pop singer Kairat Nurtas. The concert did not start on time and then the singer left the stage without even finishing the first song. The disappointed crowd started breaking through the fencing then raged at the parking lot and the ground floor of the mall shattering windows and crashing the equipment. The mob was using stones and glass bottles.

The damage to the concert equipment alone is estimated at more than $150 thousand.

The crowd was dispersed, the police got the situation under control and fully stopped the raging by 11:00 p.m.


By Vladimir Prokopenko from Tengrinews.kz

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