Year 2012. Major events in Kazakhstan01 january 2013, 19:18
London Olympics. Golden Kazakhstan
Victories of Kazakhstan sportsmen at the London Olympics were a pleasant surprise for Kazakhstan and the world in general. Cycler Aleksander Vinokourov won the first gold medal on the first day of the Games. Weightlifter Zulfiya Chinshanlo won gold the next day. She was followed by her fellow weightlifters Ilya Ilyin, Svetlana Podobedova and Maiya Maneza. Two mode gold medals were gained by boxer Serik Sapiyev and athlete Olga Rypakova. Kazakhstan sportsmen won silver and bronze medals as well.
All sportsmen were awarded by Kazakhstan government and local executive authorities upon arrival to their home country: they received apartments and gifts; stadiums and gyms were named after them. Foreign newspapers were full of articles about Kazakhstan, because Kazakhstan has never won so many Olympic medals before (13 medals, including 7 gold ones).
Kazakhstan Olympic winners
Mass murder at the Chinese border
Mass murder of border militarymen at Arkankergen border post was one of the most terrible tragedies of 2012. There were 15 border guards at the post. 14 were shot dead and most of the bodies were burnt. The ranger who served close to the post was killed as well. The militarymen could not be identified for a long time: their bodies were heavily burnt. Kazakhstan applied for help to German experts who helped identify several soldiers.
At the accident site at Arkankergen border post
This tragic event caused a broad public response. 19-y.o. Vladislav Chelakh who was the only soldier from the post who was found alive was apprehended in suspicion of committing the murder. After the accident he fled to the mountains and hide there recording himself on a video camera. Chelakh told the investigators that he killed the militarymen, but he withdrew his plea of guilty later. He stated in court that he was not guilty, but while in pretrial detention he told his cellmate the details of the murder, where he was hiding and why he did it. The judge drew a line in this story: Chelakh received a life sentence for the mass murder.
Vladislav Chelakh in court
House of Cards
A collapse of a 5-storey residential building in Karaganda was a shocking event for Kazakhstan in the beginning of April. The building was built as an equity construction project and it took it only one minuter for collapse into a heap of rubble. Witnesses shot a video of the falling building. Before the actual collapse the building was tilting to the side for several days. No one was hurt in the collapse but hundreds of people were left without housing and lost their property. The authorities provided them with temporary apartments, but the citizens, not pleased with the housing quality, applied to court. Later Karaganda administration declared that Bessoba region will be fully demolished. One of those who is potentially responsible for the building collapse, head of department of state architectural-construction control Beissenbai Aissanov, resigned. According to the latest information, the house that collapsed in front of its residents's eyes, did not have …. a foundation.
A collapsed building in Bessoba region of Karaganda
Mount of fire
Mokhnatka mount near Almaty caught fire in the end of summer. Late at night a local citizen called a fire-fighting department and told about flames in Medeu gorge. It took the fire-fighters and rescuers several days to quench the fire: it burnt over 20 hectares (200 thousand square meters) of forest. Their restoration may take 100 years or more and 2 years will be spent eliminating the consequences.
Mokhnatka mount after fire
12 people were murdered in Ile-Alatau national park near Almaty. The tragedy happened in the beginning of August. The bodies were found stabbed in the burnt forester’s house. After completion of the investigation the Interior Ministry gave a provisional picture of the accident: “The criminals set up a shelter in the mountains where they were living with their wives. One of them even gave birth to a child there. The local ranger Panayot Zakharopulo started suspecting that there were some strangers at the park’s territory and decided to check. He and his colleague who accompanied him on the mission were killed. The criminals then killed everyone at Zakharopulo’s post and all the witnesses at Shkilevskaya post”.
The murderers have not been apprehended yet. They are wanted in Aktau. Police is searching for Zaurbek Botabayev, citizen of Zhambyl oblast born in 1978, and Sayan Khairov, citizen of West-Kazakhstan oblast born in 1975. The suspects were identified in the end of September. They lived in Tausamal village of Almaty oblast, where a self-explosion happened in July 2012, then in Baganashyl village, where a big part of their criminal group was eliminated. Besides, special forces eliminated several criminals planning terrorist attacks in Akhsel Kent region.
12 people were murdered in Ile-Alatau national park
It took the rescuers a week to find MI-8 helicopter that went missing with 5 board members and 3 employees of KazTransOil. The chopper went missing on November 24 in the area of Dostyk station in Alakol region. On November 30 the wreckage of the helicopter was discovered near Alakol lake and all 8 people were found dead. This tragedy deeply shocked Kazakhstan. MI-8 was owned by Euro-Asia Air. Senior transport prosecutor’s office is currently investigating the case and the black box has bern sent to Moscow for decryption.
Wreckage of the crashed MI-8
The Khapunovs family
Kazakhstan financial police has officially announced that Leila Khrapunova, wife of the runaway former Almaty mayor Viktor Khrapunov, was wanted in suspicion of fraud. 20 criminal cases are being investigated against Viktor Khrapunov himself. The Former Mayor now lives in Switzerland and is considered one of the richest people of Kazakhstan. Leila Khrapunova made a so-called black list of the media that frequently fouled her reputation. The host of Channel 31 Gennadiy Benditrskiy is ranked number one in the list. The list also includes journalists from Vremya, Kazakhstanskaya Pravda, Liter, Express-K, Izvestiya-Kazakhstan, Forbes.kz, guljan.org, zakon.kz, nur.kz, bnews.kz, total.kz, etc. The total of over 30 names. The ex-mayor's wife also stated that she was ready to cooperate with Geneva prosecutors who started an investigation into the money laundering case. All Khapunovs’ accounts were frozen and documents were seized. The prosecutors are investigating into the origins of the family's 300 million Swiss francs (almost $323 million).
Leila and Viktor Khrapunovs
Several reshuffles were made in the government of Kazakhstan this autumn. The country’s Prime-Minister Karim Massimov was replaced with Serik Akhmetov. Karim Massimov replaced head of Kazakhstan Presidential Administration Aslan Mussin was appointed head of the Accounting Commission. Former Foreign Minister Yerzhan Kazykhanov was appointed Kazakhstan President’s assistant and Gulshara Abdykalikova was appointed the President’s advisor. Yerlan Idrissov now heads the Foreign Ministry. Majilis deputy Murat Abenov, the most active official on the Internet, became Vice-Minister of Education and Science. These rotations were followed by a series of smaller reshuffles. Speaking of the changes Yermukhamet Yertysbayev, Kazakhstan President's Advisor called them "just a rotation" that Nursultan Nazarbayev made from time to time.
Kazakhstan Prime-Minister Serik Akhmetov
Astana won the right to host EXPO-2017. This was one of the most awaited events of 2012. The secret voting of the member-countries of the International Exhibitions Bureau was held on November 22 in Paris. Belgian Liege was Astana's competitor in the bid to host EXPO-2017. Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev declared that hosting EXPO-2017 was a national project and Astana’s victory was tagged a victory of the whole country. The international exhibition where participating countries may show their products in one place was established in 1851 in London. It was held in Germany in 2000, in Japan in 2005, in Spain in 2008 and in China in 2010. Around 4 million people are expected to arrive in Astana for the exhibition in 2017.
EXPO-2017 flag in Astana
The doomsday expected on the Earth on December 21 never happened.
Military aircraft tragedy near Shymkent
AN-72 military plane of the Border Control Service of Kazakhstan National Security Commission crashed 20km from Shymkent airport on December 25. The plane had 7 crew members and 20 militarymen onboard, including the acting head of the Border Control Service of Kazakhstan National Security Commission Turganbek Stambekov and his wife Saule.
The aircraft underwent a complete maintenance in Ukraine on November 2, 2012. After that the AN-72 flew 40 hours: 30 takeoffs and 30 landings.
Chairman of Kazakhstan National Security Commission Nurtai Abykayev said that crash may have been caused by bad weather conditions, or a human factor, or some technical failures.
At the accident site
By Roza Yessenkulova from Tengrinews.kz