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Mass protests and Nazarbayev flees Kazakhstan!!!


Nazarbayev had ruled the country for most of Kazakhstan’s post-Soviet history, stepping down in 2019 to hand his official role as president to a designated successor, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. But Nazarbayev hung on to his role as chair of the national security council, prolonging his grip on the closely controlled state.

In the wake of the spiralling protests this week, however, Tokayev — once seen as nothing but an administrative appointee — has publicly assumed control of the security forces from the man who put him in the presidency.

Nazarbayev, the 81-year-old “leader of the nation” and for whom the capital city is now named — has been side-lined, with rumours even suggesting he may have left Kazakhstan.

But Nazarbayev’s fall has huge political and economic implications.

His family, including daughter Dinara Kulibayeva and her husband Timur Kulibayev each of whom has an estimated net worth of nearly USD 3 billion, according to Forbes magazine, and their numerous cronies many of whom feature on Forbes Kazakhstan’s richest people list, are holders of significant assets in Kazakhstan and abroad. Many of those assets are now at risk of expropriation.

By extrapolation, their overseas partners should be vigilant as to what happens next to joint ventures and other projects which have received funding that may sooner or later be declared tainted by corruption associated with the Nazarbayev regime.