The German news weekly Der Spiegel has a provocative analysis piece in its January 14 issue that takes a crowbar to Kazakhstan, denting the Central Asian state’s image for political and social stability.
The piece – titled “Corrupt-i-stan: Kazakh Massacre Fuels Rising Mistrust” – is an in-depth look at the trial of Vladislav Chelakh, who was convicted this past December of murdering 14 fellow border guards and a bystander in May of 2012. It dwells on inconsistencies in the state’s version of events, and notes that Chelakh’s attorney faced daunting obstacles in trying to mount a defense. ”The court had no evidence, no motive and no witnesses,” the article adds.
What is perhaps the most damning aspect of the article, in terms of its portrayal of Kazakhstani authorities, is reporting about how many Kazakhstani citizens no longer believe what the government is telling them. The consensus on the street, the article implies, is that high-level corruption played a role in the border post massacre, and Chelakh is merely the fall guy.
The article can be found in both German and English. It’s worth the time to read it through.