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28 Декабря 2010
WikiLeaks. «Россия - бумажный тигр» / Хроника успеха и провала тайной дипломатии США на материале «киргизского досье». Часть 2
WikiLeaks. «Россия - бумажный тигр» / Хроника успеха и провала тайной дипломатии США на материале «киргизского досье»
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Продолжение. Начало - http://akipress.org/comments/news:4761

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2006

NUMBERS, MODESTPLANS ------------------------------------- 2. (SBU) Opposition leaders in recent days have stated publicly their intention to bring up to 45,000 demonstrators onto Bishkek's main square (Ala-Too Square) on May 27 in support of opposition demands. Although these numbers are certainly exaggerated, opposition leader and former Speaker of Parliament Omurbek Tekebayev told the Ambassador that the opposition hopes to bring out "one and half times" as many people as appeared on the square on April 29 (NOTE: According to Embassy and press estimates, between 6,000-8,000 opposition protesters demonstrated on April 29. The opposition claimed "no less than 20,000, while official Kyrgyz government estimates put the number at 15,000-17,000. END NOTE). 3. (C) Nevertheless, opposition leaders in recent days have backed away from some of their more inflammatory demands. Tekebayev told the press on May 22 that they will not demand Bakiyev's resignation, as Tekebayev had earlier vowed. Tekebayev also told the Ambassador that there will be no more demonstrations following this one until the fall, because "we can't just keep gathering and doing nothing if there are no results." Opposition leader and Parliamentarian Kubatbek Baibolov expressed the same sentiments, telling the Ambassador that he would support the demonstration only reluctantly, because the demonstrations were having no effect on President Bakiyev. Baibolov, Tekebayev and other opposition leaders have notably not made the dire predictions of bloodshed that Post heard frequently in the weeks and days leading up to April 29. 4. (C) Opposition leader Almaz Atambayev told PolOff that the opposition would not initiate any kind of violence on May 27, and would not storm the White House. Reverting back to his usual bluster, however, Atambayev said that if the government provokes a violent clash with the opposition, "we won't be able to hold our people back, and President Bakiyev won't be president anymore after May 27." BUT POTENTIAL FOR TROUBLE REMAINS --------------------------------- 5. (C) However, the government nevertheless seems intent on spoiling opposition plans. On May 22, the Defense Minister - taking a tried-and-true tactic from the Akayev playbook - announced that the Ministry of Defense would celebrate Armed Forces and Border Guards Day with a concert and ballroom dancing contest on Ala-Too Square on May 27 (despite the fact BISHKEK 00000766 002 OF 003 that Armed Forces and Border Guards Day is on May 28). The Minister claimed that the event had been in the works for months, and said the opposition would have to hold its demonstration elsewhere. 6. (SBU) On May 23, civil society leader and protest organizer Asiya Sassykbayeva told PolOff that the opposition had decided to forge ahead with its plans to demonstrate on Ala-Too Square, regardless of the government-sponsored concert. She said organizers had agreed late on May 22 (following the MOD announcement) that the protest will begin at 1100 on May 27, and if the concert is not finished by then, demonstrators "will stand by and watch the concert, then begin the protest when the concert ends." Atambayev later outlined to PolOff essentially the same plans. Sassykbayeva dismissed concerns over a potential clash between demonstrators and police forces trying to prevent them from reaching the square, claiming that the opposition and MVD "will work everything out in advance, just like we did for April 29." Head of the opposition Ar-Namys party Emil Aliyev outlined the same scenario, and said the opposition would "under no circumstances" back away from plans to hold the demonstration on Ala-Too square. However, Aliyev also said he was unconcerned over the potential for violence. 7. (C) But even before the Defense Minister announced plans to hold the concert on May 27, some in the government appeared worried about the potential for violence on May 27. The Interior Minister approached the RSO at a funeral on May 19 and asked the Embassy to approach the opposition and call for restraint on May 27. The RSO told the Minister that it was standard Embassy policy to always urge restraint on both sides. However, when the RSO called mid-level MVD contacts to inquire about plans for May 27, MVD officials were unaware of MOD plans to hold a concert on the square on May 27, despite the fact the MOD announcement was clearly meant to draw a line in the sand for the opposition. 8. (C) Nevertheless, during a chance encounter with the Ambassador on the steps of the White House on May 23, Sutalinov said he would begin talks with opposition leaders on May 24 in an effort to ensure a peaceful May 27. He said the MOD concert would end by 1100, at which time demonstrators would take to the square. Sutalinov was unconcerned about the possibility of a clash between police forces and demonstrators, but said he couldn't rule out the possibility of an extremist group such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) disrupting the demonstration in order to cause instability in the country. Sutalinov said police had recently arrested a deputy imam in Jalalabad Oblast for possession of explosives, and cited this as the basis for his concern about extremists. 9. (C) COMMENT: There is no question that tensions in Bishkek are markedly lower than during the run-up to the April 29 demonstration, with neither side making the kinds of dire predictions that we heard frequently in the weeks before April 29. Nevertheless, neither the government nor the opposition appear willing at this point to back away from their plans to be present at the square on May 27, increasing the likelihood of some kind of showdown in the days before or on May 27. It's unfortunate that the government chose this path ) the Defense Minister's claim that the Armed Forces Day celebration had been in the works for month was a lie no one in Bishkek believes. Scheduling concerts, children's events and the like at the same time as opposition events is an old Akayev trick. Fortunately, the Interior Minister and his First Deputy are trusted by the opposition, and seem genuinely interested in avoiding any kind of violence on May 27. The Interior Minister's statement that he will meet with the opposition regarding the sequence of events on May 27 is also reassuring. As they have so many times in the past, the Kyrgyz will likely salvage a peaceful conclusion from a BISHKEK 00000766 003 OF 003 potentially conflict-ridden situation, although there are likely to be some tense moments in the coming days. YOVANOVITCH

 

Tekebayev added that law had lost its meaning under Bakiyev. Atambayev said that merely changing presidents would not be enough; the opposition, therefore, wanted a new constitution that would protect from authoritarian rule. Planning for November 2 ----------------------- 4. (C) Atambayev said that the opposition had decided to go forward with the mass protest on November 2 because no one BISHKEK 00001517 002.2 OF 003 trusted Bakiyev's written or spoken pledges. The protest was a "last chance" for the country that would force Bakiyev either to reform or to resign. If the opposition delayed action until the spring, Atambayev feared that the government would use the time to put the opposition leaders "behind bars, one by one." 5. (C) Asked what would happen on November 2, Atambayev acknowledged that there could be bloodshed. He claimed that Bakiyev's son, Maxim, had delivered threats to MPs from the south, and that Janesh Bakiyev had opened an office in Bishkek to direct the MVD and SNB in using force against the rally. Atambayev also predicted, however, that a large number of law enforcement personnel would join the protesters in demanding that the government resign. DAS Feigenbaum registered his concerns that there be no violence at the protest, and that protest and response be conducted legally and constitutionally. 6. (C) DAS Feigenbaum asked why the opposition expected Bakiyev to resign in the face of a protest, and Atambayev replied that it was clear that Bakiyev would have to reform or resign. Atambayev said he had spoken to the President's Chief of Staff Abdyldayev, and there was still some chance of compromise. Atambayev claimed Bakiyev had said that he would agree to constitutional reform, as long as Kulov were not Prime Minister, and he added that Kulov hoped for reform without Bakiyev as President. But if Bakiyev refused to accede to the opposition's demands, then he would "have" to resign, because he had lost support throughout the country. Atambayev added that Prime Minister Kulov would also have to resign, having "missed his time," unless he took "extraordinary steps" within the week. And Then What? -------------- 7. (C) Atambayev said that once Bakiyev and Kulov were driven from power, the parliament would adopt within a few days a new constitution based on the June 2005 draft. DAS Feigenbaum asked whether there was a difference between the current impasse and the March 2005 protests that drove an elected president from office by extra-constitutional means, and Atambayev said that putting Bakiyev in power had been a mistake. Tekebayev said that, unfortunately, they would have to violate the constitution a second time to save the country, but this time they would not make the mistake of waiting to enact reforms. DAS Feigenbaum said that who runs the country and what type of constitution are matters for the Kyrgyz to decide, but we were concerned that any process be lawful, open, transparent, non-violent, and accepted by the Kyrgyz people. Otunbayeva: Nothing Has Changed -------------------------------- 8. (C) In an October 18 meeting, former Ambassador to the United States and "For Reforms" supporter Roza Otunbayeva told DAS Feigenbaum and the Ambassador that November 2 would be the "second part" of Kyrgyzstan's revolution. The country got the "wrong leader" in March 2005, and nothing changed. As with Akayev, all of the big industries -- vodka, cigarettes, cell phones -- were in Bakiyev's hands or the hands of his close associates. Bakiyev had no interest in changing the constitution, she said, because he liked "Akayev's mandate." If certain reforms were undertaken -- transferring the SNB, tax, and customs from the President to the government; calling back Bakiyev's brothers from diplomatic service; finishing the Aksy investigation; and properly sending a draft constitution to Parliament -- then there would be no need for the November 2 protest. But there was no sign of compromise from the President, just the offer of jobs to buy off the opposition's leadership. BISHKEK 00001517 003.2 OF 003 9. (C) Asked why she had decided to support "For Reforms," Otunbayeva said she realized that "there was no other way." Otunbayeva accused Bakiyev of completely mismanaging the government, creating tensions in the law enforcement agencies by filling the high jobs with the "southern cadres," and provoking religious fundamentalism by addressing "our believers" with guns. Otunbayeva added that there was a "poor design" of presidential power, as Bakiyev had poor relations with Prime Minister Kulov, State Secretary Madumarov, and Chief of Staff Abdyldayev. In any event, the opposition had to act, because the people blamed them for bringing Bakiyev to power ("It was Beknazarov's fault," she said), and she would use her constitutional right to "go to the street and protest." November 2 would be the "second stage" of the revolution. 10. (C) DAS Feigenbaum asked how broad was For Reforms' following, and Otunbayeva replied that movement included few or no ethnic Russians, and she raised concerns that southerners might resent the push to remove Bakiyev -- the first southerner to lead Kyrgyzstan. The Ambassador asked how long For Reforms was prepared to carry on the protest, and Otunbayeva said they were committed to stay, that they had bought tents, flashlights, and other supplies, and that they were working on the scenario for round-the-clock protests. Otunbayeva said that whether the event would be peaceful depended on the government, and there were troubling signs: the head of the state railroad was preparing detention facilities, and pro-government employees from the electric company were being organized. Otunbayeva also worried that some groups might use the protest to settle other scores, such as Chui Oblast residents going against "squatters" from the south. Again, DAS Feigenbaum stressed that any protest be lawful, constitutional, and non-violent. COMMENT ------- 11. (C) Atambayev, Tekebayev, and Otunbayeva were very clear as they detailed their criticisms of President Bakiyev and his administration, and as they made the case for urgent reforms. They could not explain as clearly why Bakiyev, having been elected last year, would resign in the face of the opposition's protests, and they had little idea what they would do if he did. The talk of possible violence was disturbing, and we will continue to urge government and opposition interlocutors that both sides act with restraint, and that any protest action be lawful and non-violent. END COMMENT. YOVANOVITCH

 

2007

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 BISHKEK 001155 SIPDIS SIPDIS DEPT FOR SCA/CEN (GEHRENBECK) TREASURY FOR JEFF BAKER E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/18/2017 TAGS: EFIN, PGOV, KCOR, ECON, EINV, PINR, KG SUBJECT: "MAXIMIZING" BUSINESS IN THE KYRGYZ REPUBLIC BISHKEK 00001155 001.2 OF 003 Classified By: Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch for Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d) 1. (C) Summary: A prominent ex-pat businessman, Giorgio Fiacconi, has reportedly been forced to sell his Kyrgyz Credit Bank (KCB) to a close business associate of Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev's son, Maxim. The associate, Latvian businessman Valery Belokon, has also acquired the failed "Insan" bank, which he has rebranded "Manas" bank, and, according to Belokon, will attract $200 million in assets during its first year of operations. Belokon's increased Kyrgyz banking profile follows the reported crackdown by Russian authorities on a Russian bank implicated in the funneling of significant sums among Latvian, Kyrgyz and other financial institutions. Given his ties, through Maxim Bakiyev, to the Kyrgyz leadership, and given the political weakness of the Kyrgyz Central Bank, Belokon's Kyrgyz activities merit special scrutiny. End Summary. Giorgio Fiacconi's Kyrgyz Portfolio ----------------------------------- 2. (SBU) Giorgio Fiacconi, a 63-year-old Italian citizen, has nurtured a significant business portfolio in Kyrgyzstan over the past 13 years. At the beginning of 2007, Fiacconi held a significant stake in a large shopping complex (Tsum), owned the Kyrgyz Credit Bank, controlled an English-language newspaper (Times of Central Asia), was proprietor of an Italian restaurant, and likely held other interests arising from his earlier work renovating what is now the Bishkek Hyatt. Given his extensive holdings, Fiacconi has long attracted (often unwanted) attention from Kyrgyz authorities. After the 2005 "revolution," Fiacconi was jailed, but eventually released following judicial actions and international pressure. Acting without Consultations ---------------------------- 3. (C) Earlier this year, Fiacconi quietly sold his stake in Tsum to Kazakh investors. Once the sale became public SIPDIS knowledge in August, Fiacconi suddenly faced tax evasion charges. In a subsequent court hearing, he suffered an angina attack and was admitted to hospital. While in the hospital, Fiacconi advised emboff that he was in "trouble" for "insulting senior people" by selling his Tsum shares "without consultations." Without uttering the name of his principal adversary, he confirmed that it was "M.B., Jr." (Note: "M.B., Jr." likely corresponds to President Bakiyev's younger son, Maxim. End note.) Fiacconi added that the tax evasion charges arose from a loan which he received from an Italian bank to finance his business activities. Kyrgyz officials, he noted, now consider the loan a "gift" subject to taxation. Fiacconi added, however, that three Kyrgyz experts called by the government to validate this interpretation disagreed and supported Fiacconi's position. Fallout ------- 4. (C) According to Fiacconi, an intermediary informed him that he could "compensate for his mistake" by doing three things: 1) paying a fine for tax evasion, 2) providing financial support to a sport club, and 3) selling his bank. Fiacconi faced an August 24 deadline to acquiesce, or, as he reported to emboff, he would suffer a damaging media broadside, the possible arrest of himself and his employees and the prospect of "physical retribution." Fiacconi said his opponents were "prepared," and he did not plan to mount a defensive media campaign, as he had done in the past. BISHKEK 00001155 002.2 OF 003 Belokon Builds a Banking Network -------------------------------- 5. (C) On August 28, Kyrgyz media reported that Valery Belokon, Maxim Bakiyev's Latvian business partner, wanted to open a commercial bank in Kyrgyzstan. (Note: The reports also added that Belokon hoped to open a Kyrgyz "banking school" and expand into mining. End note.) Fiacconi, after his release from the hospital, confirmed to emboff August 28 that he had sold his bank. When asked for details regarding the buyer, Fiacconi advised emboff to read a news summary which only contained information about Belokon's interest in a Kyrgyz bank. There has been no public reporting on the sale of Fiacconi's Kyrgyz Credit Bank. 6. (C) Despite Fiacconi's account, Kyrgyz media have instead focused on Belokon's recent purchase of the failed "Insan" bank, which will be renamed the "Manas" bank. (Note: Belokon's action to acquire Kyrgyz banks roughly coincides with a reported crackdown, by Russian authorities, on the Iberus Russian bank, which has been implicated in the alleged funneling of money between financial institutions in Latvia, Kyrgyzstan and a few other countries. End note.) Belokon announced September 14 that "Manas" bank will have charter capital of 300-500 million soms (roughly $8-13 million) and will have assets of $200 million in the first year of operation. He also revealed that he has spent 100 million euros ($138 million) to equip the bank. (Note: A Kyrgyz Central Bank advisor expressed astonishment to emboff September 13 at the large amount expended on the new bank's equipment. End note.) The Latvian prime minister attended the Bishkek ceremony announcing the launch of Belokon's Kyrgyz bank. Going for the Gold ------------------ 7. (SBU) On August 29, Kyrgyz media reported that Maxim Bakiyev had been elected president of the Kyrgyz Wrestling Federation (KWF) at an August 28 "emergency meeting" that followed the "voluntary" resignation of the previous KWF president. (Note: Bakiyev's election to this post enables him to be considered as chairman of the Kyrgyz Olympic Committee. End note.) Business Community Reaction --------------------------- 8. (C) International Business Council Chairman (and Kumtor Operating Company president) Andy Lewis told emboff August 31 that little could be done about the Fiacconi case other than ensuring that the international business community was aware of what happened. Lewis commented that "Maxim Bakiyev has accomplished more in the past three months than his predecessor did in years." (Note: By predecessor, he means former President Akayev's son Aidar, who took advantage of his father's position in business dealings, one of the reasons for the 2005 "revolution." End note.) Fiacconi's situation follows complaints by a U.S. telecommunications firm of interference by Maxim Bakiyev in GSM-compatible bandwidth licensing. Comment ------- 9. (C) The raid on Fiacconi's assets is a worrying development. While Maxim Bakiyev, in an interview earlier this year, denied allegations that he controlled any businesses in Kyrgyzstan, he admitted that he works for a Latvian capital management company and identified Belokon as BISHKEK 00001155 003.2 OF 003 a close business partner. Although Fiacconi and other Embassy interlocutors have not explicitly linked Belokon and Maxim Bakiyev jointly to recent developments, their interests would be served by these events. If Belokon's interests have been affected by recent Russian Central Bank activities, then the uptick in Maxim Bakiyev's and Belokon's activities in Kyrgyzstan makes sense. With Maxim Bakiyev's father holding the presidency, the politically weak Kyrgyz Central Bank may have difficulty exercising oversight of Belokon's banking interests. Post will continue to monitor developments. 10. (C) We also note that Belokon has attempted previously to arrange meetings, on Maxim Bakiyev's behalf, in Washington. YOVANOVITCH

 

2008

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BISHKEK 000005 SIPDIS SIPDIS DEPT FOR SCA/CEN (GEHRENBECK) E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/04/2018 TAGS: PGOV, PREL, PINR, KG SUBJECT: A PROFILE OF NEW KYRGYZ PM IGOR CHUDINOV BISHKEK 00000005 001.2 OF 002 Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Lee Litzenberger for Reasons 1.4 (b) a nd (d) 1. (C) Summary: Kyrgyz President Bakiyev's December 24 appointment of Igor Chudinov as the new Kyrgyz prime minister marks the apex of Chudinov's rapid ascent from relative political obscurity. After years as a communist functionary and businessman, Chudinov secured the top position at the Kyrgyz national natural gas company in the aftermath of the March 2005 "Tulip Revolution" and subsequently took charge of the ministry handling industrial, fuel and energy issues before being tapped for the prime ministerial post. Chudinov's close ties to President Bakiyev's family, especially the President's son Maxim, are believed to overlap with Bakiyev family business interests - to include the Kyrgyz electricity sector. In addition to the business links, Chudinov is an ideal prime minister for President Bakiyev. As an ethnic Russian, he lacks a separate political power base, and thus does not present a challenge to Bakiyev family interests. His "outsider" status may enable him to implement natural gas and electricity tariff hikes, while benefiting Bakiyev family interests in the expected "privatization" of energy sector assets. End Summary. Taking Charge ------------- 2. (U) Kyrgyz President Bakiyev appointed Igor Chudinov, a 46 year-old ethnic Russian, prime minister on December 24. Chudinov replaced ex-PM Almazbek Atambayev, and his appointment permitted Acting PM Iskender Aidaraliyev to return to his post as first deputy prime minister. While somehow dodging the constitutional requirement for the prime minister to speak Kyrgyz, Chudinov pledged that governmental appointments should be "based on professional qualities, rather than on political views." Meanwhile, he outlined a few short-term priorities of his government: 1) securing fuel supplies; 2) addressing winter-related problems; 3) assisting farmers with the spring planting season; and 4) providing farmers with seeds and petroleum products. (Note: Kyrgyz media have since reported Kyrgyz agreement to purchase Uzbek natural gas at a price of $145 per thousand cubic meters, up from the previous $100 rate. End note.) Chudinov also outlined his intent to increase tax revenues through legalization of the "grey" economy, which he estimated accounted for up to 52% of the Kyrgyz economy. Rising to the Top ----------------- 3. (U) PM Chudinov,s rapid political ascent, which started after the March 2005 "Tulip Revolution" that ousted former President Askar Akayev, follows a relatively undistinguished career. Before 2005, Chudinov had several small business ventures, including part-ownership of a popular Bishkek restaurant (the "Admiral"). He also served as a high-level functionary within the Communist Party Youth Organization from 1986-1991. Chudinov worked briefly as an engineer following his 1983 graduation from the Kyrgyz National University with a degree in computer technology. After the March 2005 "Tulip Revolution," Chudinov assumed the top position at the national natural gas company, "Kyrgyzgaz," and subsequently became the first Minister of Industry, Energy and Fuel Resources when the ministry was created in February 2007. He held the ministerial job until his appointment as prime minister. Rumored Links to the Bakiyev Family ----------------------------------- 4. (C) Chudinov's rapid ascent has generated much speculation regarding business connections to the Bakiyev family, especially to President Bakiyev's youngest son, BISHKEK 00000005 002.2 OF 002 Maxim. Maxim Bakiyev's name has been associated with various business activities to include banking and telecommunications in the Kyrgyz Republic. Maxim Bakiyev's interests are also believed to extend to the Kyrgyz electricity sector, which suffers from substantial "technical losses" and theft. PM Chudinov, as well as his successor at the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Fuel Resources, Saparbek Balkibekov, are well-placed to protect Bakiyev family interests in the electricity and energy sectors. Given President Bakiyev's selection and endorsement of Chudinov, it is unlikely that Chudinov would interfere in any Bakiyev family business interests. Other Political Considerations ------------------------------ 5. (C) Aside from (substantial) business considerations, Chudinov's appointment as prime minister also has other benefits for the Bakiyev family. Unlike two of his recent predecessors (Felix Kulov and Almazbek Atambayev), Chudinov has no separate political following and does not present a challenge to the Bakiyevs. In a country with geographic, clan-based allegiances, an ethnic Russian "outsider" can be viewed as a "neutral actor." Chudinov's ethnicity could also benefit ties with Moscow. While previous Embassy interaction with Chudinov indicates that he is intelligent and open-minded, PM Chudinov has never publicly contradicted President Bakiyev's policies and is very circumspect in his public remarks. 6. (C) This combination of factors makes Chudinov an ideal candidate to tackle contentious issues such as hikes in natural gas and electricity tariffs, pushing through an agreement on the Canadian-run Kumtor gold mine, food price inflation and other topics. PM Chudinov will likely oversee the "privatization" of significant electricity and energy sector assets (to the potential benefit of the Bakiyev family and other connected interests), while also pursuing the completion of the multi-billion dollar Kambarata hydroelectric complex. While the longevity of recent Kyrgyz prime ministers does not provide PM Chudinov a sense of job security, unlike recent prime ministers he is truly President Bakiyev's hand-picked candidate. His longevity, though, will depend on the extent to which he can deliver on Bakyiev's pledge to bring economic growth to the Kyrgyz Republic. LITZENBERGER

 

2009

UNCLAS BISHKEK 000057 SENSITIVE SIPDIS DEPT FOR SCA/CEN E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: PGOV, PREL, KPAO, KG SUBJECT: KYRGYZSTAN: AMBASSADOR ATTENDS BELL SANCTIFICATION CEREMONY AT RECONSTRUCTED ORTHODOX CHURCH REF: 2009 BISHKEK 1296 1. (SBU) SUMMARY: On January 13, the Ambassador attended a ceremony for the blessing of nine new bells at a newly reconstructed Russian Orthodox Church. The ceremony was also attended by First Lady Tatiana Bakiyeva. The appearance of the First Lady was notable as she does not make many public appearances and might have been a vehicle for increasing the profile of the Kyrgyz First Family. The event, however, was partially hijacked by a ham-handed effort by Russian diplomats to promote Russia. END SUMMARY. 2. (U) The blessing ceremony was for nine church bells donated to the newly reconstructed Russian Orthodox Church of the Nativity of the Virgin in Leninskoye Village. The bells were donated by a wealthy young Russian entrepreneur, Vladimir Kirik, who has resided for many years in Kyrgyzstan and is the head of the Sailing Federation of Kyrgyzstan. First Lady Tatyana Bakiyeva attended the ceremony, which was presided over by the Archbishop of Central Asia and Tashkent Vladimir. 3. (SBU) The First Lady, who rarely makes public appearances, arrived with only a driver and no apparent security. When she went into the crowd, most attendees did not seem to realize who she was and simply asked each other: "Who,s that lady in the red hat?" The First Lady promptly took her place on the low wooden podium between Kirik and the Russian Charge d,Affaires. On her right, Kirik bowed and crossed himself devoutly at every opportunity. By contrast, the Charge d,Affaires stood scowling and ram-rod straight. 4. (SBU) The Ambassador met Kirik at a later event and commented to him about the informal protocol of the ceremony, including lack of pomp and circumstance for the First Lady. He said that was intentional, as the Orthodox Church of Kyrgyzstan had insisted that this should be a simple ceremony for believers and not hijacked into a "pro-Bakiyev political event." However, he bemoaned loudly that the Russian Embassy had instead succeeded in hijacking the event. According to Kirik, only he and Tatyana Bakiyeva were supposed to share the podium. Instead, the Russian Charge d,Affaires arrived early and commandeered a place on it. No persuasion from event organizers could succeed in getting him to relinquish his perch. "The First Lady was a real trooper about that," concluded Kirik. "She didn,t complain and just took it in stride." 5. (U) Leninskoye Village was founded 100 years ago by Russian speaking settlers from Moldova, Ukraine and Russia, and the Church of the Nativity of the Virgin was first built around that time. The church was destroyed during Stalin,s rule and was only recently rebuilt with the help of the local government administration. The town has a population of 12,000 people, mainly of Russian ethnicity. 6. (SBU) COMMENT: The First Lady's participation in the ceremony was widely covered by the media and may be part of a strategy to raise the profile of the First Family. The government is also concerned with growing Islamic religious extremism (reftel) and this public event may have been aimed at demonstrating Kyrgyzstan,s multi-ethnic and multi-religious character. END COMMENT. GFOELLER

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BISHKEK 000700 SIPDIS DEPT FOR SCA/CEN E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/30/2019 TAGS: PGOV, PREL, PINR, ECON, KG SUBJECT: KYRGYZ ELITE FAWN OVER PRESIDENT'S SON BISHKEK 00000700 001.2 OF 002 Classified By: Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Lee Litzenberger, Reaso ns 1.4 (b) and (d). 1. (C) SUMMARY: Much of Kyrgyzstan's political and business elite gathered to celebrate the opening of presidential son Maxim Bakiyev's new hotel at Lake Issyk Kul on June 20. The private event featured pop stars from Moscow and Europe, plenty of alcohol, and a raft of bodyguards. Maxim was clearly the center of attention, even as some grumbled behind his back about his domination of Kyrgyzstan's economy. Russian Ambassador Vlasov moved through the crowd like a trusted friend. END SUMMARY AN OFFER YOU CAN'T REFUSE ------------------------- 2. (C) Kyrgyzstan's political and business elite gathered on the shore of Lake Issyk Kul the evening of June 20 to celebrate the opening of presidential son Maxim Bakiyev's new hotel, the Vityaz. Emboff was unexpectedly included in this event of approximately 200 people after traveling to Issyk Kul with the Director of the State Agency on Sports, Aleksandr Voinov. Voinov said he was required to make an appearance at the opening of the hotel along with others in the government of ministerial rank, as well as members of parliament and oblast governors. Voinov claimed that leading businessmen had been "invited" to buy invitations to the event for $10-15,000 to finance the opening. Voinov commented that "government officials and businessmen could in principle refuse to attend, but then their jobs and business interests would be in jeopardy." MAXIM AT THE CENTER ------------------- 3. (C) The main focus of the event was not the hotel, which nearly all attendees commented was done shoddily and in poor taste, but Maxim and his entourage. Maxim arrived at a nearby airport in his private plane, traveled to the hotel in a large motorcade with police escort, and moved around the party itself with eight bodyguards. Maxim mingled among the guests with his official wife Aijana (he is well known to have another girlfriend) on one side and Prime Minister Igor Chudinov on the other. Neither Aijana nor Chudinov looked happy to be there. 4. (C) Many businessmen appeared eager to curry favor with Maxim, and waited in nervous anticipation for the person they called "the boss" to arrive. The businessmen stood at attention when Maxim came near, but many then made snide comments after he moved on. One businessman asked: "What kind of country are we living in when all of us, including poor Igor (Chudinov), have to kiss up to the son just to stay in business?" Several businessmen said they had been asked to spend the night at this hotel as a sign of support, but chose to stay elsewhere, feeling that they had done enough by showing up for the dinner and concert. Voinov commented that Maxim may well need his security detail after taking over the businesses of so many people in the country. THE FEW THAT DID FIT IN ----------------------- 5. (C) A number of the guests appeared quite at ease with Maxim. Perhaps the most high profile of the guests was AsiaUniversalBank (AUB) Chairman Mikhail Nadal, who acted like the second host of the party, loudly toasting with the men and making advances at the women. He took a group of people to watch him swim in the lake, where his bodyguards followed him into the water. 6. (C) Russian Ambassador Vlasov blended seamlessly with the Kyrgyz political and business elite, telling stories, asking questions, downing vodka toasts, and dancing to pop music. BISHKEK 00000700 002.2 OF 002 Many of the guests treated him as a trusted friend. One Kyrgyz Member of Parliament ran up to Vlasov, saying "We got the order directly from the American President. So it's going to happen (the Manas airbase staying), but you should know it's all about the money. There's nothing we can do at this point." Vlasov did not seem surprised, but answered sharply: "I know it's about the money, but I want to see all the details of the money." COMMENT ------- 7. (C) This slice of Kyrgyz elite interaction seems to confirm what we have heard elsewhere about the dominant role of Maxim Bakiyev in the Kyrgyz economy, although the amount of grumbling from some in attendance might indicate that any loyalty is thin. Even otherwise loyal officials like Voinov complained that the President is letting his son get away with too much -- and that these excesses will hurt the family and country in the end.

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BISHKEK 000700 SIPDIS DEPT FOR SCA/CEN E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/30/2019 TAGS: PGOV, PREL, PINR, ECON, KG SUBJECT: KYRGYZ ELITE FAWN OVER PRESIDENT'S SON BISHKEK 00000700 001.2 OF 002 Classified By: Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Lee Litzenberger, Reaso ns 1.4 (b) and (d). 1. (C) SUMMARY: Much of Kyrgyzstan's political and business elite gathered to celebrate the opening of presidential son Maxim Bakiyev's new hotel at Lake Issyk Kul on June 20. The private event featured pop stars from Moscow and Europe, plenty of alcohol, and a raft of bodyguards. Maxim was clearly the center of attention, even as some grumbled behind his back about his domination of Kyrgyzstan's economy. Russian Ambassador Vlasov moved through the crowd like a trusted friend. END SUMMARY AN OFFER YOU CAN'T REFUSE ------------------------- 2. (C) Kyrgyzstan's political and business elite gathered on the shore of Lake Issyk Kul the evening of June 20 to celebrate the opening of presidential son Maxim Bakiyev's new hotel, the Vityaz. Emboff was unexpectedly included in this event of approximately 200 people after traveling to Issyk Kul with the Director of the State Agency on Sports, Aleksandr Voinov. Voinov said he was required to make an appearance at the opening of the hotel along with others in the government of ministerial rank, as well as members of parliament and oblast governors. Voinov claimed that leading businessmen had been "invited" to buy invitations to the event for $10-15,000 to finance the opening. Voinov commented that "government officials and businessmen could in principle refuse to attend, but then their jobs and business interests would be in jeopardy." MAXIM AT THE CENTER ------------------- 3. (C) The main focus of the event was not the hotel, which nearly all attendees commented was done shoddily and in poor taste, but Maxim and his entourage. Maxim arrived at a nearby airport in his private plane, traveled to the hotel in a large motorcade with police escort, and moved around the party itself with eight bodyguards. Maxim mingled among the guests with his official wife Aijana (he is well known to have another girlfriend) on one side and Prime Minister Igor Chudinov on the other. Neither Aijana nor Chudinov looked happy to be there. 4. (C) Many businessmen appeared eager to curry favor with Maxim, and waited in nervous anticipation for the person they called "the boss" to arrive. The businessmen stood at attention when Maxim came near, but many then made snide comments after he moved on. One businessman asked: "What kind of country are we living in when all of us, including poor Igor (Chudinov), have to kiss up to the son just to stay in business?" Several businessmen said they had been asked to spend the night at this hotel as a sign of support, but chose to stay elsewhere, feeling that they had done enough by showing up for the dinner and concert. Voinov commented that Maxim may well need his security detail after taking over the businesses of so many people in the country. THE FEW THAT DID FIT IN ----------------------- 5. (C) A number of the guests appeared quite at ease with Maxim. Perhaps the most high profile of the guests was AsiaUniversalBank (AUB) Chairman Mikhail Nadal, who acted like the second host of the party, loudly toasting with the men and making advances at the women. He took a group of people to watch him swim in the lake, where his bodyguards followed him into the water. 6. (C) Russian Ambassador Vlasov blended seamlessly with the Kyrgyz political and business elite, telling stories, asking questions, downing vodka toasts, and dancing to pop music. BISHKEK 00000700 002.2 OF 002 Many of the guests treated him as a trusted friend. One Kyrgyz Member of Parliament ran up to Vlasov, saying "We got the order directly from the American President. So it's going to happen (the Manas airbase staying), but you should know it's all about the money. There's nothing we can do at this point." Vlasov did not seem surprised, but answered sharply: "I know it's about the money, but I want to see all the details of the money." COMMENT ------- 7. (C) This slice of Kyrgyz elite interaction seems to confirm what we have heard elsewhere about the dominant role of Maxim Bakiyev in the Kyrgyz economy, although the amount of grumbling from some in attendance might indicate that any loyalty is thin. Even otherwise loyal officials like Voinov complained that the President is letting his son get away with too much -- and that these excesses will hurt the family and country in the end. LITZENBERGER

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 BISHKEK 000744 SIPDIS DEPT FOR SCA/CEN E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/15/2019 TAGS: PREL, PGOV, KG SUBJECT: KYRGYZSTAN: DINNER AT MAXIM'S BISHKEK 00000744 001.2 OF 004 Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Lee Litzenberger, Reason 1.4 (b) and ( d). 1. (C) Summary. Over dinner with Charge, President Bakiyev's youngest son Maxim claimed credit for masterminding the Kyrgyz decision to keep the Manas Air Base operational by calling it a "Transit Center." He claimed Russia is mad at Kyrgyzstan over the Transit Center, and was interested in the U.S. transit agreement with Russia signed at the recent summit. Maxim also discussed the upcoming presidential election, and told Charge that his father planned to announce far-reaching reforms following his re-election. Maxim plans a private trip to the U.S. in August, accompanied by FM Sarbayev, and would like to meet informally with U.S. officials. End Summary. Second Son ---------- 2. (C) President Bakiyev has two sons by his ethnic Russian wife. The elder, Marat, is Ambassador to Germany. The younger, Maxim, is 32 and a businessman widely believed to have financial stakes in key sectors of the Kyrgyz economy. According to FM Kadyrbek Sarbayev, Maxim, who has no official government position, also played a key role in persuading President Bakiyev to reverse his February decision to close the USAF base at Bishkek's Manas International Airport and instead negotiate a new "Transit Center" agreement to allow the U.S. to continue to use this facility in support of coalition operations in Afghanistan. During the July 11 exchange of diplomatic notes that brought the new Transit Agreements into force, Sarbayev told Charge that, in fact, the whole concept of a new agreement based on changing the name and allowing operations to continue as normal, was Maxim's. He, Sarbayev, had only been the "executor" of the idea. Impromptu Dinner Invitation --------------------------- 3. (C) On July 13, after the very successful July 11-12 visit by U/S Burns and a senior interagency delegation to discuss ways to enhance relations following the entry into force of the Transit Center agreements, FM Sarbayev called Charge to invite him to dinner that evening. He indicated that a "third party" would join, and speaking cryptically conveyed the message that the third party would be Maxim. "We'll celebrate with cigars and scotch," he added. Sarbayev called back later in the evening with the time and place: 8:45 p.m. at the Luxor Restaurant. (Note. The Luxor is widely believed to be owned by Maxim, and was the restaurant FM Sarbayev used in April to host the U.S. team under Ambassador McDonald that negotiated the new Transit Center agreements. End Note.) Maxim's Arrival ------------- 4. (C) Charge arrived promptly at 8:45 p.m. at the main restaurant. Staff there looked confused, and asked who he was and who he was waiting for. A few hushed phone calls later, and the staff returned and apologized and escorted Charge out of the main restaurant to an annex on the side and up a covered entryway to a second story private dining area, where they left Charge. The room, almost tastefully decorated in black leather and chrome, featured a dining table set for six in the middle, a game table and seating area in the back, a flat screen TV on the wall showing Russian news, and a well-stocked bar. A few minutes later, Sarbayev called, saying he was running late, and asked the Charge where he was. When told, "at the restaurant," Sarbayev said, "Stay in the car; I'll be there soon." When told the Charge was already in the upper dining area, Sarbayev said, "Ok, I'll be right there." Two minutes later, an extremely well-appointed Sarbayev rushed in, relieved to see that Maxim had not yet arrived. "This room is for Maxim only," Sarbayev shared, and then nervously indicated where he BISHKEK 00000744 002.2 OF 004 and Charge should stand to receive Maxim. Minutes later, noise outside indicated the host had arrived. A relaxed, somewhat pudgy and balding Maxim entered, wearing a T-shirt and slacks, and sporting a two-day beard. Maxim: The Transit Center Was My Idea -------------------------------------- 5. (C) After pleasantries, Charge thanked Maxim for his support for the new Transit Center arrangements. Sarbayev quickly interjected, "I told him about your role." Maxim claimed that, working through American "friends" in Washington, he had agreed the outlines of the new arrangement ("change the name, keep the operation") even before the U.S. negotiating team arrived in April. At one point, Maxim said, when the U.S. team was resisting the Kyrgyz proposal to replace all references to "military personnel" with the term "Department of Defense personnel," Maxim called his friends in Washington to fix the problem. Maxim claimed Washington instructed the negotiating team to accept the Kyrgyz proposal. Russia is Mad, But In a Box --------------------------- 6. (C) In response to Charge's question, Maxim indicated that his support for the turnaround on Manas entailed some risk, but said his background as a futures trader made him comfortable with risk. "I saw that a deal was needed, and stepped in to set it up," he said. He claimed the Russians were mad, and were trying to punish Kyrgyzstan, but they were in a box, given Medvedev's statement in February that the future of Manas was a sovereign decision of Kyrgyzstan. As Russian news on the TV reported on the closing of a Moscow market where many Kyrgyz expatriates are employed, Maxim would point to the screen and say, "See, this is what they are doing." He also said Moscow had also taken steps to shut down the operations of Kyrgyz Asia Universal Bank (AUB) in Russia. "They think I am linked to AUB. I could care less about this bank." (Note. Maxim is widely rumored to have a hidden interest in AUB, which has sought OPIC investments. End Note.) Maxim said that he used to do business in Russia but, two years ago, after seeing how duplicitous and crude the Russians were, he divested all his business interests in Russia. (Comment. Opposition leaders claim then-President Putin complained directly to Bakiyev about Maxim's less than honorable business deals in Russia, and told Bakiyev his son was not welcome in Russia. End Comment.) The Joke's on Moscow -------------------- 7. (C) Maxim, clearly pleased with his role in outfoxing Moscow, relayed a joke to Charge. Putin and Medvedev are sitting around. Medvedev says, "Volodya, what have these Kyrgyz done to us?" Putin replies, "I know, I know, Dima, it's unbelievable. But it has me thinking, and I have an idea. Why don't we call our naval base in Sevastopol a "Water Park?" U.S. Training Camp in Kyrgyzstan? --------------------------------- 8. (C) Maxim claimed to have met recently with his American "friends" in Istanbul, where he claimed the Americans reacted positively to his suggestion that the U.S. should build a Special Forces training camp in Kyrgyzstan. Troops heading to Afghanistan, he said, could come to the camp "for a month of training and acclimatization to the region." Maxim indicated training could be joint, with Kyrgyz special forces, or U.S.-only. Charge indicated that cooperation in this area could be greatly enhanced if the Kyrgyz side could resolve the issue of U.S. special forces weapons that were seized in August, 2008. Maxim took the point, but did not respond. U.S. Transit Agreement with Moscow ---------------------------------- 9. (C) Maxim and Sarbayev were also very interested in the BISHKEK 00000744 003.2 OF 004 U.S. agreement with Russia for the transit of lethal goods over and through Russia. Maxim asked if this meant the next step was for the U.S. to negotiate overflight and transit rights with Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, so that planes flying over Russia could continue to Manas. Charge demurred, saying he was not aware of the details of the various transit arrangements already in place or being negotiated, but that the agreement with Russia was an important step forward. Elections --------- 10. (C) Both Sarbayev and Maxim asked for Charge's help in arranging a visit for President Bakiyev to Washington. Charge indicated such things required careful preparation, and much work remained to be done -- including seeing how the July 23 election proceeds. Charge reviewed concerns such as the harassment of opposition leaders, attacks on journalists, and concerns about government efforts to control internet use and access, that together raised questions about the fairness of the election process. Maxim said that the elections will be calm, and there will be no unrest afterwards, despite the claims of opposition leaders. He added, "You won't believe the broad reform program we will announce after the election. It will go way beyond what you could imagine. It will put Kyrgyzstan far ahead of any of its neighbors," but declined to elaborate further. Private Trip to the U.S. in August -- Can you help? --------------------------------------------- ------ 11. (C) Sarbayev had earlier indicated to Charge that Sarbayev wanted to bring his ten year old son to see the U.S. in August, and that Maxim might accompany them. At dinner, Maxim confirmed this, saying he planned to travel to California and Washington. He asked if Charge could help arrange informal meetings with officials of the State Department and the NSC while he was in Washington. Charge said he would pass the information to Washington, but said August was a vacation period and many people would be away. Maxim did not provide specific dates for his travel, but he and Sarbayev asked for assistance in obtaining visas for the trip. At the end of the three hour dinner, Maxim said he hoped to stay in touch with the Embassy, and would welcome meeting the Ambassador. He said he knew that Charge had undoubtedly heard "all kinds of things" about him, and extended the dinner invitation to show the Embassy "that I don't eat people." Bio Notes --------- 12. (C) Maxim was calm throughout, including when Charge raised sensitive issues such as concerns about the election and the seizure of U.S. special forces weapons. His actions indicated he is slightly spoiled: he was impatient whenever a waiter appeared to serve or clear dishes, because in each instance he stopped talking to wait until the room was clear. Prior to sitting down to the table, Maxim and Sarbayev switched off their cell phones (the latter taking out his battery and SIM card, which is his usual practice.) Maxim exhibited relatively refined tastes -- he said his favorite wine was Opus 1, his favorite single malt scotch was Macallen (followed closely by Japanese Suntori), and he enjoys cigars. He offered Charge a Dominican Republic cigar carrying a label that said, "Maksim Bakiyev -- Kyrgyzstan" and a Kyrgyz Flag on it. Maxim said his American friends sent him the vanity cigars; he also boasted a humidor filled with Cuban and other cigars. Sarbayev was extremely deferential to Maxim, as were the waiters. The sushi dinner was served on a personal plate for Maxim, with a shared plate for the FM and Charge. When the plates arrived, Maxim looked displeased, and said, "You could have brought one plate for us all." At one point in the evening, when Maxim offered to re-light Charge's cigar, Sarbayev's eyes popped out at seeing Maxim defer to Charge with this gesture. BISHKEK 00000744 004.2 OF 004 Comment ------- 13. (C) Maxim was clearly reaching out to the Embassy, and wants to present himself as a backchannel to the President and a sounding board to discuss developments in the country. He was extremely pleased with himself for his alleged (though likely exaggerated) behind-the-scenes role in masterminding the Transit Center agreements, and outmaneuvering both Moscow and the many domestic advisors to President Bakiyev who support closer ties to Russia. One of those advisors, Bakiyev's brother Janysh, is often rumored to be Maxim's main nemesis in what many interlocutors describe as a struggle for succession. 14. (C) The Embassy has not had contact with Maxim in recent years, due to his unofficial status and the many rumors about his questionable efforts to obtain financial control over many sectors of business. Nevertheless, in the wake of the new Transit Center agreements, Maxim's favorable disposition towards the United States could be of benefit to our interests. LITZENBERGER

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BISHKEK 000813 SIPDIS DEPT FOR SCA/CEN E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/25/2019 TAGS: PREL, PGOV, KDEM, PINR, KG SUBJECT: KYRGYZ PRESIDENT'S SON TALKS ELECTIONS AND REFORMS WITH AMBASSADOR REF: A. BISHKEK 812 B. BISHKEK 744 BISHKEK 00000813 001.2 OF 002 Classified By: Amb. Tatiana Gfoeller, Reason 1.4 (b) and (d). 1. (C) Summary: Over lunch July 25 with the Ambassador and DCM, President Bakiyev's son Maxim claimed that the Kyrgyz Central Election Commission would void any questionable protocols from the July 23 Presidential election. He hinted that the government would soon pursue civil service reform in order to create a more transparent system that would tackle government corruption. He also expressed the intention to establish open economic conditions in the country, and cited China as an example. Maxim Bakiyev praised recent successes by Kyrgyz security forces against extremist elements in the south, but worried about the influence of an expanding number of Saudi-financed mosques. The lunch, and an earlier engagement with the DCM, seem to indicate a desire by Maxim to establish an informal working relationship with the Embassy. End summary. July 23 Election and OSCE Findings ---------------------------------- 2. (C) During a July 25 lunch with the Ambassador and DCM, Maxim Bakiyev (President Bakiyev's son), who was joined by Foreign Minister Kadyrbek Sarbayev, said he had been on the President's "election team" leading up to the July 23 Kyrgyz Presidential election. Maxim told the Ambassador that the Central Election Commission (CEC) has been advised not to count any questionable protocols. (Note: Protocols of vote tallies originate at each polling station. End Note.) He claimed that if all observers had not signed the protocols, or if there were any disputes about the numbers, then the CEC would throw out those protocols. However, Maxim concluded, "it does not matter if he received 55% or 85% of the vote, President Bakiyev was reelected." He added that he thought the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe statement on the election (reftel A cites the OSCE's preliminary findings) had been premature because, he reasoned, not all the protocols had been reviewed. Maxim noted that the CEC review of complaints would result in the final tallies not being released for a few days. (Note: According to the electoral code, the CEC has until July 28 to publish the results. However, it is not clear how seriously the CEC will consider complaints. End Note.) Civil Service Reform Coming? ---------------------------- 3. (C) Elaborating on plans for reform he previously mentioned to the DCM (reftel B), Maxim Bakiyev said the government would be pursuing civil service reforms soon. He told the Ambassador that Kyrgyzstan needed a transparent and professional civil service in order to eliminate corruption. Maxim admitted that the reforms would upset many people currently in government, and even, he noted, some in the Bakiyev family. U.S. support for civil service reforms, he said, could help refute these critics. His father, he claimed, wanted this reform to be one of his historical "legacies" for the country. 4. (C) Civil service reform, Maxim continued, would contribute to a cleaner and more transparent economy where businesses would pay taxes, and not finance criminals or pay bribes. Both he and the Foreign Minister highlighted the Chinese model of economic reform, and envisioned ways to import Chinese economic conditions to Kyrgyzstan. "Maybe," they suggested, "building more golf courses would attract more foreign businessmen." Countering Extremism -------------------- BISHKEK 00000813 002.2 OF 002 5. (C) Maxim Bakiyev praised the results of Kyrgyz counter-terrorism operations in southern Kyrgyzstan. (Note: Kyrgyz special forces have killed at least nine "Islamic extremists" and detained several others. End Note.) He said Islamic extremism was a "real threat" to the country, and lamented the large increase in Saudi-funded mosques in Kyrgyzstan. Maxim added that the government wanted to exercise greater control over what is said in mosques around the country. (Note: Kyrgyz security services routinely have personnel attending -- and presumably reporting on -- religious services. End Note.) Comment ------- 6. (C) Maxim is often viewed as leading an allegedly pro-Western camp among the President's family and close advisors that is in rivalry with a more pro-Russian, anti-reform camp led by his uncle Janysh for his father's attention. It is clear that this lunch and his previous engagement with the DCM are designed to establish a relationship with the Embassy. GFOELLER

UNCLAS STATE 078275 SIPDIS E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: PREL, MARR, KG SUBJECT: HATFIELD CASE TALKING POINTS FOR THE KYRGYZ GOVERNMENT REF: DAS KROL EMAIL 7/27/2009 1. (U) ACTION REQUEST: Department requests that Post deliver the points in paragraphs 2-10 on the Hatfield Case to the government of the Kyrgyz Republic on Tuesday, July 28 and report delivery that same day. To support parallel action here in the United States, it is critical that these points be delivered on July 28. Hatfield Case Talking Points for the Kyrgyz Government --------------------------------------------- ----------- --- 2. (U) The U.S. Air Force (USAF) convening authority decided not to refer criminal charges to a court-martial against Senior Airman (SrA) Zachary Hatfield for the December 2006 shooting of Alexander Ivanov, a Kyrgyz truck driver, at a check point at Manas Air Base [now Manas Transit Center]. [IF ASKED] A charge of unpremeditated murder was preferred against SrA Hatfield on February 20, 2009. A hearing associated with an Article 32 investigation conducted pursuant to the Uniform Code of Military Justice was held between March 31 and April 2, 2009 to investigate the charge. The Article 32 Investigating Officer submitted a report to the Convening Authority that included his recommendation regarding whether or not the charge should be referred to trial by court-martial or whether a different charge or other disposition would be appropriate. After reviewing the report of the Article 32 investigation and considering the advice of his staff judge advocate, the Convening Authority dismissed the charge against SrA Hatfield. 3. (U) The decision not to refer criminal charges to a court-martial was made by an independent USAF court-martial convening authority who, based on his own professional and impartial judgment of the facts of the case and the evidence that was available, determined that a criminal trial would not be appropriate. As a judicial matter, this case is now closed. [IF ASKED] Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, a convening authority generally does not explain his or her rationale for a referral decision, so as to preserve the impartiality and independence of the military justice system. I do not know the rationale for the convening authority's decision. He is under no obligation to explain his decision, he has not done so in this case, and I do not anticipate he will do so. [IF ASKED] The convening authority in this case was the U.S. Air Mobility Command commander, General Arthur Lichte. The fact that the USAF chose a highly experienced and mature commander and a four-star general officer to decide on the disposition of this case demonstrates the seriousness and importance the USAF attaches to it. [IF ASKED] General Lichte was chosen specifically because he was not involved in previous investigations into this case and is not in SrA Hatfield's chain of command. 4. (U) The judicial process in this case was admittedly lengthy, but it was thorough and impartial from start to finish. The amount of time and resources dedicated to the case should demonstrate the seriousness the U.S. Government and the USAF attach to it. The USAF investigation lasted more than 13 months, involving more than 80 agents from the USAF Office of Special Investigations who interviewed more than 160 witnesses. [ONLY IF PRESSED FURTHER] I will look into whether we can release any more details of the investigation. We have strived to be as transparent as possible, but we are constrained by laws that protect the privacy of individuals who are involved as subjects of and witnesses to alleged crimes. 5. (U) The U.S. deeply regrets this tragedy and takes any loss of life seriously. The U.S military operates around the world and is very sensitive to the needs of the local people. We have the highest respect for the Kyrgyz people and have made every effort possible under U.S. law to be transparent and responsive to local sensitivities. 6. (U) The Secretary of Defense has approved an additional $250,000 ex gratia payment to Mrs. Ivanova in sympathy for her loss. Immediately after the shooting, the USAF made a $1,000 interim payment to Mrs. Ivanova in sympathy and to defray funeral expenses. In 2007, the Department of Defense made a $55,000 ex gratia payment. 7. (U) SrA Hatfield's commander has taken significant administrative actions against him that will have long-lasting effects and negatively affect his career. [IF PRESSED] The specific nature of these administrative actions is information protected from release by the Privacy Act. The U.S. Government may not release such information without his consent. 8. (U) We should make every effort to ensure that this decision does not set U.S.-Kyrgyz relations back, as we begin a new and, I expect, positive chapter in our relationship. 9. (U) Going forward, I trust that we will both be committed to ensuring that no similar tragedy occurs in the future. Kyrgyz interpreters are now posted at all gates to facilitate interaction with local nationals; the main airfield gate is now jointly staffed with U.S. and Manas International Airport security personnel, providing joint control over access to the flight line; the USAF has trained and equipped its security personnel with non-lethal security equipment; and vehicle inspection requirements have been reduced by constructing a facility outside the boundaries of the Transit Center for trucks to off-load fuel. 10. (U) The U.S. will not make public statements on this case. The Air Force will inform SrA Hatfield soon about the disposition of the case. There is no way to prevent SrA Hatfield from speaking publicly about it, but we have no reason to believe that he will. Eventually, the Air Force may need to respond to queries on the case. End talking points. CLINTON

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 BISHKEK 001065 C O R R E C T E D C O P Y (SECURITY CLASSIFICATION CHANGED) SIPDIS STATE FOR SCA/CEN E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/21/2019 TAGS: PGOV, PREL, KG SUBJECT: LUNCH WITH MAX: SOUP TO NUTS REF: BISHKEK 1058 BISHKEK 00001065 001.2 OF 003 Classified By: Ambassador Tatiana C. Gfoeller, for Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 1. (S) Summary: In a wide-ranging lunch, Maxim Bakiyev, son of President Bakiyev, and Kyrgyz FM Sarbaev argued that the $20 million Economic Development Fund needs to be a new kind of assistance, targeted strategically toward the development of the country and its integration into the world economy. Bakiyev described Russian machinations against the U.S. and his own intelligence efforts against the Russians, complained about personal attacks on him by an organization connected to the National Democratic Institute, and stated that the Russians have not come through with the $2 billion they had promised for the Kamburata 2 hydroelectric project. Bakiyev came across as very pro-U.S., well educated, and dedicated to the betterment of his country. Of course, we have information from many other sources suggesting that he is also very dedicated to his own advancement and corrupt financial interests. End Summary. 2. (SBU) Ambassador and DCM had lunch with Maxim Bakiyev, the son of President Bakiyev and Foreign Minister Kadyrbek Sarbaev on September 18, at the invitation of the Foreign Minister. Plov, Manti and other Central Asian delicacies were served at one of the guest houses on the Presidential compound. The tone of the hosts was extremely warm and friendly, and the conversation was open and wide ranging. Russian Meddling ---------------- 3. (C) Sarbaev and the Ambassador began with a short discussion of the delivery, the day before, of the Department of Defense check for $250,000 to Marina Ivanova, the widow of the man killed in the Hatfield case. The Ambassador thanked Sarbaev for facilitating delivery of the check. Bakiyev noted that the Russians had played an unhelpful role with Mrs. Ivanova. He said they had met with her in July and tried to convince her to come out in the press again to denounce the U.S. and call again for the closing of the U.S. base. Kyrgyz officials had then met with her, he said, and convinced her that it was not in her interests to become a pawn in a fight between the U.S. and Russia. 4. (S) Bakiyev followed up by noting that the Russians play an unhelpful role in many issues. However, he said, "I have my own very good computer exper
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