Kazakhstan: Information on the Russian Slavic Party and/or the Russian Orthodox Party and its leader Nikolai Borisovich Ivanov; whether the party advocates change in government through violence; treatment by authorities
|Publisher||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada|
|Publication Date||28 March 2002|
|Citation / Document Symbol||KKT38638.E|
|Cite as||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Kazakhstan: Information on the Russian Slavic Party and/or the Russian Orthodox Party and its leader Nikolai Borisovich Ivanov; whether the party advocates change in government through violence; treatment by authorities, 28 March 2002, KKT38638.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3df4be570.html [accessed 19 April 2015]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
The Research Directorate was unable to find reports mentioning either a "Russian Slavic Party" or a "Russian Orthodox Party" extant in Kazakhstan among sources consulted. Further, neither party is among the Kazakh political organizations listed in the Europa World Yearbook (1999-2001).
Several reports however associated a Nikolai Borisovich Ivanov with an East-Kazakhstan separatist organization based in Ust-Kamenogorsk (Ekspress-K 5 May 2001; Kazakhstan Daily Digest 8 June 2000; RFERL 27 Jan. 2000; ibid. 28 Jan. 2002). Called RUS' (Russia) (RFE/RL Kazakh Report 30 Nov. 1999; IANA Radionet 22 Nov. 1999), this party is reportedly led by Victor Kazimirchuk (Kazimirchik, Pugachev), a Russian national (Kazakhstan Daily Digest 12 Apr. 2000). Also referred to as "the Pugachev group" (RFE/RL 28 Nov. 1999), reportedly RUS' "planned to organize an armed rebellion. [in East Kazakhstan Oblast] with the aim of establishing an 'Independent Republic of Russian Altai'" (RFE/RL 23 Nov. 1999). IANA Radionet reports a Kazakh National Security Committee spokesperson as referring to RUS' as a "social-patriotic" organization that "gathered ... mainly ex-soldiers ... pursuing the aim of raising a Russian insurrection" (22 Nov. 1999).
With respect to Nikolai [Nikolay] Borisovich Ivanov, reports of his role in RUS' conflict where he was variously described as "the man on whom [RUS'] gambled in the plot" (Ekspress-K 5 May 2001), the "ideological inspirer of the attempt" (Kazakhstan Daily Digest 8 Jun 2000) and "one of the supporters" (RFE/RL 28 Jan. 2002). He was the subject of the following report published in Kazakhstan's Ekspress-K newspaper 5 May 2001:
At an extraordinary session, the town Ust-Kamenogorsk, eastern Kazakhstan maslikhat council has dismissed its colleague Nikolay Borisovich Ivanov from the position of deputy.
Ivanov fled to Russia following the exposure of a group of extremists led by Viktor Kazimirchuk (Pugachev) the plotters mainly consisted of Russian nationals and intended to stage a coup d'etat in East Kazakhstan Region in 2000.
Ivanov was the man on whom Pugachev's group members gambled in the plot and whom the special purpose group members hit on the head with an assault rifle butt while detaining the whole group in a secret flat.
At first Ivanov was a witness in the case but after he changed from witness to suspect, he fled. According to deputy Aleksandr Shushannikov, Ivanov is currently a journalist contributing to Moscow publications. In his talks with Shushannikov by cellular phone, Ivanov said that he had managed to become a deputy in Moscow as well and fulfilled his electors' instructions. Meanwhile, Ivanov has already missed (for inadequate reasons) three sessions, and in accordance with the law, he must be dismissed from the position of deputy.
Kazakh television station Kazakh Khabar, reported "[o]nly Nikolay Ivanov ... [was] not present among the accused" (Kazakhstan Daily Digest 8 June 2000). RFE/RL reported in 2000 that reportedly "Nikolay Ivanov- [was] in Moscow, Russia ... seeking political asylum in the Russian Federation" (28 Jan. 2000). The Research Directorate was unable to find reports of Ivanov after June 2000 among sources consulted.
According to RFE/RL, a movement also called RUS' was reportedly dissolved in Russia "a couple of years ago and had never been registered again in Russia" (RFE/RL 30 Nov. 1999). The same report noted that any connection between RUS' and the extant pro-Russian and pro-Cossack parties such as the Slavic Movement (LAD) Cossacks of Zhetysu and Upper Ertis Cossaks in the East Kazakhstan Oblast was denied by these parties (ibid.).
According to Robert Cutler, a Research Fellow with the Institute of European and Russian Studies at Carleton University, "law enforcement authorities of Ust-Kamenogorsk arrested 22 individuals" on 18 November 1999 (Turkistan Newsletter 5 Apr. 2000). Cutler noted that those arrested were "accused of conspiring to seize power by armed means with the intention of seceding ... " (ibid.). However, some, such as RFE/RL analyst Liz Fuller, raised questions concerning the official version of the group's intentions (RFE/RL Newsline 15 May 2000). She noted:
Although the Russian population [accounting for 88 per cent of the Oblast] of Ust-Kamenogorsk may well have welcomed the creation of a "Russian Altai Republic," there are grounds for querying the official version of the alleged plot to establish one. Viktor Kazimirchuk, the Russian citizen identified as the mastermind behind that scheme, had spent several months in Ust- Kamenogorsk before his arrest. During that time, he had reportedly announced his plans for overthrowing the local leadership. But the town's security officials, who are said to be exclusively ethnic Kazakhs, had inexplicably delayed taking any measures to prevent him. And the arsenal finally confiscated from Kazimirchuk and his putative co-plotters was totally inadequate for mounting an armed insurrection, comprising only two rifles, a small amount of ammunition, wooden clubs, and some Molotov cocktails (ibid.).
Even so, as the RFE/RL reported 9 June 2000, an East Kazakhstan Oblast regional court "handed own sentences ranging from four to 18 years in prison to 13 men and one woman ... [t]welve of those accused are Russian citizens, while one is Kazakh and another Moldovan." Bruce Pannier, also an analyst for RFE/RL reported that "many observers found the evidence against all of [the accused] slim" and noted that "the state produced scant evidence to back these serious charges" (ibid. 15 June 2000).
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
Ekspress-K [Almaty, in Russian]. 5 May 2001. "Kazakh Fugitive Town Council Deputy Loses Post." (BBC Monitoring 9 May 2001/NEXIS)
Islamic Assembly of North America (IANA) Radionet [Ypsilanti, Michigan]. 22 November 1999. "Ethnic Russians Attempt to Undertake a Coup in Kazakhstan."
Kazakhstan Daily Digest. 8 June 2000. "Kazakh Court Starts to Pass Sentences on Alleged East Kazakhstan Coup Plotters." (Kazakh Khabar TV/BBC) Hosted by eurasianet.org.
_____. 12 Apr. 2000. "Trail of Alleged Coup Plotters in Kazakhstan Opened, to Last Over a Month." (Kazakh Khabar TV/BBC)
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL). 15 June 2000. Features. Bruce Pannier. "Kazakhstan: Convictions of Russian 'Separatists' Upset Relations."
_____. 9 June 2000. Newsline. "Russian 'Separatists' Sentenced in Kazakhstan."
_____. 15 May 2000. Newsline. Liz Fuller. "Trail of 'Separatists' Highlights Plight of Kazakhstan's Russians."
_____ .28 January 2000. Kazakh Report. "Editor-in-Chief of HBC-Press Newspaper is Official Sued."
_____. 27 January 2000. Newsline. "Kazakh Newspaper Editor Charged With Abetting Separatists."
_____. 26 January 2000. Newsline. "Local Newspaper in Kazakhstan Linked to Separatists."
_____. 30 November 1999. Kazakh Report. "Kazakhstani Citizens React to Arrest of Terrorists in Oskemen."
_____. 23 November 1999. Newsline. "More Details Emerge of Separatist Movement in Kazakhstan."
Turkistan Newsletter. 5 April 2000. Robert Cutler. "Ethnic Russian Discontent Grows in Kazakhstan." Article Dated 13 March 2000. Hosted by Eurasianet.org
Additional Sources Consulted
World News Connection
Internet sources consulted
Kazakhstan Daily Digest
Internet search engines