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No. 20 (20) December 2005
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THE AUTHORS
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Oleg Panfilov,
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Dmitry Alyaev,
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Adil Dzhalilov,
Kazakhstan,
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a diamond stylus,
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Nargis Zokirova,
Tajikistan
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Lyudmila Burenkova,
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Elena Dorokhova,
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Fatal body
Turkmen security officers in the first circle
Rasul Beckham
Ashgabat is cleaning again. Lieutenant-General Annageldy Gummanov, a former Minister of National Security (MNS), copied the fate of all his four predecessors — the direct appointees of President Saparmurad Niyazov (ruled the country since 1985 and has been empowered for life for six years).

Gummanov was in the dock when he was Deputy Foreign Minister, although an experienced HR officer, who had been hardened by students in the Russian Federation, lost his supreme post at the MNS, he had recently lost an internship in Turkey, last December, not having been in the chair of the MNS for one year. Neither the authorities of Turkmenistan reported anything about the reasons for the detention, nor about this fact. This was announced by the Turkmen Helsinki Foundation (THC), which was persecuted by more than partial on the part of the MNB and, remarkably, when Gummanov himself was. At one time, nothing leaked from the presidential palace and the fate of Major General Batyr Busakov and Colonel General Poran Berdiyev, who, again, according to reports of human rights activists, are also behind bars and few people know about their real fate. As well as about the once influential Mohammed Nazarov, who, unlike his successors, was deprived of military regalia, was forced to resign, convicted and imprisoned for a 20-year term under 13 criminal articles with wide publicity, albeit behind closed doors.

A special case

The 51-year-old Nazarov was too significant a figure, a long-liver in power - for seven years he headed the Turkmen KGB, introducing his employees into almost all ministries and departments. Everything was accomplished with the sanction of the head of state, who appointed him as his adviser to coordinate the activities of the "siloviki". Under Nazarov, the special services recovered considerably — by a thousand people at the expense of the state of the Interior Ministry, and they ended up with about two and a half thousand people, exceeding the number of presidential guards. “The time of the KGB has passed. It was in the USSR it was a superstructure. The KNB, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Prosecutor General’s Office, the border guards should all work on their own, ”Niyazov stressed when he made serious compromising evidence against Nazarov’s KNB during the times. Particularly accusatory was the speech of Poran Berdiyev, who was then at the helm of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, then replaced Nazarov. He indignantly recalled that the KNB officers threw drugs at his employees and put them in jail “without trial”. The KNB after it experienced the most extensive cleansing in the cohort of regular officers. Dozens were imprisoned, the Supreme Court of Turkmenistan found them guilty of premeditated murders, premeditated severe injuries, abuse of office, illegal detentions and arrests of citizens, corruption, and smuggling of narcotic drugs. With a general rush, it would seem that they did not hide the details that are ordinary for the Asian regimes. One of the deputy chairmen of the head of the KNB owned a private hotel, possessed significant land lots and two large mansions. They promised to distribute all this to "mere mortals."

Outwardly, nothing foretold a hurried "changing of the guard." On the sidelines, Nazarov was called the “second person in the state” and even predicted even greater power in the future. These ambitions, which “heated the ears” of Nazarov to his entourage during domestic feasts, caused an unexpected departure of the “Great”, as the court singers of “Turkmenbashi” call from the “summit without ties” of the CIS heads of state, which was held in the rays of the Chimbulak ski resort in March 2002. What our colleagues in the shop whispered there is one can only guess, but the Turkmen president for a long time lost the desire to leave his patrimony unattended.

Shortly before the CIS summit in November 2001, the American consulting and research foundation Eurasia shared a sensation with journalists: a source close to the White House leaked about a plan allegedly being prepared by the Kremlin to eliminate the Turkmen leader. In Chimbulak, Niyazov tried to prove the opposite. His favor was valued dearly: the country of which he runs possesses the world's reserves of natural gas. And in general, for the other heirs of the USSR, it was more understandable - it felt like party hardening.

Big change

A year after the prophecies in November 2002, the world, through the mouth of Niyazov himself, found out about the attempted assassination of his life. He called the customers, the Foreign Ministry suspected of involvement of some Russian politicians, where at that time representatives of the so-called opposition wing, mainly consisting of the former nomenclature, were hiding. The noticeable figure of Boris Shikhmuradov, the former foreign minister and the ambassador in Beijing, also loomed on this list. Now, he, like a number of his comrades, is serving his life sentence at Ashgabat. However, suspicion of the National Security Committee, hastily renamed the MNS, remained with Niyazov "seriously and for a long time."

The top of the MNS changes once a year, or even in half a year and its backbone more and more are ambitious young people from the field. Recently, by presidential decree, the Ahal velayat (region) in the structure of the MNS was charged with overseeing a guy who apparently does not even have thirty. The head of Turkmenistan commented the meantime on replacing the next chief in the MNS: Gummanov was dismissed - for “softness”, Busakov “for inexperience”, Berdyev “for excessive restraint”. At the same time, all of them were employed on the orders of the president, who is in the Foreign Ministry, who is in any other state service.

It is well known that all of them were thoroughly selected before being appointed to the MNS - the pedigree was checked to the seventh generation and all were not from the last echelon of power. For example, the young Busak was the bodyguard of Turkmenbashi, Gummanov was in charge of the border service. “The situation with the frequent change of leadership of the Turkmen law enforcement agencies, the reasons for this and the peremptory persecution of officials sent to places of deprivation of liberty is reminiscent of the period of Stalinist repression in the USSR,” the TCF states.

Paradox, but true. Competition among those who wish to enter the Military Institute, which has a separate department of special services, after all these dramatic shuffles does not become less, and the French construction company Bouygues began to build the monumental building of the Academy of the Ministry of National Security. And there is for whom.
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