Kamilov (Doron), Azat Karate Association (Ashgabat)
According to a number of retired employees of the National Security Service of Kyrgyzstan (for obvious reasons, they categorically refused to be mentioned in this article) democracy is an ideal condition for espionage and espionage. A feature of Kyrgyzstan, in their opinion, is practically open espionage from Western countries under the guise of a large army of non-governmental organizations operating, but they say, with the support of major international organizations to promote pseudo-democracy.
Representatives of the non-governmental sector, for their part, dismiss any such accusations. This is what Aibek Abdurakhmanov says of the head of the Fund for Peaceful Development of the Fergana Valley: “Many people loudly declare that we are allegedly fulfilling the orders of foreign special services. It comes from the ignorance of these people. Our donors are UNDP, and work together with the Security Council of Kyrgyzstan. The main customers for research are they. However, everyone has access to this information, ranging from civil society to state bodies. In addition, these reports, studies hang on our page on the Internet. ” Another representative of the non-governmental sector, a partner in the international project Coll Zone, believes that NGOs are highly dependent on their donor. Who pays, that and orders music.
Our respondent, a former officer of the National Security Service of Kyrgyzstan, a retired colonel, confirms the above-mentioned thesis that non-governmental organizations are the perfect cover for any forces that want to spy or fight those who lead it. It is enough to obtain accreditation as a journalist or researcher of a certain institute.
Nurlan (refused to give his last name), a private entrepreneur who in the past worked for the international organization Mercy Co, said that under the guise of helping rural schools and communities, they studied the root causes in order to stir up ethnic conflict. All this is done according to him under the guise of a school of leaders and social mobilization of the population. CDI project manager Kevin Grab of the international organization Mercy Co declined to meet with us and comment. According to our experts, 90% of the so-called spy information is taken from so-called open sources. For example, you should look through local newspapers or watch TV. Talk to people on the street. And you can get some kind of holistic picture of what is happening in the country by analyzing everything heard. As a rule, this is also called the legal form of intelligence or a simple analysis of the situation.
In the opinion of ordinary people of the country in Kyrgyzstan, there is nothing secret and important, because the authorities themselves have long since discovered all their secrets, and have not acquired new ones. The government, from time to time, uses espionage charges to fight its political opponents. The first such trial balloon was released in 2004. When, on the eve of the parliamentary elections, the authorities launched a spy scandal. Several employees of several government agencies and organizations were accused of spying for the benefit of third countries. The authorities did not speak about which country in question in each particular case. Then they began to suspect everyone. The main thing, Pandora's box was open. Then most of all went to non-governmental organizations.
One of the high-ranking officers of the National Security Service, who wished to remain anonymous, spoke more diplomatically about NGOs. Literally saying that they "... do not consider non-governmental organizations as some kind of espionage centers. They have their own statutes, their goals, their licenses. The main thing is that their activities should not contradict the Constitution of the country. We welcome the activities of non-governmental organizations and their international donors, realizing that they help in the development of the civilian sector in the country. We are aware that in neighboring countries their activities are perceived ambiguously, but we are a democratic and open country, ”summed up our source.
In this barrel of honey there is a fly in the ointment. In July 2006, a serious spy scandal arose in the country between the governments of the United States and Kyrgyzstan. The National Security Service of Kyrgyzstan has accused two senior officials of the US Embassy in Kyrgyzstan of being incompatible with their diplomatic status. Officially, they were blamed for meeting with a number of NGO leaders. In particular, with Edil Baisalov, the leader of the NGO Coalition of Kyrgyzstan. Baisalov has long been known in the country, not as the leader of one of thousands of non-governmental organizations, but more as a politician. Headache of the authorities. The leader of the most politicized non-governmental organization. Then the US State Department asked three NSS officers who were in the United States for a professional internship to leave the country within 24 hours. The spy scandal between the two countries reached its apogee. Still, a little bit, and the relations of the two countries would have significantly deteriorated. Then they made up, pretending that nothing had happened. But then “unexpectedly” one of the employees of the American military base “Manas” disappears in the center of the capital. Then, it also appears unexpectedly, as if nothing had happened. But, already in Kant. According to her, her abductors are unknown persons. This story is also covered in mystery. No one knows what really happened to her.
As for neighboring countries, according to former SNB officials, espionage activities against Kyrgyzstan are also being carried out by neighbors. But, this is a closed topic. Although, retired employees of the National Security Service recognize that the countries of the region are passively monitoring the activities of some non-governmental organizations and journalists. However, no one is particularly willing to discuss this issue in the open. Human rights organizations of the countries accuse the special services of Kyrgyzstan of cooperation and complicity with the special services of neighboring countries. Representatives of the National Security Service categorically reject accusations that they are condoning the activities of the special services of other countries in Kyrgyzstan, stressing that Kyrgyzstan is a sovereign state and the National Security Service stands guard over the state security of the country, and it does not condone the activities of the special services of other countries in Kyrgyzstan, but works with them when it comes to country security. So, according to them, it was in the case of the extradition of four citizens of Uzbekistan, to the official Uzbek authorities, who were hiding in Kyrgyzstan under the guise of refugees because of the Andijan events.
“We cooperate with our colleagues in the region when it comes to transnational crime, the fight against drug trafficking and international terrorism. All information about the requests goes to the Central Office of the National Security Service, which analyzes all the information received, and then gives a decision on how it sees the cooperation. What was mentioned above, ”says our source in the National Security Service.
The whole irony of espionage in Kyrgyzstan is that the former employees of the National Security Service themselves, most of whom now work as consultants and experts in numerous branches of international institutions and organizations, speak about it most of all. And, as a rule, such "experts" are not advertised. They know the local specifics best of all, they are well versed in local customs and traditions, they are well versed in the mentality and psychology of the local population.
Spy mania for Turkmenistan is the same inalienable attribute as the cult of personality and the anti-Semitism of the authorities, raised to the absolute. At the end of his life, the late president became so afraid of all sorts of “spies” that he turned the whole country into one big zone with a limited mode of movement even for the citizens of the country, control of foreigners passed all reasonable boundaries, and for this purpose a special service was created with the authority to conduct investigative and operational activities.
However, it all started back in the early 90s a little differently. Saparmurad Niyazov himself, then not Turkmenbashi, warmly welcomed the correspondents of the Turkmen service of Radio Liberty and signed a memorandum in which he spoke about the possibility of radio correspondents working on the territory of Turkmenistan and about broadcasting the Turkmen service of Freedom-Azatlyk to Turkmenistan, stressing in every way the importance of undertakings. But time passed and it was staff and freelance employees of Radio Liberty, as well as their interviewers, who became the main designated “spies” of the Turkmen state. As soon as someone gave an interview to Azatlyk, he and his family were persecuted and accused of espionage. It came to the point that Oululsapar Muradova, a Azatlyk correspondent, died in prison in 2006.
Like any other totalitarian regime, the Turkmen regime also did not escape the temptation to use the “spy” label and the bogey of the “subversive work” of the “subversive centers” to fight opponents, almost always without any relation to the special services of any state. Yes, this is understandable. There is practically nothing in Turkmenistan that could be of serious interest for the attention of the special services, but the violations committed by the authorities and which they tried to hide in every possible way were a dime a dozen. So, at first, all critics of the state system, even potential ones, were squeezed out of the country. Then they began to work for journalists and public activists, “blackening the Turkmen reality,” of course, “on the instructions of the subversive centers.” The manic confidentiality of everything and everything led to a stupor in the workflow, even a small official correspondence carried the stamp "copying is prohibited." Control over telephone conversations has become a matter of state importance, and quoting telephone conversations among officials has become one of Niyazov’s favorite hobbies. At all intersections of central streets, office buildings, crowded places, primarily in the bazaars, surveillance cameras were installed. “So that the fly does not fly,” Niyazov said then. The number of visas issued to foreigners to enter Turkmenistan has been reduced to a minimum, and all those who entered have immediately found themselves under the vigilant control of the special services. And contacts with foreigners have become equated with treason. Foreign diplomats accredited in the country themselves strongly advised members of various delegations who arrived at various conferences: “We kindly ask you not to contact the local people, this is very dangerous for them”. And the special “Registration Service for Foreign Citizens” created was removed from the subordination of all departments and subordinated personally to the president and, at his request, provided him with a weekly report on the number of foreigners who entered and left. Zeal in controlling their own citizens led to an incident that has no analogues in the world. The registration service for foreign citizens was entrusted with issuing passports for ... citizens of Turkmenistan. And this rule is enshrined in law - in the law "On Migration".
An interesting detail. Many details of the Turkmen policy cuisine were available and remain so for several journalists and political scientists outside Turkmenistan, both when Niyazov was in power and after he left. Paranoid espionage, which put the whole society under control, did not stop the leaks from the government itself and the presidential administration. What can I say, if I learned about Niyazov’s death in the world two hours after it, when it was announced to the people of Turkmenistan only twelve hours later. And about fraud in the Turkmen economy, corruption organized by Niyazov himself did not speak and wrote only lazy, but with such details that outsiders could not know about it. One by one, the arrested top officials were charged with espionage and working for foreign special services, and information about the kitchen of Turkmen politics continued to appear. Already the government has changed almost completely, and the “spies” are all working. In power.
And let no one be deceived by the broad "democratic" gestures of the new leadership of Turkmenistan after the death of Turkmenbashi. All spy hunters remained in business, moreover, many were promoted, having seconded "to protect human rights" to the country's parliament and other state bodies. So one of the Turkmen dissidents Farid Tukhbatullin found out in the new chairman of the Human Rights Committee of Turkmenistan on human rights, Juma Jumayev ... a man who arrested and interrogated him, being an investigator of the National Security Committee (KNB). According to Mr. Tukhbatullin, 4 years ago, the mentioned parliamentarian did not shine with either knowledge or human rights practice and developed the “Tukhbatullin case”, including as a case of “espionage”. And such people are appointed by the new government as shepherds of law enforcement. For the authorities, there is simply no difference between one committee and another. Rashid Meredov, who was re-appointed to the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs, and in the rank of Deputy Prime Minister, received a serious boost. A kind of international lawyer of the Niyazov regime, who became famous for exposing the hirelings of foreign "subversive centers" in the person of human rights organizations and Radio Liberty. This Goebbels and Vyshinsky Turkmen policy at one time brought the OSCE Conference participants to shock by their heart-rending cry of “terrorists in the hall”, pointing to members of the Turkmen opposition and human rights activists invited as official participants. And it was he who introduced into the use of the Turkmen Foreign Ministry completely untied wording as “foreign centers”, “renegades” and other rhetoric of the 30s-40s.
What about Turkmenistan? Having proclaimed the principle of neutrality and non-interference in the internal affairs of other states, the authorities should have completely stopped the temptation of their officers to conduct special operations against other countries. But it was not there! Having become famous for their good-neighborly relations with the Afghan Taliban, the Turkmen authorities, in fact, overlooked the activities of their representatives in the country. It was just wonderful to watch a picture of the Taliban walking around and around the corner from the American Embassy in Ashgabat. At the same time - at the end of 2001, up to the end of 2003, the Turkmen special services maintained close contacts with representatives of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), whose emissaries through Afghanistan constantly visited their Turkmen curators. Although by that time both the IMU and the Taliban were recognized by the international community as terrorist organizations. And what about the special operations of the Turkmen special services in Russia, where they staged a real hunt for Turkmen dissidents and oppositionists? And this already goes beyond espionage and qualifies as a terrorist activity on the territory of another state.
Spy mania is an indispensable tool of the dictatorship, as well as a cover for the mirage of the need for a powerful intelligence apparatus, i.e. for the employment of former KGBists and their children. But the main thing for the dictatorship, the "presence of spies" allows convincing the people of the need for a repressive system, which, in the absence of real spies, makes spies for human rights activists and opposition politicians. The same picture is observed in other countries of the dictatorship: Uzbekistan and Belarus. The most interesting thing is that there are no objects, targets for espionage activities in the countries of the former USSR (except Russia). Coordinator of the international association of independent democrats against the authoritarian regimes