https://central.asia-news.com/en_GB/articles/cnmi_ca/features/2019/07/05/feature-01
| Politics

Pro-Kremlin TV host's proposed attack against Kazakhstan riles citizens

By Kanat Altynbayev

image

Specialists discuss the threat of biological weapons to Russian citizens in this screenshot from the June 25 episode of the Russia-1 programme "An Evening with Vladimir Solovyov".

ALMATY -- A suggestion by a pro-Kremlin journalist that Russia should bomb a biological laboratory in Almaty has stirred the ire of Kazakh citizens.

Russian TV journalist Vladimir Solovyov, while on the air of state-owned television channel Russia-1, made the proposal during his talk show "An Evening with Vladimir Solovyov" on June 25 as analysts discussed geopolitics, the clash of world powers and military developments in microbiology.

During the discussion, Duma deputy Gennady Onishchenko misinformed the audience by suggesting the new laboratory Almaty was American and that work there is being done "with virtually all known viruses and microbes".

The Central Reference Laboratory in Almaty in fact belongs to the Kazakh Scientific Centre for Quarantine and Zoonotic Diseases, which is affiliated with the Ministry of Health.

image

European specialists teach Kazakh instructors the practical basics of biosafety and biosecurity at the Central Reference Laboratory in Almaty in last October. [Project 53 website]

image

European specialists teach Kazakh instructors the practical basics of biosafety and biosecurity at the Central Reference Laboratory in Almaty last October. [Project 53 website]

The role of the US government is to financially support the construction of the laboratory, which, with the help of modern and safe technologies, diagnoses infectious diseases.

Specialists of the laboratory, as part of educational projects funded by the European Union, conduct seminars and trainings on biosafety for researchers of the Kazakh Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Agriculture.

Despite the actual activities of the laboratory, Solovyov suggested it could potentially pose a threat to Russia and proposed radical measures to "solve the problem".

"How about just striking? We know where the laboratory is. Go ahead and strike," he said, apparently referring to a preemptive attack.

Onishchenko objected to the suggestion, saying Almaty has a million residents and that the laboratory is situated in the centre of the city.

"Special high-precision" weapons can be used in that eventuality, said Solovyov.

'Deformed aggressor'

Solovyov's proposal to launch a "strike" on Kazakh territory was covered by the Almaty news site Nur.kz. Kazakh readers expressed outrage at the Russian TV host's attitude and criticised him in the comments under the article.

"It's time to recognise Russian propaganda as a terrorist organisation," said one of the comments.

"The showman does everything for the Kremlin to pay [him] well," another said.

This was not the first time the pro-Kremlin TV host criticised Kazakhstan.

In April 2018, Kazakhstan abstained from voting at the UN Security Council on a draft resolution proposed by Russia that condemned coalition air strikes in Syria. The air strikes were a response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's alleged use of chemical weapons only days earlier.

Solovyov at that time made statements on his show about the problems in relations between the two countries.

"Do we not know something about our relations with Kazakhstan? Have we suddenly fallen out? Or should we expect that the next Maidan protest [anti-Kremlin movement in Ukraine] will be aimed at Kazakhstan?" he asked.

Those comments also spurred a stern reaction from Kazakhs at the time.

Kazakhstan should no longer "be friends" with such a neighbour, suggested Arman Shorayev of Almaty, founder of an organisation raising money to develop traditional Kazakh wrestling, in a Facebook post.

"Well, comrades. You do not know something about your country. You are becoming a pariah state that poisons its own citizens in Britain and innocent people in Syria with gas. You have become a deformed aggressor of a country, which takes away land from former allies. You didn’t know? You better know, we are not friends with such a country," Shorayev wrote.

The 'underbelly' of Russia

Mirlan Telebarisov, a public relations specialist and former advertising manager for the Almaty business newspaper Kursiv, drew attention to another statement made by Duma deputy Onishchenko on Solovyov's show.

"We are concerned about this underbelly, where more than 20 of the most modern laboratories have been created," Telebarisov cited Onishchenko as saying, in an apparent reference to Central Asia.

"You do not need to be an expert in human anatomy to draw a conclusion about the attitude of Russian politicians toward our region, regardless of what Moscow declares in its official statements," Telebarisov said in an interview.

The Kremlin, through its federal TV channels, is sending warning signals to Central Asian countries to reign in their independence, said Vladimir Prikhodko, an entrepreneur from Nur-Sultan.

"If Moscow does not like something in the actions of Kazakhstan, it is obvious that neither Vladimir Putin nor Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will publicly criticise it. Government TV channels do it for them," Prikhodko said.

Putin acts as if he still lives in a world where Moscow runs the Soviet republics and can control the "underbelly" countries and even use weapons on their territory at his discretion, said Prikhodko.

Political positions taken by Russian state-owned television channels are contributing to a rapid decrease in audience trust, said Bishkek-based political analyst Askat Dukenbayev.

"There is one reason: pro-Kremlin media are engaged in everything -- propaganda, manipulation, disinformation -- but not professional journalism," he said.

Do you like this article?
57
No
24 Comment(s)
Comment Policy
Captcha

Then don't be surprised if Stalin's grave is suddenly blown up with a time bomb.

Reply

Of course, that's an American lab. Where would resources come from [otherwise]? And it was built by the Red Cross.

Reply

These are the Kremlin's thoughts that its court jesters convey to us. Russia can't handle a second Ukraine, though, but [this mistake] will set free our Tartar, Bashkir, Chechen, and other brothers.

Reply

What can you expect from Vatniks [disparaging word aimed at supporters of the Russian policies]? Chauvinist scum will remain scum forever. A leopard cannot change its spots. Central Asian countries must join their own NATO led by Turkey. Otherwise, Crimea-2 will be waiting around the corner.

Reply

These scumbags will get fucking tired of striking [us]!

Reply

Keep singing nightingale, you'll bring it on yourself soon. Allah has got enough for all of you. In this short time given to you, you have gathered a good deal of coal to burn you in hell after Judgment Day.

Reply

Kazakhstan is nothing without Russia

Reply

Ukraine lives without Russia, so what???

Reply

About five million Ukrainians have left Ukraine to work abroad over the last five years :) There are around three million of them in 'bad' Russia alone :)

Reply

Let's whack Soloviev's hut in Italy

Reply

We have been living without Russia for 28 years, and we live better than you do in Russia. So, have some rest on your own. Otherwise, Ichkeria will look like a resort to you. [Ichkeria is the Chechen name of Chechnya]

Reply

Typical Russian paranoia. Those people can't trust anyone or anything. Not even themselves. Dovstoevsky explained it long ago.

Reply

I will kill soloviev

Reply

Mr. Solovyov has to be publicly denounced for promoting war and hatred between countries. The funny fact is that he quite often visits his lovely villa in Como, Italy, which does not make sense, based on his open criticism of Europe and European people. Not entirely sure why this sort of "journalist" is tolerated on international level...

Reply

By unleashing the second cold war, the Kremlin wants to involve Kazakhstan in its reckless schemes. We have managed to politely but quite clearly distance ourselves from this incendiary policy to this day. Though it seems the "hawks" are not happy even with friendly neutrality.

Reply

"Doves of Peace" were invented at the order of Mikitka the Possessed [obviously, Nikita Khrushchev]. The last "Hawk", McCain, was pecked to death and plucked............

Reply

The brazenness of Russians is through the roof

Reply

The Kremlin will bring it on itself. Central Asian republics will turn away and join the West, just like Eastern Europe did.

Reply

Ukraine and Georgia have turned away [from Russia], but unfortunately, they cannot join the West the way Eastern Europe did. Unfortunately (go figure...)

Reply

It requires time

Reply

They have problems with their territorial integrity, just like Moldova. Do you know who occupied those territories, by chance?

Reply

What if we blow Lenin's Mausoleum to smithereens

Reply

...Don't! The putrid smell of the deceased Bolshevism has spread around the globe even without that. It would be better to send the coffin with that corpse into the orbit of a faraway planet or beyond the Solar system so that it's not going to stink for the next 1,000 years...

Reply

I suggest bombing Ostankino and the set where Soloviev is working

Reply