The history of my family’s persecution by the Kazakhstan president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, goes back to the time of my son Iliyas Khrapunov’s wedding to the daughter of Nazarbayev’s political opponent, Madina Ablyazova, which took place on 16 September 2007, in the city of Almaty, the Republic of Kazakhstan.
One can say that after the wedding ceremonies, the first of which was held in Almaty, on 16.09.2007, attended by relations and friends of the bride and bridegroom’s parents, and the other, on 22.09.2007, in Switzerland’s Geneva, this time – for the newlyweds’ university coursemates, friends and other guests, the Ablyazov and Khrapunov families’ safe life came to an end.
As the wedding ceremony in Almaty was prepared and invitations sent out, Victor Khrapunov’s government colleagues invited to the ceremony started to call him, offering their apologies for not being able to attend, because they had received recommendations from Nazarbayev’s entourage that they had better not show up at the Khrapunov–Ablyazov’s wedding, for this could arouse Nazarbayev’s anger.
Still, the Almaty wedding was attended by several people from the government, representatives of president Nazarbayev’s family, those who could share their first-hand impressions with Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Bitter jokes circulated at the wedding, suggesting that the minister of emergency situations Victor Khrapunov should from now on be prepared for falling from the president’s grace because of his son-in-law, opposition politician and banker Mukhtar Ablyazv’s, views.
Indeed, after the wedding, Prime Minister Karim Masimov, beginning from early October 2007, started unfolding a plot within the government against the emergency situations minister Victor Khrapunov.
As a first step, the Prime Minister refused to grant a government program status to the project of rescuing services development designed under the emergency situations minister’s management.
This was followed by scaling down budgetary funding for the emergency situations ministry to purchase fire-extinguishing equipment ordered earlier.
Further on, Prime Minister Masimov would not allow payment to be made for an aircraft which the emergency situation ministry ordered for extinguishing fires in the course of natural disasters and eliminating hazards to residential areas.
It became clear as a result that Prime Minister Masimov’s goal was to render Victor Khrapunov-led emergency situation ministry technologically powerless in situations of possible natural disasters.
The adverse situation engineered by Prime Minister Karim Masimov for the emergency situations minister Victor Khrapunov was compounded by a slander campaign in media controlled by the president Nazarbayev’s family clan.
President Nazarbayev aimed to deliver a blow to the reputation and image of Victor Khrapunov, who, for seven years preceding the attack on him, had held first position in “The Country’s Best Mayors” annual rankings.
After the treacherous acts of president Nazarbayev, who, using the prime minister as a proxy, decided to discredit Victor Khrapunov’s many years of service for the benefit of his country, Victor thought it impossible to continue working in the team of unscrupulous Karim Masimov, who was in effect a puppet, or, to be more exact, the executor of Nazarbayev’s cunning plans.
In the morning of 29 October 2007, Victor Khrapunov wrote the Republic of Kazakhstan president Nazarbayev a notice of resignation from the post of the emergency situations minister.
At the meeting with Nursultan Nazarbayev, who, as is clear now, acted a good Samaritan, offering Khrapunov various posts directly subordinate to himself, which Victor would not accept claiming health reasons, he asked the president to accept his voluntary resignation.
After his conversation with Nazarbayev, Victor Khrapunov met with Prime Minister Masimov, who told him that a government commission meeting would be held on the same day, 29 October 2007, and he was going to inform the members of the government of Victor’s resignation.
That said, the prime minister told Victor Khrapunov “out of thoughtfulness” that he would have to speak at the meeting, criticizing Victor and that the meeting would be broadcast on the Khabar TV channel (affiliated with Nazarbayev). Because of it, the prime minister suggested Khrapunov stay away from the meeting as Masimov would feel awkward criticizing Victor in his presence.
As a man of principle, Victor Khtapunov decided to attend the meeting in order to be able to directly respond to Masimov’s critique.
As the absurdity of accusations prepared in advance was probably clear to Masimov, he decided at that point against slinging at Victor all the muck hoarded to smear him.
Masimov would later instruct his protégé Marat Beketayev, the start of whose career he secured by making him justice minister, and his other creatures, to pour down on Khrapunov this bucketful of the dirt previously concocted.
The situation with the government commission meeting was enough for Victor to take a final decision not to work any longer in a team of a chameleon saying one thing, thinking another and doing something else, a corrupt billionaire at the helm of Kazakhstan power, trampling on people’s interests, engaging in palace intrigues.