Lucky Golden handprint — one of the manifestations of the cult of the President of Kazakhstan

People happily crowded on the upper landing of the second highest building in the capital of Kazakhstan Astana. It offers a Grand view, but inside the tower is even more interesting.

Most standing in line at a small table. Here is the “Golden handshake” — or rather handprint.

Handprint of President Nursultan Nazarbayev cast in gold and put on display. The imprint has magical properties: it is said that if you put your hand and make a wish it will come true.

The President ruled autocratically

This is one of the most important attractions of the city and a demonstration of presidential personality cult, which controls Kazakhstan for many years. However, tourists who photographed the sunlit tower, the more feel the atmosphere of a pleasant summer day than political oppression.

Nursultan Nazarbayev controls Kazakhstan since the collapse of the Soviet Union. In July, he is 77 years old and he’s probably going to be a head of state for a long time.

No one seems to believe that his successor will be determined through free elections: all just talk about who the Nazarbayev chooses himself. Recently talking about his grandson.

Dissenters are persecuted

In addition to the lack of democracy, Kazakhstan is also known for its corruption and gross violations of human rights. Trade unions, journalists, civil society activists and opposition politicians are on the firing line. On questionable trials people endure sentences and placing them in prisons where they are tortured.

About the human rights violations are reluctant to talk publicly, so a pre-arranged interview on this subject was cancelled the day before. The person who was supposed to give an interview, announced that he had to go on business out of town.

©, mariusz kluzniakВнутри tower “Astana-Bayterek” in Astana

A well-known blogger and public figure Galym Baituk considers a violation of human rights serious problem. He refers, including the use of torture in prisons, and he adds that this more often practiced in neighboring Uzbekistan.

The most serious problem of the country Bitok believes corruption, which are the other problems of society. Especially he is concerned about the situation of so-called public sector. The salaries of public sector employees is extremely low, and prices are increasing rapidly.

“One of the urgent issues is how to make the voices of critics of the government were heard. For development the country needs an opposition,” says Baytok.

Bloggers do not give the politicians to relax

Galym Baituk believes in reforms and development of democracy in Kazakhstan. He believes the lever of reform the world of blogs.

“We do not allow the authorities to sleep, and I know that even the top leadership of the country reads our articles,” says Baytok.

Candidate of historical Sciences ecet of esengaraev less optimistic. According to him, in Kazakhstan there is no necessary framework for the creation of a society respecting democracy and human rights.

“If people don’t respect the law, law reform will not help,” says esengaraev.

Especially dangerous, he considers extreme forms of Islamism, as they offer quick solutions to difficult issues. In his opinion, they can have a big impact on under-educated youth.

“Unfortunately, we have not valued education, and a diploma of education,” he says.

He wants to say that a study not from a desire to gain knowledge or for curiosity, but only in order to get the “crust”.

The world, the exhibition brings together artisans on the streets


Now in Astana EXPO-2017, which changed the appearance of the city. Many artisans launched their stalls in the heart of the capital and invite foreign guests to buy their wares.

It seems that many people just came to chat with their friends. Trade is sluggish.

Shadr Sumbawa sells jewelry that she makes with her daughter. Shadr happy with the trade and says that she likes to live in this country, and she respects her leadership.

“I have everything I need. I hope that someday you will be able to go abroad to sell their products,” she says.