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Viewing cable 09BISHKEK700, KYRGYZ ELITE FAWN OVER PRESIDENT'S SON

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09BISHKEK700 2009-06-30 11:11 2011-02-18 00:12 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Bishkek
Appears in these articles:
http://rusrep.ru/article/2010/12/08/kirgizia_02/
VZCZCXRO2310
OO RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHLH RUEHNEH RUEHPW
DE RUEHEK #0700/01 1811122
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 301122Z JUN 09
FM AMEMBASSY BISHKEK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2394
INFO RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 3152
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1439
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO BRUSSELS BE
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 3487
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2873
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORP
RUMICEA/USCENTCOM INTEL CEN MACDILL AFB FL
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BISHKEK 000700 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR SCA/CEN 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/30/2019 
TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR ECON KG
SUBJECT: KYRGYZ ELITE FAWN OVER PRESIDENT'S SON 
 
BISHKEK 00000700  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
Classifie...

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BISHKEK 000700 SIPDIS DEPT FOR SCA/CEN E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/30/2019 TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR ECON KG
1. (C) SUMMARY: Much of Kyrgyzstan's political and business elite gathered to celebrate the opening of presidential son Maxim Bakiyev's new hotel at Lake Issyk Kul on June 20. The private event featured pop stars from Moscow and Europe, plenty of alcohol, and a raft of bodyguards. Maxim was clearly the center of attention, even as some grumbled behind his back about his domination of Kyrgyzstan's economy. Russian Ambassador Vlasov moved through the crowd like a trusted friend. END SUMMARY AN OFFER YOU CAN'T REFUSE -------------------------
2. (C) Kyrgyzstan's political and business elite gathered on the shore of Lake Issyk Kul the evening of June 20 to celebrate the opening of presidential son Maxim Bakiyev's new hotel, the Vityaz. Emboff was unexpectedly included in this event of approximately 200 people after traveling to Issyk Kul with the Director of the State Agency on Sports, Aleksandr Voinov. Voinov said he was required to make an appearance at the opening of the hotel along with others in the government of ministerial rank, as well as members of parliament and oblast governors. Voinov claimed that leading businessmen had been "invited" to buy invitations to the event for $10-15,000 to finance the opening. Voinov commented that "government officials and businessmen could in principle refuse to attend, but then their jobs and business interests would be in jeopardy."
MAXIM AT THE CENTER -------------------
3. (C) The main focus of the event was not the hotel, which nearly all attendees commented was done shoddily and in poor taste, but Maxim and his entourage. Maxim arrived at a nearby airport in his private plane, traveled to the hotel in a large motorcade with police escort, and moved around the party itself with eight bodyguards. Maxim mingled among the guests with his official wife Aijana (he is well known to have another girlfriend) on one side and Prime Minister Igor Chudinov on the other. Neither Aijana nor Chudinov looked happy to be there.
4. (C) Many businessmen appeared eager to curry favor with Maxim, and waited in nervous anticipation for the person they called "the boss" to arrive. The businessmen stood at attention when Maxim came near, but many then made snide comments after he moved on. One businessman asked: "What kind of country are we living in when all of us, including poor Igor (Chudinov), have to kiss up to the son just to stay in business?" Several businessmen said they had been asked to spend the night at this hotel as a sign of support, but chose to stay elsewhere, feeling that they had done enough by showing up for the dinner and concert. Voinov commented that Maxim may well need his security detail after taking over the businesses of so many people in the country.
 THE FEW THAT DID FIT IN -----------------------
5. (C) A number of the guests appeared quite at ease with Maxim. Perhaps the most high profile of the guests was AsiaUniversalBank (AUB) Chairman Mikhail Nadal, who acted like the second host of the party, loudly toasting with the men and making advances at the women. He took a group of people to watch him swim in the lake, where his bodyguards followed him into the water.
6. (C) Russian Ambassador Vlasov blended seamlessly with the Kyrgyz political and business elite, telling stories, asking questions, downing vodka toasts, and dancing to pop music. BISHKEK 00000700 002.2 OF 002 Many of the guests treated him as a trusted friend. One Kyrgyz Member of Parliament ran up to Vlasov, saying "We got the order directly from the American President. So it's going to happen (the Manas airbase staying), but you should know it's all about the money. There's nothing we can do at this point." Vlasov did not seem surprised, but answered sharply: "I know it's about the money, but I want to see all the details of the money."
 COMMENT -------
7. (C) This slice of Kyrgyz elite interaction seems to confirm what we have heard elsewhere about the dominant role of Maxim Bakiyev in the Kyrgyz economy, although the amount of grumbling from some in attendance might indicate that any loyalty is thin. Even otherwise loyal officials like Voinov complained that the President is letting his son get away with too much -- and that these excesses will hurt the family and country in the end.
LITZENBERGER