fredag 21. januar 2022

‘His family robbed the country’: personality cult of ex-Kazakh leader crumbles

Walking through the home-town museum built to honourNursultan Nazarbayev, the former Kazakhstan president who built a personality cult around his rule, there are few signs of the anger that swept across the central Asian country earlier this month.

Visitors to the imposing three-storey building in Shamalgan are treated to a maquette of the house where the young Nazarbayev grew up, a Mercedes that was part of his presidential motorcade in a glass box in the museum’s grounds, and family artefacts including a suit worn by his brother.

Shamalgan, where Nazarbayev was born in 1940 and grew up in the shadows of the snow-capped Tian Shan mountains, is an hour’s drive from Kazakhstan’s biggest city, Almaty, and at first sight not much sets Shamalgan apart from the other poor villages in the area where much of the young people have left to find work.