Articles by Georg R. Vassilenko

Kazakhstan’s First McDonald’s to Open in 2016

ASTANA – For quite a long time it was uncertain if McDonald’s would appear in Kazakhstan. After many years of debate, two McDonald’s fast-food restaurants will now finally open in Astana, the capital’s Department of Architecture and Urban Planning announced.   McDonald’s fast-food restaurants are one of the world’s largest networks. Restaurants will open both…

A Touching Documentary on Children Who Defeated Cancer Filmed in Almaty

ASTANA – A film created with the assistance of the Amila public fund, which assists cancer patients, has been produced within the framework of a project for the psychosocial rehabilitation of cancer patients in Kazakhstan. The film, “I’ll water you, my flower,” is sad but at times funny. It is the story of a girl…

Kazakhstan Changes Army’s Style of Marching

ASTANA – Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev has ordered a new way the country’s soldiers should march. Nazarbayev issued a decree on Feb. 3 saying that from now on, Kazakhstan’s soldiers will march at a tempo of 95 to 105 steps per minute, with each step measuring from 60 to 70 centimetres. According to newly revised…

Story of 13-Year-Old Kazakh Eagle Huntress Girl Shown at Sundance Film Festival

ASTANA – A documentary film “Berkutchi” (Eagle Huntress) was produced about a famous Kazakh girl eagle huntress from Mongolia, Tengrinews.kz reported Jan. 26. The producer of the picture is Daisy Ridley, an actress made famous for her role in the film “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” She has published photos of the young Aisholpan Nurgaiypkyzy…

New Semey Store Accepts Payments in the Form of ‘Thank You ’

ASTANA – A new store has opened in Semey where certain customers don’t need money to make a purchase. The store called “All for Thanks” allows residents of Semey to purchase items simply by saying the words, “thank you,” reported Tengrinews.kz on Jan. 23. The opportunity to get things for free is available only to…

Samruk Kazyna Expects $25 per Barrel of Oil, 400 Tenge per Dollar Exchange Rate

ASTANA – The best-case scenario of the Samruk Kazyna National Welfare Fund is the cost of oil at $35 per barrel and an exchange rate in the range of 380 tenge per dollar, said managing director for financial operations Elena Bakhmutova. Samruk Kazyna, which manages assets worth about $50 billion, is expecting some oil price…

National Bank of Kazakhstan Chairman Speaks on Current Issues, Activities

ASTANA – National Bank of Kazakhstan Chairman Daniyar Akishev held a press conference Jan. 21 dedicated to the results of 2015, current issues of monetary policy and the bank’s activities. “In 2015, the annual inflation was 13.6 percent,” he said. “Since last year food prices rose by 10.9 percent and prices for non-food products by…

Astana-Schuchinsk Toll Road Collects $3 Million in 2015

ASTANA – In 2015, fees paid to the Astana-Schuchinsk motorway exceeded the plan and amounted to 1.142 billion tenge (US$2.98 million), reported Kazpravda.kz with reference to the press service of National Company KazAvtoZhol. The forecast amounts were exceeded by up to 13 million tenge (US$32,008). It was assumed that the amount of taxes would be…

Kazakh Alpinist Plans to Climb South America’s Highest Peak

ASTANA – Maksut Zhumayev, Kazakhstan’s most prominent alpinist who has conquered the world’s 14 eight-thousanders without oxygen equipment, wants to continue his streak of victories this year. “Climbing the highest point in South America, Aconcagua, is the plan. This peak is within my goal of the Seven Summits. It should be done in the winter,…

Kazakh President Tells Ministry of Defence to Maintain Readiness to Meet Challenges

ASTANA – President Nursultan Nazarbayev met with the leadership of the Ministry of Defence of Kazakhstan on Dec. 28 to discuss the results of the armed forces activities in 2015 to strengthen the country’s defence capacity and to enhance the troops’ combat readiness. The President noted that, despite the difficulties in the world economy and…