Articles by Ilyas Omarov

Snowstorm Football Match Between Kazakhstan and Moldova Captivates Fans in UEFA Nations League

NUR-SULTAN – A real football thriller was played out by the national teams of Kazakhstan and Moldova in the qualifier to keep a place in Division C of the UEFA Nations League. Despite a raging snow storm that almost paralyzed the transport system of the Kazakh capital in the evening rush hour on March 29, the…

Kazakhstan – Ukraine: Tie is Equal to Victory

NUR-SULTAN – The national football team of Kazakhstan played a match in the qualification of Mundial 2022 with the national team Ukraine Sept. 1 in Nur-Sultan. Two teams have already met in west Ukrainian city Lviv, and then our team took one point and played a sensational tie. The Ukrainian team, which is one of…

Simply the Best: STARchenko

Kazakh athlete Roman Starchenko was named the best hockey player of the past season. The 35-year-old forward in the Kontinental Hockey League for the Barys hockey club from Nur-Sultan and captain of the Kazakhstan national team won by a solid margin. Some 19 hockey’s journalists took part in a special survey of the directorate of…

Thank you Riga, Hello Helsinki and Tampere

OSLO – The preliminary matches of the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship has become one of the most sensational in the modern history of hockey. It is pleasant to note that the national team of Kazakhstan became one of the authors of such sensations. The Kazakhstan national ice hockey team finished the world championship…

Snow Leopards Lost to Vikings, but Not Lose Hope for Playoffs

OSLO – Sport has always been interesting for its intrigue. We were convinced of this when the Kazakh national team played their final against the Norwegian team. With their own chances of advancing gone, Norway was motivated to play the role of spoiler in its last game of the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship and…

Kazakhstan Crushes Italy and Rewrites History

OSLO – In the sixth match of the Ice Hockey World Championship, the national team of Kazakhstan defeated the Italian team with a crushing score of 11-3. This result was the largest victory in the current tournament. Аnd it is very pleasant to note that this victory was won by the Kazakh team. Kazakhstan got…

Kazakhstan Gives Maple Leaves Chance to Play Offs

OSLO – On Friday the national team of Kazakhstan, after a hard fight with Canada, gives the Maple Leaves a playoff chance, losing 2-4.  Before the match, the website of the International Ice Hockey Federation published an article “Fathers and Sons” dedicated to father and son Mikhailis –  head coach Yuri and one of the…

Kazakhstan Stops Germany’s Machine at Ice Hockey World Championship

OSLO – In the fourth game of the World Championships using every weapon in its arsenal, the national team of Kazakhstan ended Germany’s winning streak at three games with a 3-2 victory on Wednesday in Riga. Pavel Akolzin scored the go-ahead goal on a late third-period breakaway. Both sides stuck with their starting goalies in…

Sports Diplomacy in the History of Independent Kazakhstan

NUR-SULTAN – Sports, along with politics, economy, and culture, is one of the main elements of the global information agenda. The performances of the best athletes at the most prestigious international competitions are important for all countries.  Kazakhstan is no exception. Kazakh athletes take part in international sports tournaments, including the Olympic Games, world championships,…

Ten HC Barys facts from 10th KHL season

ASTANA – Despite the fact that the 10th regular Continental Hockey League (KHL) Championship is not over yet, for the fans of Astana Barys it has become a mere formality, since their favourites, for the first time in history, have lost their chances for the playoffs a few rounds before the end of the regular…

Olympian Alzhan Zharmukhamedov attends ‘Going Vertical’ premiere in Astana

ASTANA – The Olympic champion of 1972 in basketball in Munich Alzhan Zharmukhamedov recently visited Astana. In the Kazakh capital, he took part in the premiere of the Russian film “Going Vertical,” which tells of the historic victory of the USSR basketball team over the U.S. team in the 1972 Olympic finals. Zharmukhamedov is the…

Barys fifth in Eastern Conference following one third of KHL matches

ASTANA – Following two games played last weekend, HC Barys Astana has completed 22 matches or more than one third of the scheduled matches of the regular Continental Hockey League’s (KHL) Championship. Barys had an impressive start this season and even occupied the first position in the KHL’s Eastern Conference for some time. Then the…

HC Barys has impressive start in KHL’s 10th season

ASTANA – HC Barys played four home games to start the 10th season of the Continental Hockey League’s (KHL) regular championship. The Snow Leopards (the team’s name translated from Kazakh) opened Aug. 24 with a win against HC Spartak Moscow. The victory came with a low “football-type score” of 2-0. The hosts backed down, however,…

Barys begins 10th KHL season with roster of fresh faces

ASTANA – Barys Astana will begin the regular season of the Continental Hockey League (KHL) on Aug. 24 without some of its key players: the snow leopards will play without longtime leader Brandon Bochenski, who has ended his storied KHL career; as well as leading centre Dustin Boyd, who moved to Dynamo Moscow. Only Nigel…

Canada Hockey Day held at Astana’s Barys Arena

ASTANA – Canada Hockey Day at the capital’s Barys Arena May 21 marked the 25th anniversary of Kazakh-Canadian diplomatic relations, 150th anniversary of Canada and 60th anniversary of ice hockey in Kazakhstan. Some senior Kazakh officials attended the festival, including First Deputy Prime Minister Askar Amin, who also serves as president of the Kazakhstan Ice…

HC Barys out of Gagarin Cup playoffs, loses in second round

The Barys hockey club, much to the regret of its large army of fans, ended its playoff runin the second round of the Gagarin Cup playoffs of the Continental Hockey League with a loss to Metallurg Magnitogorsk, the current Gagarin Cup holder. Barys lost in all four games of the series – 0:4, 4:5 (OT),…

Barys has early Gagarin Cup success, stumbles at home

ASTANA – HC Barys had a successful first round of the Gagarin Cup playoffs, beating Traktor from Chelyabinsk. For the overall victory in that series, it was enough for the “snow leopards” to play six matches, in four of which the club from Astana was stronger. Except for the first two matches in Chelyabinsk, where…

Barys Astana to Play Traktor Chelyabinsk in First Round of Gagarin Cup

ASTANA – HC Barys finished fifth in the regular season of the Eastern Conference of the Continental Hockey League (KHL) and progressed to the Gagarin Cup playoffs for the eighth time. The previous season was the only season the Kazakh club failed to make the playoffs. Barys won 90 points and will now meet HC…

Barys Nears Securing Place in Gagarin Cup Playoffs

ASTANA – With a narrow 1:0 victory on home ice over Dinamo Riga last weekend, the Barys hockey club virtually secured its place in the Gagarin Cup playoffs three rounds before the end of the regular season of the Continental Hockey League (KHL). Now, the “snow leopards” occupy the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference…

Nazarov Fired from Barys, Kazakhstan’s National Team

ASTANA – Hockey Club Barys recently terminated early the contract of head coach Andrey Nazarov. The team suffered three straight away losses at the start of a regular season at the Continental Hockey League (KHL) at the hands of Metallurg Novokuznetsk (2:4), Sibir Novosibirsk (1:5), and Avangard Omsk (1:3). The 42-year old Nazarov first headed…

President Abdel Fattakh el-Sisi: Egypt, Kazakhstan Have Good Prospects for Trade, Investment Cooperation

                                          In an exclusive interview with The Astana Times following his visit to Astana in February 2016, discussed trade, history and politics.   What have been the main outcomes of your recent visit to Kazakhstan?…

Barys Fails to Reach Gagarin Cup Playoffs for First Time in Eight Years

The Barys Astana hockey club has missed the Continental Hockey League (KHL) Gagarin Cup playoffs for the first time in eight years despite a Feb. 18 shootout victory over hockey club Avangard Omsk in the last game of the regular season.     The Kazakh team missed the playoffs by one point as, two days…

Barys Risks Missing on Gagarin Cup Playoffs

ASTANA – HC Barys Astana will host Traktor Chelyabinsk Jan. 27 in what will be the Kazakh team’s last home match in the regular season of the Continental Hockey League (KHL). During the past two weeks, Barys played four games at the Barys Arena (an informal name for the still nameless stadium), with mixed fortune.…

Win Streak Puts Barys within Shot at Playoffs, Team Ranks Seventh in Eastern Conference

ASTANA – The last week of 2015 and the first one of 2016 saw the Barys Astana hockey club winning five out of its six encounters in the regular season of the Continental Hockey League (KHL). First, the Kazakh team crushed Metallurg Novokuznetsk in an away game, 6-2. This was followed by an equally resounding…

Barys Makes Progress as KHL Season Enters Second Half

ASTANA – Having played 31 games by last weekend, Barys Astana has crossed the half-season mark in the eighth regular season of the Continental Hockey League (KHL). Only in recent weeks has Barys begun hosting games in its new arena. Still lacking an official name, it has been nicknamed Barys Arena by sport experts and…

Barys Crawls Upwards

ASTANA – While on tour in the European part of the Continental Hockey League (KHL), ex-coach of the Astana Barys Andrei Nazarov took the reins of the team again on Oct. 21 following the resignation of Yerlan Sagimbayev. The 41-year old Russian joined the team in Slovakia, where the Barys stood against local favourites Slovan…

Barys Near Bottom of KHL After 18 Games

ASTANA – Thirteen is considered an unlucky number in Russian folklore, and indeed, Barys Astana’s 13th game of this, its eighth season in the Continental Hockey League (KHL) turned out to be a bad one for the team’s coach Yerlan Sagymbayev. After going down 1-4 against Avangard Omsk on Barys’s home ice, Sagymbayev along with…

Pakistan Has Always Sought ‘Connectivity with Central Asia,’ PM Sharif Says

Ahead of his visit to Astana Aug. 25-26, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan shared his views on the potential of bilateral cooperation, issues of regional security and cooperation, the situation in Afghanistan, the fight against the so-called Islamic State, Pakistan’s cultural diplomacy as well as other issues in an interview…

Yevgeny Primakov: “Kazakhstan Is Capable of Handling Everything”

At the end of June in Moscow, people bid final farewell to Yevgeny Maksimovich Primakov, a prominent Russian politician of global significance and scholar with colossal credibility in the Russian community and international arena who died June 26. “The peacemaking activity of Yevgeny Maksimovich Primakov brought him true respect in many countries,” noted Kazakh President…

Kazakhstan Ranks 17th in Latest National Hockey Teams Ranking

ASTANA – On the heels of Kazakhstan’s return to the top echelon of hockey with its performance in Group A of the Ice Hockey World Championships earlier this month, the country has been once again ranked 17th in the world by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF). Canada, Russia and Sweden are the IIHF’s top…

Team Kazakhstan Returns to World Hockey’s Elite Division

ASTANA – Team Kazakhstan followed up its confident start at the Ice Hockey World Championships, which saw them cruise past their Ukrainian and Hungarian rivals, with a crushing defeat of Japan, a hard-fought match against Poland – and a ticket to the World Championships. The beginning of the championship ignited solid optimism among Kazakh fans,…

Kairat Almaty Wins Its Second UEFA Futsal Cup

Almaty Akim (Mayor) Akhmetzhan Yessimov met May 4 with the Kairat Almaty club to mark their second Futsal UEFA Cup win. The club claimed the cup, one of Europe’s most prestigious tournaments in Futsal, after winning the final 3:2 against FC Barcelona on April 26 in Lisbon, Portugal.  “I observed the entire game on TV…

Shavkat, My Friend

On April 30, Shavkat Rahmatullaev would have turned 66 years old. Three weeks before his birthday, a terrible disease took his life. Many, including his relatives, found out about his fatal illness only after his death.  He didn’t want his illness to bring anyone any unnecessary discomfort, this was his nature. Journalists in our country…

Hard-Earned Points for Barys

Barys Astana held a number of regular season matches in the Continental Hockey League championship on the New Year Eve and after the New Year. On Dec.25, the Christmas day, Barys played a magnificent match in Magnitogorsk with the local Mettalurg, the current holder of the Gagarin Cup, KHL’s top title. Main and additional time…

Sabina Altynbekova: Popularity Is Both a Challenge and a Gift

ASTANA – Sabina Altynbekova, 18, is a member of Kazakhstan’s women’s junior national volleyball team. She hails from the West Kazakhstan city of Aktobe. She shot to stardom in East Asia last summer, but not exactly because of her volleyball skill. Rather, Chinese fans took notice of Altynbekova’s natural beauty, which many of her new…

Professionalism, Motivation Behind Finland’s Success as Peacemaker, Ahtisaari Says

HELSINKI – As Finland celebrated the Day of the Peacemaker last month, The Astana Times interviewed former President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Martti Ahtisaari to talk about his country’s experience and his views on the role of the United Nations in the modern world. Finland’s ability to resolve conflicts is considered one of your…

Ten Achieves Personal Scoring Record, Wins Bronze at France Figure Skating Grand Prix

Kazakhstan’s famous figure skater Denis Ten set a new personal record in the short programme at the Nov. 24 regular Grand Prix in France, gaining the best evaluation in his career of 91.78 points. Ten took the points lead at the end of the first part of the programme. However, his performance in the optional…

Nadal and Tsonga Play in Astana

ASTANA – Much excitement was generated by the Sept. 24 arrival in Astana of world famous Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal and his playing partner French athlete Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. The two players held a press conference, spoke to students at Nazarbayev University and seemed surprised by the level of attention they received. They also met…

Sports Help Countries Introduce Themselves to the World, Says Sports Press Association President

BAKU – Since 1995, July 2 has been recognised as World Sports Journalists Day, designated as such at the initiative of the International Sports Press Association (AIPS). Founded on July 2, 1924, in Paris, the AIPS today comprises more than 9,500 journalists and 150 national journalists’ unions, including the Kazakhstan Sports Press Associationand 45 Kazakh…

Soviet Soldiers’ Graffiti on Reichstag Open to Public

BERLIN – After seizing the Reichstag in May 1945 and raising their flag on its roof, Soviet soldiers left their marks in other ways, writing their names, feelings, thoughts and hometowns – including Almaty – on the walls of the famous building. The flag has long since changed, but many of the inscriptions remain, including…

Kazakhstan’s Women’s Football Team Advances in World Cup Qualifier

ASTANA – In the qualifying match for the 2015 Women’s World Cup, Kazakhstan defeated Bulgaria 4-1 here on May 7. From the very beginning of the match, the visiting team was kept on the defensive and during the ninth minute, Madina Zhanatayeva opened the scoring table with a spectacular free kick that penetrated the Bulgarian…

FM Idrissov Visits Moscow to Promote Ties with Russia and Within CSTO

MOSCOW – Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Erlan Idrissov began his official visit to Russia on April 3, seeking to promote ties with the country’s northern neighbour, including with a view of the upcoming establishment of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). The visit began with Idrissov’s annual bilateral meeting with his counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, where they…

Barys Players Join KHL Stars on Ice in Bratislava

BRATISLAVA – The Continental Hockey League’s (KHL) Western Conference won the league’s All-Star game for the first time in six years, defeating the Eastern Conference 18-16 in Bratislava, Slovakia, on Jan. 11 in front of 10,000 fans. The All-Star game, which is more of an ice show than a match, featured Astana Barys stars Brandon…

Chess Princess Joins Barys at People’s Favourite Ceremony

ASTANA – Politicians, officials, business people, bohemia, and the media got together on Dec. 19 for the third annual ceremony of awarding prizes “People’s Favourite 2013”. Numerous nominations included the best politician, pop star, official, journalist, blogger, businessman, public figure, political scientist, and online media were chosen. Overall, 367 nominees competed for 14 nominations. Zhansaya…

At OSCE Meeting, Idrissov Calls for United and Equal Security in Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian Area

KYIV – Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Erlan Idrissov participated in the 20th meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in the Ukrainian capital on Dec. 5-6, urging fellow participating states to continue working towards a united and indivisible security in the Euro-Atlantic and…

Barys Among KHL Leaders Halfway through Season

Halfway through the Continental Hockey League’s (KHL) sixth season, Astana’s Barys hockey team is one of the league’s leading teams with 108 goals scored and was the first team to score more than 100 goals this season. Their success has come following early-season European tour matches against Dinamo, Moscow CSKA, Slovan in Bratislava and Lion…

Barys in KHL Top Three at Break

ASTANA, Nov. 12 – More than a third of the way into the Continental Hockey League’s (KHL) sixth season, Astana’s Barys is in third place in the league and at the head of the Chernyshev division. Going into the current break in the season, Barys has earned 52 points to lead the Chernyshev division and…

Barys Continues Successful Season with Winning Road Tour

After a strong homestand to start the season, Astana’s Barys Hockey club recently completed a successful road tour, winning three out of four away games and scoring 15 goals. Barys of the Continental Hockey League (KHL) Western Conference recently played against Donbass from Donetsk, Medveščak from Zagreb, Dinamo from Minsk and Moscow Spartak. Barys lost…

Barys Takes Lead in Eastern KHL

The Astana hockey club of Barys successfully started the sixth season of the regular championship of the Continental Hockey League (KHL). Having started with defeating “Severstal” from Cherepovets 10-1, in seven matches Barys stumbled only once, losing to the eminent SKA from St. Petersburg 2-5. This was followed by four straight wins in the third…

Astana Presidential Sports Club Launched

On the eve of the Capital Day of the, the new “Astana” presidential multi-sport club was launched. Stars of world sport Luis Figo, Oliver Kahn and Alexander Ovechkin came to congratulate the people of Kazakhstan on this great occasion. The “Astana” Presidential Club combines the best Kazakhstan sports teams. Professional cycling team “Pro Team Astana,”…

Finnish Expert Ari-Pekka Selin Becomes Head Coach of Barys

ASTANA – Astana’s major hockey team, Barys, enters this preseason with a new coach, Ari-Pekka Selin, a longtime head coach in the Finnish hockey league and previously an assistant coach on the Finnish men’s national hockey team. “Astana has made a good impression: they pay a lot of attention to hockey. For example, a new…

UN Refugees Chief Urges Stronger Cooperation in Central Asia

On the eve of the June 5 Second Ministerial Conference on Refugee Protection and Mixed Migration: Almaty Process, Antonio Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, sat down for an exclusive interview with The Astana Times to talk about the challenges his agency faces and his views on what could be done globally to address the…