We have received the first four responses of Vladimir Kozlov to the questions posed by journalists and supporters of the opposition politician. At our request, Aliya Turusbekova forwarded the questions on to her spouse in the colony. Judge for yourself, whether Vladimir Kozlov has remained faithful to his convictions or not.
Time in prison flows not in the same way as outside. One can't use the internet or mobile phones and communication is carried out only through traditional letters whose delivery takes longer than it did in the XVIIIth century. That's why the first question that Vladimir Ivanovich was asked may seem outdated; so much has happened since the opposition presented its intiative to hold a referendum! However, comments on the matters which were proposed to be put to a referendum, still remain relevant.
'The current situation is dangerous'
Leaders of several political parties and movements suggested asking people's opinion on four points: membership in the Customs Union, the return to the state of strategic facilities, the construction of nuclear power plants and the election of akims of all levels. What is your standpoint on these issues?
As with all kinds of alliances, the Customs Union, should, in principle, be welcomed. - Union means friendship, and friendship is good. It is more accurate to say that this Customs Union doesn't mean friendship, but rather a vassal association, where one country is a hegemon, and the others are satellites in the areas, convenient for the Hegemon.
I am generally a supporter of verification of a 'narrative' (including political) with the use of figures. A billion-worth negative imbalance, obviously not working to the benefit of Kazakhstan, speaks of the Customs Union much better (and damningly at the same time) than any politician.
In addition, Russian and Belarusian prices for farm products are killing Kazakh farming in the border areas. It is only the owners of natural resources who are becoming richer, but for some reason there are hardly any Kazakh citizens in their group.
There is also a need to talk about the de-privatisation of strategic companies, as in the question, but, in my opinion, predominantly, we should try to apply the Ukrainian method: to make an offer to the current owners to pay them a higher price, with the difference between the price for which they were given to them, and the actual value, taking into account lost benefits over the years, inflation, etc. In the event of a denial: an offer can be made to do so to other Kazakh investors, and in the event of refusal of this offer as well, we should carry out nationalisation. Although I should make a reservation: this is a standpoint of a politician, and in such matters there is a need to have an economic argument as well.
With regard to the construction of nuclear power plants, when I was at large, I spoke against this idea, arguing that now, when the country is suffering from rampant corruption in the uppermost circles of power, such facilities mustn't be built in our country, as people are going to steal the very elements that ensure the safety of the nuclear facility.
Later, under some other authority, nuclear power plants could be built in our country. Since I spent 40 years in Aktau, where over the period of 25 years everything was operating thanks to the BN-350 reactor, it would be strange for me to think otherwise. Still, it was then the Soviet Union; the times where an official could be shot for traits that would now be considered merits.
Regarding the election of akims, this issue requires a broad discussion. We suggested this idea back in 2001-2002 in the Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan (DCK); this was one of the main proposals to the DCK president and the government of Kazakhstan.
Currently, the Kazakh government is trying to apply some unpopular measures in order to make up for the budget. These include raising tariffs, increasing the retirement age for women, cutting maternity benefits, etc. It seems that the government comprises people who are deliberately dragging the country towards a social explosion. Do you think it is sabotage of the elites, or all just a "well-thought-out" policy of the authorities?
I think that it's much simpler and sadder. The government is losing its professionalism, which is displaced by the same corruption, for which the priority issues are not knowledge and skills, but suppleness and complaisance. Hence, many act as opportunists whose primary purpose is to 'grab' and still make it to 'buzz off' as far as possible. Look where relatives of particular persons are now or in which areas they acquire property, and it will become clear to you 'who' is 'who' for the future of Kazakhstan.
And if a person does not perceive our country as his future homeland, he is not going to care about those who live in it today or who will live in it tomorrow. In our government, where the vile control the fools, we can't expect any other outcomes. And society, unfortunately, has not yet learned how to efficiently and systematically pursue its interests.
But in any case, the current situation is dangerous. The temperature and pressure are rising, and the criminal folly of the Government can be used by the 'third force'. As long as our government is dominated by the ministers who, being in their early thirties and earning millions of dollars, allow themselves to talk with people in such a stupid and arrogant manner, the threat of social unrest will remain real.
'My claims stayed on the other side of the wall'
There is a deep-rooted opinion in our society that in places of detention such conditions have been created that even a person who was neutral towards law enforcement bodies prior to his or her detention, becomes aggressive towards them. How do you perceive this notion and why would such a metamorphosis take place?
I don't have a decisive answer to this question. Places of detention, correctional camps can be 'black', 'red' and 'strict-regime' as the one where I am now. And the conditions under which prisoners are detained vary significantly depending on the facility. In general, this is a very complex topic that I now devote a lot of attention to, since I was so 'lucky' to find myself in the middle of this life - there is no other way to comprehend this life; otherwise, it will remain a puzzle to you.
Depending on the above-mentioned, i.e. on conditions, relations between convicts and the administration are established. You have to understand that our correctional camps are a place where hundreds of people are housed together, most of them are preemptively aggressive, because here, everyone has to 'stand up for himself' and anyone can take any place that he is capable of taking. It's not a place for traditional values, and, as a counterbalance to them, people create their own values. The severity of the regime and the level of arbitrariness of people in uniforms differ from camp to camp.
Here, in the 'Petropavlovk's trine', the cult of the regime, which is designed to crush aggression and its various manifestations: prevails. Here, for example, there is absolutely no alcohol or drugs - ABSOLUTELY NO SUCH THINGS! So, I will repeat myself: it is a complex topic and it deserves a more thorough approach.
As for me, I have no complaints in terms of the respect for my rights, but I hate every minute of my stay here, because I consider myself innocent. Naturally, I do not cherish affection for our law enforcement system, but all of my claims stayed on the other side of the wall, and I do have many claims.
'I don't consider myself a leader'
How do you feel about the fact that many oil workers, as the labour dispute in Zhanaozen and Karazhanbas has been developing, refused to further support their leaders, as was the case with Natalia Sokolova, and indirectly with you also?
Such decisions should be treated with understanding. When the events in Zhanaozen began, even before May 2011, oil workers had their Sokolova, who was their nerve centre. She was imprisoned in May 2011. Those who stayed after she had left, were active fighters for their rights, but they could not formulate them and do things properly. And then they were imprisoned, too. Some of them were later released, but previously they had been deprived of the spirit of leadership. Only the controlled people stayed, who are now controlled by others.
By the way, I do not consider myself a leader even in the party; I am the head. People began to call me the leader of the party only after my arrest; in general, I believe that a man should not call himself a leader, as it is not this person's decision; he may only be labelled a leader by those whom he leads, if they consider him to be one. I wasn't the leader of oil workers, even indirectly; we, upon request, provided them with informational support. This is the conceptual approach.
As for today's situation, I am unable to keep track of it in
detail and, consequently, to analyse it more thoroughly.