President Kurmanbek Bakiev’s son and head of one of the country’s top fiscal bodies was scheduled to arrive in Washington, D.C. on April 7 for meetings with U.S. officials. Those meetings have since been called off.
When I went to the Kyrgyz embassy yesterday (see my last post), the man who answered the door said he didn’t know if the first son was in town or not.
Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Kadyrbek Sarbaev did make it to Washington, as confirmed by State Department spokesman Philip Crowley. He, too, was to attend the cancelled meetings.
As for Maksim Bakiev, Crowley said, “We believe he is in Washington.” He had no further details.
But the younger Bakiev did make something of a public appearance today. In cyberspace.
Livejournal, one of the Russian-language blogosphere’s leading platforms, showed that a user named “maksimbakiev” had created a profile today, and has posted two entries.
The first was a link to his father’s defiant interview with Ekho Moskvy.
The second, posted just minutes later, was a statement allegedly written by the deposed president himself.
In it, Bakiev Sr. writes, “I am ready to take responsibility for my guilt in the tragic events taking place if my guilt is proven by objective and impartial investigation.”
Describing himself as “the guarantor of the Constitution,” the president also denounces the violence and looting in the country, urges calm, and says that “destabilization” at the hands of the opposition leaders will be punished.
While Maksim Bakiev may have appeared online, his physical whereabouts is still unknown.
The location listed on the Livejournal profile of “maksimbakiev” is New York, and yet the times of his two postings are 18:04 and 18:10.
When I read them, the time was only 11:00 on the East Coast of the United States.
The mystery continues.