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Unlucky If Your Surname Is Aliev

Rakhat Aliev
Rakhat Aliev
Last week, we reported that Kazakhstan's "Rakhat-TV" is changing its name to "STV" -- not of course anything to do with renegade black sheep, Rakhat Aliev.

It seems that the drive to de-Rakhat-ify society continues apace.

One Kazakh television station, Khabar, which was once part of Aliev's business empire, omitted the patronymic -- Rakhatovich -- when covering presidential grandson Aysultan Nazarbaev taking an oath at Britain's Sandhurst military academy last week.

Aysultan is the second son of Rakhat Aliev and Darigha Nazarbaeva, the president's daughter.

In October last year, former minister and current rector of Kazakhstan's National Art Academy, Arystanbek Aliev, officially changed his surname to Mukhamediuly and told journalists that he is no relation to Rakhat Aliev.

Aliev has been at odds with Nazarbaev since 2007. Last year he was tried in absentia and sentenced to 40 years in jail for treason, extortion, and abduction.

He's since been living in Austria and has published a tell-all book about his time close to the president.

His marriage with Darigha Nazarbaeva has also been annulled, also in absentia, and as he says, without his consent.

-- Kazakh Service

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