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Kazakh celebrity magazine "Zhuldyzdar Otbasy-Anyz Adam" came under fire this week after its latest issue, dedicated to Adolf Hitler, hit the newsstands.
Tabloid-style celebrity magazine "Zhuldyzdar Otbasy-Anyz Adam" ("The Family of Celebrities-Legendary People") has come under fire in Kazakhstan after devoting its latest issue to Adolf Hitler.

Kazakhstan's State Agency for Communications and Information said on April 18 that is investigating the magazine for possible violation of the country's constitution and the law against "inciting social, national, tribal, racial, or religious hatred."

While the 52-page Hitler issue provides the usual biographical information and photos from the Nazi leader's life, it appears to have stirred up authorities' ire by including some flattering assessments of Hitler and his role in history.

"Hitler Isn't A Fascist" reads the headline of an article by Kazakh civic activist Naghashybai Esmyrza.

"For me, Hitler is a great personality," Esmyrza writes.

"I accept that Hitler was a dictator but he fought for the future of his country. He wanted to make people's lives better.... Hitler was criticized for experimenting with people in concentration camps. It's true he did those experiments. But that was nothing compared with what the Bolsheviks did."

The magazine has not yet responded to criticism over its Hitler issue, which was published just a few days before the Nazi leader's 125th birthday.

However, chief editor Zharylkap Kalybay had previously announced on his Facebook page that he was going to devote one of the magazine's issues to Hitler, and asked for readers' comments and questions.

On his Facebook account, Kalybay drew comparisons between what he described as growing nationalism in Russia and similar sentiments in Germany under Hitler.

He also mentioned parallels being drawn between Hitler and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"Are Putin and Hitler's activities similar in some ways?" he wrote. "We are trying to find the answer."

The private, Kazakh-language, 25,000-circulation magazine is popular across the country.

Its success and survival is attributed to staying clear of politics and political families.

The magazine's previous cover photos included well-known Kazakh actor Asaneli Eshimov, French Emperor Napoleon, and characters from a Kazakh love poem, Kozy-Korpesh and Bayan Sulu.

While the magazine has always played it safe by distancing itself from politics, chief editor Kalybay is no stranger to controversy.

Kalybay was briefly arrested in 2013 over a row aboard a "Skat" airlines plane, where he demanded that stewardesses speak only Kazakh with him.

The editor was accused of hooliganism, and spent three days in jail.

-- Farangis Najibullah and RFE/RL's Kazakh Service
Uganda - Malaria by William Daniels/Panos Picture
The Week Ahead is a detailed listing of key events of the coming week affecting RFE/RL's broadcast region.

Now on Twitter! Daily updates at @The_Week_Ahead.

MONDAY, April 21:

Armenia/Russia: Armenian National Security Council Secretary Arthur Baghdasaryan visits Moscow (to April 23).

Iran/Russia: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif visits Moscow (to April 22).

Kazakhstan/Azerbaijan: Kazakh Defense Minister Serik Akhmetov visits Baku (to April 22).

Russia: The fourth International Safer Internet Forum opens in Moscow.

Ukraine/U.S.: U.S. Vice President Joe Biden visits Kyiv (to April 22).

U.S./Kazakhstan: The Elliott School of International Affairs in Washington hosts a discussion titled "Youth in Kazakhstan: Societal Changes, Challenges, and Opportunities."


TUESDAY, April 22:

Belarus: Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka delivers the annual state-of-the-nation address before parliament.

France/CIS: Paris hosts the 14th annual Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Oil and Gas Summit.

Russia: Moscow hosts a Caspian littoral states (Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan) foreign ministers meeting.

Russia: Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev reports on the government performance to the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, in Moscow.

U.S./Belarus: Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington hosts a discussion titled "Belarus After Ukraine."

U.S./Bosnia-Herzegovina: Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington hosts a discussion titled "Change in Bosnia-Herzegovina: Mission Impossible 5?"

U.S./Russia: Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) hosts a discussion titled "Russia and the West in Crisis: Conflict and Competition in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus."

World: Earth Day.


WEDNESDAY, April 23:

Azerbaijan/CoE: Council of Europe Secretary-General Thorbjorn Jagland visits Baku (to April 24).

Azerbaijan/Spain: Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo visits Baku (to April 24).

UN: World Book and Copyright Day.

U.S./Russia: Atlantic Council in Washington hosts a discussion titled "Putin's Foreign Policy & Russia's Long-Term Interests."

U.S./Russia: Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) hosts a discussion titled "The Chechnya Counterinsurgency and Beyond."

U.S./Turkmenistan: The Elliott School of International Affairs in Washington hosts a discussion titled "Turkmenistan: Evolutions and Permanence."


THURSDAY, April 24:

Czech Republic: Prague hosts a conference titled "Eastern Partnership Five Years On: Time for a New Strategy?"

Serbia: Aleksandar Vucic takes over as prime minister.

U.S./India/Pakistan: Atlantic Council in Washington hosts a discussion titled "India-Pakistan: The Opportunity Cost of Conflict."

U.S./Russia: The Elliott School of International Affairs in Washington hosts a discussion titled "Soviet and Russian Environmental Practices."


FRIDAY, April 25:

U.S.: Atlantic Council in Washington hosts a discussion titled "Benghazi, Ukraine, and Beyond: Applying American Power in the 21st Century."

U.S./Afghanistan: The Elliott School of International Affairs in Washington hosts a discussion titled "Post-2014 Afghanistan: The US Military Exit and Political Stability."

WHO: World Malaria Day.


SATURDAY, April 26:

Iran: Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz visits Tehran (to April 29).

Ukraine: Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk is expected to meet with Pope Francis in Vatican.

World: Intellectual Property Day.


SUNDAY, April 27:

Macedonia
: Parliamentary elections and the second round of presidential election.

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About This Blog

Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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