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Arms Sold:

Litening

Semser SPH

LYNX

Skystriker

Companies:

Verint Systems

NICE Systems

Israel Military Industries

Soltam Systems

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Kazakhstan

Introduction:

Israel and Kazakhstan maintain close economic, diplomatic and military ties. Since 2007 cooperation was developed around armament modernization programs, artillery rockets, UAVs, simulators, command and control systems, advanced communications, and air defense radar systems. Kazakhstan and Israel signed a security cooperation agreement in 2014 that formalized military and defense industry ties between the two nations. There is also evidence of the usage of Israeli surveillance technologies and spyware by Kazakhstan.

Israel – Kazakhstan Relations:

Israel and Kazakhstan established diplomatic relations in 1992.  Several bilateral bodies have been established, including the Kazakh-Israeli joint governmental commission on trade and economic cooperation and the Israel-Kazakhstan Chamber of Commerce and Industry. 

Kazakh farmers, managers, scientists and medical workers have been trained in Israel.

President Nazarbayev visited Israel in 1995, 2000 and 2013[1]. Israel’s president visited Kazakhstan several times. Israel’s prime minister Netanyahu visited Kazakhstan in 2016 and met with president Nazarbayev. They talked about economic cooperation as in cooperation in spheres of investment, innovative technologies and agriculture.  He took part in a Kazakh-Israeli business forum in Astana. [2]

Little comprehensive data exists in open sources regarding the total volume of bilateral trade between the two countries because figures from Israeli official sources exclude strategically sensitive energy imports and defense exports. The actual scope of trade between Israel and Kazakhstan is higher than published, due to Israel’s oil imports from Kazakhstan, which are excluded from official records.[3] Kazakh oil exports cover 15-25 percent of Israel’s oil needs. [4]

Military relations:

Defense relations between Kazakhstan and Israel began in 2001. Kazakhstan was identified by SIBAT as a potential trade partner.[5] Israeli companies as Elbit, IAI, IMI and Gilat Satellite Networks have participated in the Kazakhstan Defense Expo (KADEX) trade fairs in 2010 and 2012. [6]

In 2007 cooperation was developed around armament modernization programs, artillery rockets, UAVs, simulators, command and control systems, advanced communications, and air defense radar systems.

With the assistance of Israel defense companies IMI, Soltam Systems and Elbit, Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Defense developed its indigenous defense industry to manufacture three modern artillery systems that incorporate advanced sensor technology, utilizing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) both for target acquisition and post-conflict assessment.[7] The Israeli contracts, besides providing for joint production of the new armaments, included training personnel to service the new artillery systems. The new artillery systems are not solely for Kazakhstan’s internal use, as Astana intends to export the armaments to the countries of the former USSR as well, reportedly supplying “several fully equipped artillery brigades” to its Central Asian neighbors.[8]

Defense ministers of Kazakhstan and Israel signed a security cooperation agreement in 2014 in Tel Aviv. The agreement formalized military and defense industry ties between the two nations. Regarding military equipment, both sides agreed to cooperate in unmanned systems, border security, command-and-control capabilities and satellite communications.[9] There are also reports for the delivery of 17 crowd control vehicles, manufactured by the Israeli company Beit Alpha Technologies in a factory in Turkey, to Kazakhstan.[10] [11]

A large investigation by Privacy International in 2014 uncovered that two Israeli companies, NICE Systems and Verint Israel, have supplied monitoring centers to Kazakhstan’s KNB. The monitoring systems allow unchecked access to citizens’ telephone calls and internet activity on a mass and indiscriminate scale. [12] [13] Also, the spyware Pegasus by the Israeli company NSO Group has been reportedly used in Kazakhstan.[14] In 2018 the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) has signed an agreement with Kazakhstan’s new stock exchange to supply and set up cybersecurity protection systems.[15]

Usage of Israeli Arms:

Cardom 120mm mortar – In use by ground forces of Armed Forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Used with the designation: Aybat.

Semser 122mm SPH – In use by ground forces of Armed Forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Lynx MRL – In use by ground forces of Armed Forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Used with the designation: Nayza.

Extra (guided rocket) – used on Lynx MRL.

Sandcat – used with designation: Alan

Litening III – used on Sukhoi SU-27 combat aircraft in the Kazakhstan Air Force.

Surveillance Systems by Verint and NICE Systems – Kazakhstan used this electronic surveillance technology to spy on activists and journalists in the country, and exiles abroad. Agencies in Kazakhstan use distributed monitoring nodes known as Punkt Upravlenias (PUs) to conduct surveillance. Placed strategically throughout the country, including oil-producing region Aktobe and populous Almaty, PUs collect and decode audio information and IP data on an automated basis, before presenting the information to the agencies through a handler interface. The installation of these nodes was tendered to local companies but was likely marketed and supplied by foreign surveillance companies.[16]

Violations of Human Rights:

Kazakhstan’s political structure concentrates power in the presidency. President Nazarbayev, was the country’s leader between 1989-2019. In snap presidential elections on June 2019, former Senate speaker Kassym-Jomart Tokaev won. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) declared the vote was marred by “significant irregularitires”[17]. The country has never held an election judged to be free or fair by Europa and the U.S. [18] In the four days after the 2019-election, 4000 people were detained (677 were sentenced to imprisonment) for protesting the vote. Other protests against growing Chinese investments resulted in dozens of arrests and 100 people that were detained. According to human rights activists and media, police and special forces indiscriminately detained those in the protest areas, sometimes with bodily force, including passers-by, senior citizens, and journalists.[19]

According to HRW and Amnesty International, Kazakhstan heavily restricts freedom of assembly, expression, speech and religion, Government critics, including opposition leaders were detained. Opposition leader Vladimir Kozlov, that has been designated by Amnesty International as a “prisoner of conscience” was imprisoned for 4 years, he was released in 2016. In 2016 rights activist Max Bokaev was unfairly jailed for peacefully protesting. He is serving a five-years sentence.[20]

In 2019 alone, according to HRW there were 54 detentions, arrests, convictions, or limits on the freedom of journalists.[21] The government limited freedom of expression and exerted influence on media through a variety of means, including detention, imprisonment, criminal and administrative charges, laws, harassment, licensing regulations, and internet restrictions.[22]

Minority religious groups continue to be subjected to fines and detention for violating restrictive religion laws. In 2006 the authorities evicted Hare Krishna followers from their homes. OSCE defined the action as a “targeting on the basis of religious affiliation”. [23] A legislation in 2011 shuttered some two-thirds of “nontraditional” religious groups in the country. [24]

Sales Records Table:

Download as XLS or PDF or view the Google-Doc

Product
Company
Year
Deal Size
Comments
Source
Monitoring surveillance system
Verint, NICE Systems
2014
for Kazakhstan’s KNB
https://www.privacyinternational.org/press-release/1186/privacy-international-uncovers-widespread-surveillance-throughout-central-asia
10 Litening III targeting pods
2007 (2009-2010)
for SU-27 combat aircrafts
Sipri
50 EXTRA artillery rockets systems
IMI
2007 (2008-2009)
for LYNX launchers
SIPRI
Armored riot vehicles
Beit Alpha Technologies
2006
$1m
https://www.themarker.com/dynamo/cars/1.393393
20 Sandcat composite armored vehicles (APV)
2017 (2018-2019)
produced in Kazakhstan as ALAN
Sipri
18 Cardom 120mm mortars.
Soltam Systems
2007 (2008-2009)
part of $120m deal
Kazakh designation: Aybat
Sipri
6 Semser Self-Propelled Howitzers (SPH)
Soltam Systems
2006 (2008-2009)
part of $120m deal
manufactured by local Kazakh companies.
Sipri
18 LYNX (MRL) launchers.
IMI
2006 (2008-2009)
$30m
Kazakhstan designation: Nayza
Sipri
Skystriker drones
Elbit
2019
https://www.kazakhstannews.net/news/258962761/israel-sells-skystriker-suicide-drones-to-azerbaijan
Skylark I-LEX drones
Elbit
2015 (2019-2020)
Kazakhstan
production in Kazakhstan
https://www.janes.com/article/92870/kazakhstan-to-begin-producing-elbit-uavs-in-2020, https://dronecenter.bard.edu/files/2019/10/CSD-Drone-Databook-Web.pdf

1. ^ https://besacenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Israel-and-Kazakhstan-Assessing-the-State-of-Binational-Relations.pdf

2. ^ https://astanatimes.com/2016/12/israeli-prime-minister-visits-astana-strengthens-ties/

3. ^ https://besacenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Israel-and-Kazakhstan-Assessing-the-State-of-Binational-Relations.pdf

4. ^ https://besacenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Israel-and-Kazakhstan-Assessing-the-State-of-Binational-Relations.pdf

5. ^ https://besacenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Israel-and-Kazakhstan-Assessing-the-State-of-Binational-Relations.pdf

6. ^ https://besacenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Israel-and-Kazakhstan-Assessing-the-State-of-Binational-Relations.pdf

7. ^ https://jamestown.org/program/israeli-kazakh-cooperation-grows/#.UqRliMQW2So

8. ^ https://jamestown.org/program/israeli-kazakh-cooperation-grows/#.UqRliMQW2So

9. ^ https://astanatimes.com/2014/01/kazakhstan-israel-strengthen-military-cooperation/

10. ^ https://www.972mag.com/the-kibbutz-that-sells-riot-control-weapons-to-war-criminals/

11. ^ https://whoprofits.org/global-presence/kazakhstan/

12. ^ https://www.privacyinternational.org/press-release/1186/privacy-international-uncovers-widespread-surveillance-throughout-central-asia

13. ^ https://www.haaretz.co.il/captain/net/.premium-1.2490797

14. ^ https://citizenlab.ca/2018/09/hide-and-seek-tracking-nso-groups-pegasus-spyware-to-operations-in-45-countries/

15. ^ https://www.jpost.com/jpost-tech/business-and-innovation/tech-talk-hello-kazakhstan-549415

16. ^ https://www.privacyinternational.org/press-release/1186/privacy-international-uncovers-widespread-surveillance-throughout-central-asia

17. ^ https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2020/country-chapters/kazakhstan

18. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/11/kazakhstan-president-early-election-nursultan-nazarbayev

19. ^ https://www.state.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/KAZAKHSTAN-2019-HUMAN-RIGHTS-REPORT.pdf

20. ^ https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2020/country-chapters/kazakhstan

21. ^ https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2020/country-chapters/kazakhstan

22. ^ https://www.state.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/KAZAKHSTAN-2019-HUMAN-RIGHTS-REPORT.pdf

23. ^ https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/24/AR2007072402310.html

24. ^ https://www.uscirf.gov/sites/default/files/Tier2_KAZAKHSTAN.pdf

Kazakhstan

Israel and Kazakhstan maintain close economic, diplomatic and military ties. Since 2007 cooperation was developed around armament modernization programs, artillery rockets, UAVs, simulators, command and control systems, advanced communications, and air defense radar systems. Kazakhstan and Israel signed a security cooperation agreement in 2014 that formalized military and defense industry ties between the two nations. There is also evidence of the usage of Israeli surveillance technologies and spyware by Kazakhstan.

Israel and Kazakhstan established diplomatic relations in 1992.  Several bilateral bodies have been established, including the Kazakh-Israeli joint governmental commission on trade and economic cooperation and the Israel-Kazakhstan Chamber of Commerce and Industry. 

Kazakh farmers, managers, scientists and medical workers have been trained in Israel.

President Nazarbayev visited Israel in 1995, 2000 and 2013[1]. Israel’s president visited Kazakhstan several times. Israel’s prime minister Netanyahu visited Kazakhstan in 2016 and met with president Nazarbayev. They talked about economic cooperation as in cooperation in spheres of investment, innovative technologies and agriculture.  He took part in a Kazakh-Israeli business forum in Astana. [2]

Little comprehensive data exists in open sources regarding the total volume of bilateral trade between the two countries because figures from Israeli official sources exclude strategically sensitive energy imports and defense exports. The actual scope of trade between Israel and Kazakhstan is higher than published, due to Israel’s oil imports from Kazakhstan, which are excluded from official records.[3] Kazakh oil exports cover 15-25 percent of Israel’s oil needs. [4]

Defense relations between Kazakhstan and Israel began in 2001. Kazakhstan was identified by SIBAT as a potential trade partner.[5] Israeli companies as Elbit, IAI, IMI and Gilat Satellite Networks have participated in the Kazakhstan Defense Expo (KADEX) trade fairs in 2010 and 2012. [6]

In 2007 cooperation was developed around armament modernization programs, artillery rockets, UAVs, simulators, command and control systems, advanced communications, and air defense radar systems.

With the assistance of Israel defense companies IMI, Soltam Systems and Elbit, Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Defense developed its indigenous defense industry to manufacture three modern artillery systems that incorporate advanced sensor technology, utilizing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) both for target acquisition and post-conflict assessment.[7] The Israeli contracts, besides providing for joint production of the new armaments, included training personnel to service the new artillery systems. The new artillery systems are not solely for Kazakhstan’s internal use, as Astana intends to export the armaments to the countries of the former USSR as well, reportedly supplying “several fully equipped artillery brigades” to its Central Asian neighbors.[8]

Defense ministers of Kazakhstan and Israel signed a security cooperation agreement in 2014 in Tel Aviv. The agreement formalized military and defense industry ties between the two nations. Regarding military equipment, both sides agreed to cooperate in unmanned systems, border security, command-and-control capabilities and satellite communications.[9] There are also reports for the delivery of 17 crowd control vehicles, manufactured by the Israeli company Beit Alpha Technologies in a factory in Turkey, to Kazakhstan.[10] [11]

A large investigation by Privacy International in 2014 uncovered that two Israeli companies, NICE Systems and Verint Israel, have supplied monitoring centers to Kazakhstan’s KNB. The monitoring systems allow unchecked access to citizens’ telephone calls and internet activity on a mass and indiscriminate scale. [12] [13] Also, the spyware Pegasus by the Israeli company NSO Group has been reportedly used in Kazakhstan.[14] In 2018 the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) has signed an agreement with Kazakhstan’s new stock exchange to supply and set up cybersecurity protection systems.[15]

Cardom 120mm mortar – In use by ground forces of Armed Forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Used with the designation: Aybat.

Semser 122mm SPH – In use by ground forces of Armed Forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Lynx MRL – In use by ground forces of Armed Forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Used with the designation: Nayza.

Extra (guided rocket) – used on Lynx MRL.

Sandcat – used with designation: Alan

Litening III – used on Sukhoi SU-27 combat aircraft in the Kazakhstan Air Force.

Surveillance Systems by Verint and NICE Systems – Kazakhstan used this electronic surveillance technology to spy on activists and journalists in the country, and exiles abroad. Agencies in Kazakhstan use distributed monitoring nodes known as Punkt Upravlenias (PUs) to conduct surveillance. Placed strategically throughout the country, including oil-producing region Aktobe and populous Almaty, PUs collect and decode audio information and IP data on an automated basis, before presenting the information to the agencies through a handler interface. The installation of these nodes was tendered to local companies but was likely marketed and supplied by foreign surveillance companies.[16]

Kazakhstan’s political structure concentrates power in the presidency. President Nazarbayev, was the country’s leader between 1989-2019. In snap presidential elections on June 2019, former Senate speaker Kassym-Jomart Tokaev won. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) declared the vote was marred by “significant irregularitires”[17]. The country has never held an election judged to be free or fair by Europa and the U.S. [18] In the four days after the 2019-election, 4000 people were detained (677 were sentenced to imprisonment) for protesting the vote. Other protests against growing Chinese investments resulted in dozens of arrests and 100 people that were detained. According to human rights activists and media, police and special forces indiscriminately detained those in the protest areas, sometimes with bodily force, including passers-by, senior citizens, and journalists.[19]

According to HRW and Amnesty International, Kazakhstan heavily restricts freedom of assembly, expression, speech and religion, Government critics, including opposition leaders were detained. Opposition leader Vladimir Kozlov, that has been designated by Amnesty International as a “prisoner of conscience” was imprisoned for 4 years, he was released in 2016. In 2016 rights activist Max Bokaev was unfairly jailed for peacefully protesting. He is serving a five-years sentence.[20]

In 2019 alone, according to HRW there were 54 detentions, arrests, convictions, or limits on the freedom of journalists.[21] The government limited freedom of expression and exerted influence on media through a variety of means, including detention, imprisonment, criminal and administrative charges, laws, harassment, licensing regulations, and internet restrictions.[22]

Minority religious groups continue to be subjected to fines and detention for violating restrictive religion laws. In 2006 the authorities evicted Hare Krishna followers from their homes. OSCE defined the action as a “targeting on the basis of religious affiliation”. [23] A legislation in 2011 shuttered some two-thirds of “nontraditional” religious groups in the country. [24]

Download as XLS or PDF or view the Google-Doc

Product
Company
Year
Deal Size
Comments
Source
Monitoring surveillance system
Verint, NICE Systems
2014
for Kazakhstan’s KNB
https://www.privacyinternational.org/press-release/1186/privacy-international-uncovers-widespread-surveillance-throughout-central-asia
10 Litening III targeting pods
Rafael
2007 (2009-2010)
for SU-27 combat aircrafts
Sipri
50 EXTRA artillery rockets systems
IMI
2007 (2008-2009)
for LYNX launchers
SIPRI
Armored riot vehicles
Beit Alpha Technologies
2006
$1m
https://www.themarker.com/dynamo/cars/1.393393
20 Sandcat composite armored vehicles (APV)
Plasan
2017 (2018-2019)
produced in Kazakhstan as ALAN
Sipri
18 Cardom 120mm mortars.
Soltam Systems
2007 (2008-2009)
part of $120m deal
Kazakh designation: Aybat
Sipri
6 Semser Self-Propelled Howitzers (SPH)
Soltam Systems
2006 (2008-2009)
part of $120m deal
manufactured by local Kazakh companies.
Sipri
18 LYNX (MRL) launchers.
IMI
2006 (2008-2009)
$30m
Kazakhstan designation: Nayza
Sipri
Skystriker drones
Elbit
2019
https://www.kazakhstannews.net/news/258962761/israel-sells-skystriker-suicide-drones-to-azerbaijan
Skylark I-LEX drones
Elbit
2015 (2019-2020)
Kazakhstan
production in Kazakhstan
https://www.janes.com/article/92870/kazakhstan-to-begin-producing-elbit-uavs-in-2020, https://dronecenter.bard.edu/files/2019/10/CSD-Drone-Databook-Web.pdf