Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Kalmykia Update

It's time for a Kalmykia update. Jotman previously reported on Kalmykian involvement in oil and gas exploration in Myanmar. Recently, Britain's Independent newspaper probed the personality of Kalmykia's leader:
Mr Ilyumzhinov's office set three interview dates but cancelled them all at the last minute. As a substitute, it provided a copy of his 1998 autobiography,The President's Crown of Thorns, a strange mix of cod philosophy and stream-of-consciousness reminiscences. One chapter is entitled "Without me, the people are incomplete". Another is charmingly headed "It only takes two weeks to have a man killed".

Among the stranger claims of Mr Ilyumzhinov is his insistence that he was abducted by aliens in September 1997. "I was taken from my apartment in Moscow to this spaceship," he said in a recent television interview. "We went to some star. After that I said, 'Please bring me back' because the next day I had to go to Kalmykia and then to Ukraine, and they said 'No problem, Kirsan, you have time'." He rejects the idea that these claims make him appear to be a few pieces short of a full chess set. "I'm not a crazy man. From the United States every year more than 4,000 people are contacted in such a way. It's an official statistic."