You are right re. connections. However, the historical link to Russia won't matter. Stans is not Russian company and do not have any valuable (protection related) connections to Russia.
Few former geologists and VHIIT contract won't help. Political connections, or even connections to mob is more important to prevent "black raiders", but Stans is not that kind of company to have them. "Open and honest" often do not work in corrupt environment Kyrgystan need.
I think it is pathetic that Canadian company looking around for help everywhere, except Canadian goverment; they know, the latter is usless. Should these highly paid gov't commissioners that sitting in trade borders do something for a difference? Canada is member of G7, G20, one of the main mining countries, TSX hosts more mining companies than all other world major exchanges combined. There is some weight to throw around, some noise to make that will be listen. Kyrgyz guys saw that Canada was/is quiet when Centtera was attacked, now they are really encouraged. Stans is much easier prey.