Russia & Uzbekistan on Andijan

by Nathan Hamm on 6/29/2005 · 1 comment

Russia says that it knew in advance that the Andijon uprising was being planned.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said Moscow possessed information that preparations for a state coup were going on in the Uzbek city of Andizhan.

“We knew how those events were being prepared, or knew individual elements of that plan,” Ivanov told Uzbek President Islam Karimov in Moscow on Wednesday.

“An external trace is clearly visible here. This allowed us to assume an objective position on the situation in Andizhan,” the Russian defense minister said.

He described as absurd assertions that a “peaceful demonstration” was shot at in Andizhan.

Have I ever mentioned that I really don’t like this guy? If this was an attempted coup, they really screwed it up by holding it so far away from the capital that the government had plenty of time to attack.

I have the same complaint I continually have regarding Russia talking about its intelligence on Andijon. They keep saying they have it, but only speak in vague generalities and innuendos.

The AP has more details.

Putin said Russian secret services had information about militants crossing from Afghanistan into Central Asia and had warned governments in the region before the uprising in Andijan. The Russian president said he was unsure whether the information was conveyed to Karimov.

I guess it makes sense that Karimov might not have heard this from Russia because letting everyone know that militants crossed from Afghanistan through Russian troop hosting Taijikistan is like saying the sky is blue.

Putin also says that the operation was planned “several months and perhaps several years in advance from outside Uzbekistan.” It would be frickin’ awesome if he could nail down that time frame a little more, and somewhat confidence-inspiring if we had more than his good word to go on.

Meanwhile, Reuters points out that some of what Karimov said alongside Putin as being directed at the West.

“Its script writers and directors have used religious, extremist, radical forces, which they themselves describe as terrorists, whom they successfully fought in Afghanistan and who they now fight in Iraq,” he said without elaborating further.

Yesterday, I had suggested that there is value in biding our time, but the above quotation is utterly ridiculous. Not only should the Uzbek government feel the heat over it, but so should Putin for tacitly supporting it.

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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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{ 1 comment }

david_walther June 29, 2005 at 3:34 pm

Shit, I’m starting to worry about being a suspected terrorist! After all, the comments seem to be going pretty much in that direction. Journalists yesterday, now we are all working together with the CIA… not to mention you peace corps types who are obviously top level CIA operatives. Fuckin’ A… I’m starting to think it’s gonna be time to go home soon.

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