Archive of Myles G. Smith

Myles G. Smith is a project manager, consultant, and independent analyst based in Central Asia. His writing appears regularly at EurasiaNet.org, the Jamestown Foundation, and the Central Asia and Caucasus Institute. He is currently based in Kyrgyzstan, has lived in Turkmenistan and Russia and worked throughout the former Soviet Union. In the process of his work, he regularly consults a wide range of experts, officials, activists, journalists, academics, diplomats and entrepreneurs in the region. He is proficient in Russian.

Myles G. has written 12 articles at Registan.


All the King’s Horses, All the King’s Men

by Myles G. Smith

Was this really Esteemed President Gurbanguly Myalikgulievich Berdymukhamedov going telpek-over-teakettle from a beloved national treasure-horse at a staged horse race in Ashgabat last week? EurasiaNet‘s scoop footage and on-scene reportage states as fact that Berdy himself was, as announced, riding the Mighty Berkarar when the horse hit a soft spot in the dirt, buckling at [...]

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So, Uzbekistan, How Deep Does the Rabbit Hole Go?

by Myles G. Smith

Cynicism will only take you so far. Except in Central Asia, where it can take you basically anywhere. EurasiaNet has published the highly publishable speculation of local media outlets that the government and Central Bank of Uzbekistan is using a series of ‘improvements’ and ‘simplifications’ (their words) to the foreign exchange market, customs regulations, and the bank [...]

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Central Asia in 2013: What Not to Look For

by Myles G. Smith

Change seems to come slowly to Central Asia. January is the time of year that people like us brashly predict the developments that will reshape country X and fundamentally alter the course of world events. If we worked at Stratfor, we’d even be paid to have the brass to do so. I think we’ve gotten [...]

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On Kazakh-language Wikipedia, Crowdsourcing Meets Crowd Mentality

by Myles G. Smith

Over at EurasiaNet, I pointed to the heated discussion over Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales’ involvement with the Kazakh government on his user page. Heated, at least, until Wales closed off discussion on the topic of manipulation and bias in his freely-editable Wikipedia page in a curiously unironic rant: I’m closing this discussion because it has reached the [...]

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Iran-China Railroad – Tajikistan’s Latest Mega-Distraction?

by Myles G. Smith
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With work essentially stopped at Rahmon’s marquee ‘project of the century’, including thousands of layoffs of construction workers who might be wishing they had gone to Russia this summer, time has arrived for Tajikistan to come up with a replacement nation-saving mega project. Perhaps this is why we are again hearing talk of a plan [...]

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Competing Mediators in Central Asia

by Myles G. Smith
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New players are challenging Russia’s traditional position as the conflict referee and patron of first preference in Central Asia. All the others are, arguably, ‘emerging powers’, to reuse an overused phrase. China is returning to prominence after a long hiatus. Two decades of American power in the region has paid some dividends, for a high [...]

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Kyrgyzstan Elections: An Outside Observer Inside

by Myles G. Smith

I travelled to the northwestern Talas region to observe the Parliamentary Election as an accredited international observer. Most of what I saw there suggested an honest effort to hold a free vote. Good Faith Efforts The Precinct Election Committee (PEC) Chairman at my first stop was a young man of about thirty. He was described in the [...]

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Turkmenbashy Stops Turning, Sun Soldiers On

by Myles G. Smith

After 13 years of rotating as though he were carrying the Sun across the sky, Turkmenbashy’s statue atop the Arch of Neutrality stopped rotating a few weeks ago.Its almost as if the authorities wanted to be sure the Sun would continue rising and setting without the help of the 12 meter golden effigy of the [...]

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Tranquil in Bishkek? Just Wait a Week

by Myles G. Smith

With hundreds dead in southern Kyrgyzstan, demonstrating yet again the tenuous hold of the Interim Government over those regions, those of us in Bishkek are now wondering what is in store for the capital itself. The killing seems to have lost momentum for the time being. Security forces are reaching beyond Jalalabad and Osh to [...]

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The Broken End of the Circle

by Myles G. Smith

Editor’s note: This post was originally supposed to run 13 June, but got lost in the drafts folder. Many citizens of Kyrgyzstan have begun venting their anger at the Interim Government, calling it to task for alleged inaction in quelling the inter-ethnic violence in the country’s south over the past 86 hours. Posts on the [...]

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