Kyrgyzstan

Russian Strategy – WTF?

by Nathan Barrick

Is Russian Strategy warlike – true or false? Russia’s strategic deployment and bombing campaign in Syria appears to have surprised and shocked many observers, including Russia watchers.  It shouldn’t have. The uproar is all about Russian aggression and expansionism.  Pundits decry Putin’s alleged attempt to re-create the Soviet Union.  The descriptors of Putin and Russia […]

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“Rumors of My Death”

by Nathan Barrick

Where is President Putin?  Will he show up on Monday the 16th to meet Kyrgyzstan President Almazbek Atambayev in Saint Petersburg, or will that meeting be canceled too? Quite a bit of speculation abounds as to the whereabouts of Russia President Vladimir Putin.  The serious questions began to be posed after President Putin suddenly canceled […]

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Road of Sorrow – Trafficking and Ethnicity on the Pamir Highway

by Stephen M. Bland
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Beginning in the Kyrgyz second city of Osh, the Pamir Highway – the second highest international road in the world – runs the length of Tajikistan and down through Uzbekistan before terminating in Afghanistan. Ninety tonnes of heroin is trafficked through Tajikistan each year, much of it passing through the poverty stricken, self-governing Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous […]

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Understanding the Implications of the Ukraine Crisis

by Nathan Barrick

I’m disturbed by the short-sightedness of media analysis of the events in Ukraine, even as they begin to explore deeper – they are trapped by their own previous reporting and I hope they feel guilty enough about it to start getting it right…not likely. I am also annoyed at the U.S. government’s public analysis and […]

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The Illusion of Choice: Kyrgyzstan and the Customs Union

by Reid Standish
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Kyrgyzstan’s accession into the Customs Union is being hotly debated as the “Accession to the Customs Union: advantages and disadvantages” business forum convened in Bishkek on January 29. At the moment, three states are members of the union: Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. The goal of the Customs Union is to create a common market that […]

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Influence: The Bogeyman of Simplified Strategic Understanding

by Nathan Barrick

Many times I have been asked to assess whether one nation or another is “increasing influence,” usually to categorize as “good” or “bad” developing events for someone with little time or understanding of the situation. Frequently, the right answer – “It depends…” – has to be discarded due to an enforced sense of urgency that […]

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The Gold Rush: Kyrgyz version [Updated]

by Alisher Abdug'ofurov
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Last week seven demonstrations took place in Kyrgyzstan. Five of them were related to the Kumtor gold mine. The events in Karakol attracted the most attention. The riots began in Karakol during a demonstration on October 7, when protesters took hostage Emilbek Kaptagaev, the Governor of the Issyk-Kul region. The participants of the demonstration demanded […]

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Echo Rossii, Part 2

by Alisher Abdug'ofurov

As I have already written previously, the influence of Russia is still strong in the Central Asian republics despite their independence. Many laws adopted in Russia are quickly adopted in Central Asian countries, too, with so few changes that the main one is changing the title of the legislation from “Russian Federation…” to “…Kyrgyz Republic” […]

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Central Asia and the Syria Crisis: Assessing the Value of Strategic Partnership with the U.S

by Nathan Barrick

With world attention justifiably focused on the potential for U.S.-led punitive strikes against Syria for President Asad’s alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians, it is worth a momentary glance to survey Central Asia’s equities in the issue.  For many world governments, including in Central Asia, the issue is less about Syrian civilians dying by […]

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Law and Order in Atambayev’s Kyrgyzstan

by Reid Standish
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To say that Kyrgyzstan has been riddled with controversy lately would be an understatement. Protests in the Issyk-Kul region spiraled out of hand over the foreign-owned Kumtor mine and in response, a state of emergency was temporarily declared. Moreover, on June 6, one of Kyrgyzstan’s Deputy Prime Ministers, Shamil Atakhanov, resigned following a scandal over the […]

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