19 july 2018

Central Asia news

THE BIG PICTURE COLUMN by Toni Michel. Central Asia’s Self-Defeating Anti-Terrorism Efforts

THE BIG PICTURE COLUMN by Toni Michel. Central Asia’s Self-Defeating Anti-Terrorism Efforts

31.01.2018 17:59 msk Analytics Business Politics Religious life Central Asia Afghanistan Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Tajikistan Turkmenistan Uzbekistan

While strengthening border security can help prevent the Afghan conflict from spilling over into Central Asia, sustainable solutions to the out-of-control domestic radicalization processes in the region are much harder to find. And it is precisely here that Central Asia’s anti-terrorist measures are often counterproductive. In fact, the region’s political and economic makeup is further conducive to the rise of domestic extremism.

THE BIG PICTURE COLUMN by Toni Michel. The Myth of Clans in Central Asian Politics

THE BIG PICTURE COLUMN by Toni Michel. The Myth of Clans in Central Asian Politics

19.01.2018 15:38 msk Analytics Central Asia Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Tajikistan Turkmenistan Uzbekistan

Political Science is usually quite good at figuring out the main power players and relevant structures in the political systems of most countries. Those of us who are interested in Central Asia, however, will encounter an utterly incredible mess in the analysis of the political processes in the region. Mostly, the confusion centers around the term “clan” – a term that is so overused that it has been deprived of any clear meaning. This has led to a certain mystification of Central Asian politics around such poorly defined structures with little regard for the differences between clans, tribes and regional elites. So, this week, let us look at what clans really are, what their role is and if they are so special after all.

THE BIG PICTURE COLUMN by Toni Michel. The State of Democracy in Kyrgyzstan

THE BIG PICTURE COLUMN by Toni Michel. The State of Democracy in Kyrgyzstan

09.01.2018 22:06 msk Analytics Politics Central Asia Kyrgyzstan

Shortly before Kyrgyzstan’s Presidential elections in October 2017, the prominent American analyst Ian Bremmer interviewed President Almazbek Atambayev in a long article for TIME Magazine and introduced Kyrgyzstan as a “genuine democracy in a part of the world that doesn’t have any.” Atambayev himself got plenty of praise as well: he came to power six years ago, “inheriting a country with weak institutions dominated by kleptocrats. It still doesn’t have many resources, but it now has plenty of committed democrats, among them Atambayev. In fact, he’s preparing to step down after a single term as president, as laid out in the country’s constitution.”

The ISIS project is more than a sect. Fergana News interviews the expert on the dangers of the caliphate for Russia and Central Asia

The ISIS project is more than a sect. Fergana News interviews the expert on the dangers of the caliphate for Russia and Central Asia

04.01.2018 16:22 msk Analytics Politics Religious life Interview Central Asia Afghanistan

One of the main issues on the world agenda of the outgoing year is the fight against the terrorist threat. The success of the international forces in countering the so-called "Islamic State" (the banned terrorist organisation "the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant", ISIL, IS, ISIS in English, or "Daesh" in Arabic) in Syria can be considered only a local and intermediate victory in this struggle. How serious are the concerns about the redeployment of IS forces to Afghanistan and the establishment of a new stronghold of the caliphate there, what threats to Russia and the countries of Central Asia are real, and what are - imaginary, how not to turn the fight against terrorism into witch-hunt - Fergana News has asked these and other questions from expert of the Centre for the Study of Modern Afghanistan, the head of the Analytical Group "Accents", political scientist Andrei Serenko.

Boxing Day Package: A week in Central Asia at a glance

Boxing Day Package: A week in Central Asia at a glance

27.12.2017 14:19 msk Analytics Business Politics Central Asia

Preparations for Christmas festivities had left no time to follow all developments in Central Asia, and here we have made the digest of the most critical updates in the region.

20 dollars caliphate. How militants recruit children and youth in northern Afghanistan

20 dollars caliphate. How militants recruit children and youth in northern Afghanistan

13.12.2017 09:44 msk Analytics Religious life Central Asia Afghanistan Tajikistan Turkmenistan Uzbekistan

There are numerous reports from the northern provinces of Afghanistan about the arrival of well-equipped militants, who do not hide their belonging to the IS terrorist group (the banned terrorist organisation "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant", ISIL, ISIS or IS Eng., "Daesh" Arab.) The Fergana News correspondent talked with residents, authorities, and learned the details of what is happening in the provinces of Balkh, Jowzjan and Faryab.

General Dostum returns. Who supports who?

General Dostum returns. Who supports who?

22.11.2017 00:49 msk Politics Central Asia Afghanistan

Contradictions among various political groups in the northern Afghan province of Balkh have been exacerbating. These developments are happening against the backdrop of rumours about the possible return of the vice-president of Afghanistan, the leader of ethnic Uzbeks, General Abdul Rashid Dostum, to the country, and unofficial reports about the resignation of the governor of Balkh, the influential politician, ethnic Tajik, Atta Mohammad Noor.

Uzbek actress Nargis Abdullaeva recalls her journey to Moscow

Uzbek actress Nargis Abdullaeva recalls her journey to Moscow

16.11.2017 00:24 msk Interview Central Asia Russia Uzbekistan

It is difficult to catch up with Nargis Abdullaeva—she has a lot of work and trips to make around the country. Abdullaeva is a theatre and film actress, an acting teacher and director living in Russia. A few years ago she was the leading actress at the famous Tashkent theatre “Ilkhom.” As a girl, Abdullaeva was forced to radically change her life and come to Moscow, where she faced all sorts of problems faced by migrants, but she achieved her goal and returned to the acting profession. How did all of this happen to her? Read the next report published under a joint project of Fergana News and Deutsche Welle entitled, "Migrant in Russia. Habitat.” The report is dedicated to immigrants from Central Asia, who live and work in Russia.

Who is helping IS strengthen its position in northern Afghanistan?

Who is helping IS strengthen its position in northern Afghanistan?

14.11.2017 23:49 msk Politics Religious life Central Asia Afghanistan Tajikistan Turkmenistan Uzbekistan

In the northern provinces of Afghanistan—Sar-e Pul and Balkh—the positions of the militants of the so-called "Islamic State" are visibly strengthened. Muhammad Zahir Wahdat, the governor of the Sar-e Pul province, told a Fergana News correspondent that Daesh is trying to expand its presence in all districts of the province. The governor also asserted that there are districts in which the administration is the official power during the daytime, but nightfall brings the authority of Daesh. According to the official, local ethnic Turkmen and Uzbeks are now actively replenishing the ranks of the group. Active recruitment is being carried out, mainly in the districts of Kush Tapa and Sayad. According to the governor, the province administration has repeatedly informed NATO in northern Afghanistan and the central government of the country, but the centre does not provide sufficient assistance.

Russia’s migrant phobia primarily a political, ideological phenomenon: Sergei Abashin

Russia’s migrant phobia primarily a political, ideological phenomenon: Sergei Abashin

10.11.2017 00:08 msk Analytics Politics Migration Interview Central Asia Russia

On the eve of the centenary of the October Revolution, the Central Asian Analytical Network (CAAN) is returning to the question surrounding the administrative and territorial demarcation of Central Asia. In a conversation with the political scientist Raffael Sattarov, well-known Russian historian, ethnologist and anthropologist, Sergei Abashin, will shed light on some dark corners of the region’s Soviet period and reflect upon current questions that define the relationship between Russia and the Central Asian countries, most prominently nationalism, labour migration and post-Soviet integration.

Does Turkmenistan possess military might to counter influx of militants?

Does Turkmenistan possess military might to counter influx of militants?

08.11.2017 22:52 msk Analytics Politics Central Asia Afghanistan Turkmenistan

Over the past year, as the "Islamic State" has ceded its positions in Syria and Iraq, the architects of the world caliphate are said to be stepping up their activity in Afghanistan. In summer, the U.S. military reported it had liquidated three ISIL field commands in that country, and later the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that somebody had been transferring Islamic militants to Afghanistan using light helicopters without identification marks. At the same time, the decreasing defensive capability of the neighbouring Turkmenistan, which began, according to various sources, in the first half of 2010 could lead to the gradual penetration of the terrorist organisation into the territory of this post-Soviet republic. And Ashgabat's close and friendly relations with Afghan authorities could only simplify and speed up this process.

Flamenco in Central Asia!

Flamenco in Central Asia!

29.10.2017 22:50 msk Analytics Central Asia Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Tajikistan Turkmenistan Uzbekistan

Emotions, tirades, passion, sharp gestures, stomping, hot fever! I would add “flamenco”, but it is not Catalonia striving for independence from Madrid. Another week rich with symbolic events in Central Asia is over, yet the picture remains obscure. The leadership of this region is reluctant to express its real emotions and feelings, but decisions show who they truly are, paraphrasing a popular fiction writer.

Half of Everything or Facta, Non Verba

Half of Everything or Facta, Non Verba

23.10.2017 09:26 msk Editorial Business Politics Central Asia Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Uzbekistan

Central Asia is surely East - culturally or geographically. But, how much politically? Legally speaking countries of the regions are not khanates or empires, but republics established by the Soviets. And, yes, being a part of communist Russia they used to be "East Europe". Newly sovereign leaders declared their adherence to international obligations, while despotism is still a dominating option of state ruling in the region. Probably, it is their totalitarian communist heritage that resists learning new tricks.

Is Uzbekistan opening? Tashkent will host OSCE Central Asia media conference

Is Uzbekistan opening? Tashkent will host OSCE Central Asia media conference

14.07.2017 22:21 msk Analytics Human Rights Politics Central Asia Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Tajikistan Turkmenistan Uzbekistan

The 19th Central Asia media conference named “Open Journalism in Central Asia” organised by the office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media will be held in Tashkent on 18-19 October 2017. It is expected that participants, “including journalists, representatives from governments, civil society organisations and academia from Central Asia and Mongolia along with international experts will discuss current challenges to media freedom in Central Asia and Mongolia” including “current trends in news media distribution and challenges related to the digital and increasingly mobile environment, and how to better safeguard media freedom whilst combatting hate speech,” as well as “the latest media freedom developments and best practices,” the OSCE website informs.

Kansas City Shuffle of Central Asia. Editorial by Ernest Zhanaev

Kansas City Shuffle of Central Asia. Editorial by Ernest Zhanaev

06.07.2017 21:32 msk Editorial Analytics Central Asia

This month of June brought us a contradictory timeline. Some governments are gaining a popular weight among ordinary citizens, while others are ignoring a wider opinion and a common sense. Any outsider can be lured by honeyed promises, finely drawn charts, glittering buildings from the future. Find optimists and ruin them with a reality.

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