14 december 2017
Central Asia news
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.
Two wild cases, but unfortunately characteristic for Turkmenistan, occurred in a short period in different parts of the republic. Women, one of whom is 76 years old, and the other is slightly less than 68 years old, were viciously attacked. On the night of 28 to 29 October in Dashoguz, somebody threw stones in the windows of Khalida Izbastinova's flat shattering them. Two weeks later, on 14 November, in Ashgabat, Soltan Achilova was attacked in broad daylight. The "fault" of the first woman is that she is the mother of a Turkmen opposition and human rights activist, and the second is the correspondent of the "Azatlyk" Radio ("Freedom") banned in Turkmenistan.
Kazakhstan ignores one of the main world trends - intolerance of sexual harassment in the workplace. As if in contrast to the events taking place in the West, where the careers of passionate celebrities collapse one by one, Kazakhstani victims of harassment remain practically unprotected. No one can turn the tide even if the individual has been recognised as a victim of harassment at the international level.
In Western Kazakhstan, religious parents are suing the Ministry of Education: their daughters are not allowed to attend schools because they wear headscarves. Officials, representing a secular state, admit the possibility of a cross-claim - the failure to comply with parental responsibilities. Why is it important at all, do the girls wear headscarves in school or not, and what do parents and teachers think - Fergana News tells.
Exactly ten years ago, the financial world first in Kazakhstan, and then in Italy, actively discussed a somewhat unusual transaction for those times. Strange, however, more likely for Kazakhstan - for the first time a big western company with a worldwide reputation acquired a private commercial bank in Kazakhstan. The Kazakh press optimistically referred this transaction to "Deal No. 1 for the entire banking sector of a young country," expressed confidence that it is "an indicator of the maturity of the Kazakh banking system and its attractiveness to the world market," and also promised a comfortable future to other local second-tier banks. After all, the precedent is created, and it is quite possible that, if desired, another buyer, as generous as the Italians, would appear. It seemed like an idyllic picture: create a bank and then sell it at a higher price to Western partners...
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.
Russia and Turkey have finally agreed on the sale of S-400 surface-to-air missile systems by Russia to Turkey. Russian state corporation Rosteh’s General Director, Sergei Chemezov, said in early November, that the contract value for the delivery of S-400 "Triumf" anti-aircraft missile systems (NATO reporting name: SA-21 Growler) to Turkey exceeds $ 2 billion. More precisely, Ankara will pay about $ 2.5 billion for the purchase of four S-400 battalions, two of which will be assembled in Turkey. The Russian anti-aircraft missile systems will be purchased for a loan of Russian money; a pledge has already been made. Deliveries of the S-400 systems to Turkey will begin within the next two years.
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.
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.
14.11.2017 23:35 msk
The government of Turkmenistan has been urged to "immediately respond" to the United Nations and the family of Boris Shikhmuradov about the fate of the former foreign minister and first deputy prime minister. Boris Shikhmuradov was sentenced to life imprisonment on December 30, 2002 for his alleged involvement in the assassination attempt of the then President Saparmurat Niyazov.
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.
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.
"We are shocked. It’s a real nightmare. We cannot understand why he did it."
Well-known blogger, journalist, public activist, and Economics teacher Hayotkhon Nasreddinov has been in custody for more than two weeks in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The arrest of Nasreddinov took place around 20 October, a little less than a month after the arrest of journalist Bobomurod Abdullayev. What is this: a new ‘witch hunt’?
On 31 October, a terrorist attack ruined Halloween in New York. A 29-year-old man at the wheel of a rented truck drove at high speed onto a bike path running along the Hudson River, driving several blocks while crushing random passers-by and bicyclists. Then the pickup truck crashed into a school bus transporting children with disabilities, injuring several bus passengers. The culprit, with cries of "Allahu Akbar!", jumped from the truck, holding a paintball gun and a pellet gun in his hands. Arriving at the scene, police opened fire on him, wounding him in the abdomen. The suspect was hospitalised, underwent an operation, and afterwards interrogated. In all, eight were killed and 15 injured as a result of the terrorist attack.