19 november 2017

Central Asia news

With rockets for Erdogan Turkey risks losing allies

With rockets for Erdogan Turkey risks losing allies

16.11.2017 22:48 msk Business Politics Russia Turkey, Republic of

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.

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.

NYC Halloween terror attack suspect’s relatives express shock, disbelief

NYC Halloween terror attack suspect’s relatives express shock, disbelief

07.11.2017 18:38 msk Analytics Politics Religious life Uzbekistan

"We are shocked. It’s a real nightmare. We cannot understand why he did it."
Ferghana News journalists and their Moscow colleagues visited the area near the Tashkent house of the parents of Sayfullo Saipov, the terror suspect in the Halloween attack in the United States. Saipov’s school headmaster, market sellers, director, and a policeman were all unwilling to talk about their former neighbour, and to discuss his terrible act. "A good boy, polite, brought my children to a music school. No beard, no religious conversations." "His leg was pulled in America, such people do not hurt other people, they do not kill people. Very sorry for him," they said.

What do we know about alleged NYC Halloween terrorist Sayfullo Saipov

What do we know about alleged NYC Halloween terrorist Sayfullo Saipov

02.11.2017 21:27 msk Analytics Politics Religious life Migration Uzbekistan

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.

Ten years ago our colleague Alisher Saipov fell victim to murder. Museum telling his story opens in Osh today

Ten years ago our colleague Alisher Saipov fell victim to murder. Museum telling his story opens in Osh today

25.10.2017 23:02 msk Human Rights Politics Kyrgyzstan Uzbekistan

A museum dedicated to life and murder of a young and prominent journalist Alisher Saipov opens its doors in the southern capital of Kyrgyzstan, Osh city, where ten years ago, on 24 October, two bullets, the assassin shot at the journalist, stopped his independent voice. It is a separate room in the house where the family of Alisher collected his personal belongings. On the hanger hangs a suit in which the journalist was on the day of the murder. Here you can see the books that Alisher liked to read, his photographic equipment, university degrees, certificates, copies of the newspaper he published...

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.

Uzbekistan: New conference with old zindan at background

Uzbekistan: New conference with old zindan at background

19.10.2017 04:07 msk Human Rights Politics Uzbekistan

"Open Journalism in Central Asia" Media Conference organised by Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) starts today in Tashkent, which will discuss issues of freedom of the media. This event, expected for fifteen years, can rightly be considered a breakthrough in relations between Uzbekistan and the international journalistic community. However, a recent arrest of our Tashkent colleague Bobomurod Abdullayev overshadows the "press freedom festival," so rare for the whole region.

The administrative resource is not enough. The Central Election Commission of Kyrgyzstan told about «the most democratic elections»

The administrative resource is not enough. The Central Election Commission of Kyrgyzstan told about «the most democratic elections»

13.10.2017 09:08 msk Politics Kyrgyzstan

The situation around the presidential elections in Kyrgyzstan, scheduled for 15 October, continues to heat up. The national authorities themselves are afraid of possible unrest and external interference in the voting process, and the opposition expresses concerns by the flow of complaints about its principal candidate, Omurbek Babanov. Exclusively for Fergana, Elnura Alkanova talked to the member of the Central Election Commission of Kyrgyzstan (CEC) Gulnara Jurabayeva, who explained why rumours about the upcoming riots are groundless, what complaints on the candidates they received and why the power protégé lacks administrative resource to win.

Another political prisoner in Uzbekistan released

Another political prisoner in Uzbekistan released

05.10.2017 22:41 msk Opposition Human Rights Politics Uzbekistan

Sometimes, good news keeps on coming from Uzbekistan: journalist and human rights activist Solizhon Abdurakhmanov freed on 4 October, who spent more than nine years in prison on a fabricated charge. Abdurakhman Tashanov, representative of the human rights society "Ezgulik" informed Fergana about it.

Opium for the President: Religion and Kyrgyzstan’s forthcoming elections

Opium for the President: Religion and Kyrgyzstan’s forthcoming elections

04.10.2017 08:12 msk Politics Religious life Kyrgyzstan

Religion has traditionally been a delicate topic for Kyrgyzstan. Even though the overwhelming majority of the Republic’s population identifies as Muslim, no presidential candidate has been in any hurry to touch upon the topic of religion in their election manifestos. Is the political elite ignoring the burning questions and challenges posed by the rise of religious extremism in Central Asia today?

«To people like you I can say that I’m Uzbek»

«To people like you I can say that I’m Uzbek»

03.10.2017 16:09 msk Politics Migration Afghanistan Uzbekistan

Although Uzbek tribes had lived in Afghanistan for centuries, Soviet Uzbeks’ ethnic kin in Afghanistan weren’t part of their national narrative. The Afghan Uzbeks’ history was not studied properly in Soviet Uzbekistan, nor was it mentioned in our textbooks. At school, we were taught the history of Uzbekistan within the Soviet republic’s territory, and the history of Uzbek people stopped at the Soviet borders. The Soviet media didn’t mention Afghanistan’s Uzbeks. Later I discovered that they weren’t part of the Afghan narrative or curriculum either. The Uzbeks of Afghanistan were some kind of a taboo subject in the two neighbouring countries. But history they had.

Secret arrest again. Still no respect for human rights in Uzbekistan

Secret arrest again. Still no respect for human rights in Uzbekistan

03.10.2017 09:10 msk Human Rights Politics Internet Uzbekistan

The atmosphere in Uzbekistan is changing; breathing is becoming freer. A more biting press is emerging, the previously crushed and cornered public is reviving, and the authorities loudly declare adherence to universal human rights. A sudden and secret arrest of journalist Bobomurod Abdullayev in Tashkent against the background of the events described above makes us think about how much the authorities of the country are sincere in their intentions.

Cotton Slavery in Uzbekistan: The Last Victims?

Cotton Slavery in Uzbekistan: The Last Victims?

28.09.2017 17:32 msk Analytics Human Rights Politics Cotton Uzbekistan

The first three weeks of the barely started cotton season in Uzbekistan has already claimed lives of four people. However, since 21 September Uzbek officials are fulfilling the Prime Minister's order prohibiting taking state employees to cotton fields. What made the Uzbek government dramatically change its policy towards using forced labour in agriculture? And is it the end of the long-standing and humiliating "cotton slavery" in the country?

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