Foreign Policy Blogs

Russia & Central Asia

Tajikistan courts energy investment

Tajikistan courts energy investment

Several development banks have recently come to Tajikistan, planning to invest in Tajikstan's energy security‚ which Tajikistan really needs.  Last year, energy distribution problems precipitated a closure of Dushanbe's bakeries; the resulting bread riot (really a woman's sit-down demonstration) underscored the past-due need for energy infrastructure investment in Tajikistan.  At neweurasia.net, Gulru has ...

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'tis Spring: Caspian Outbreak of Avian H5N1

'tis Spring: Caspian Outbreak of Avian H5N1

See this map of bird migration patterns, courtesy of BBC: then imagine that these lines are kind of blurred, because birds, after all, do not read maps and do not march in single file.  Instead, these lines demarcate a range of individual flights that are a little more widespread.  ...

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Nomadic architecture: the felt home (not yurt)

Nomadic architecture: the felt home (not yurt)

One strength of the English language has been its incredible ability to assimilate any noun from any language–and then, through mispronunciation, claim it for itself.  This characteristic is undisputably useful, but can also institutionalize translation errors.  The yurt is not a yurt.  Yurt means “homeland”.  Wikipedia says: In Kazakh (and Uyghur) the term for the structure is ...

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Tulips and Mud in Kyrgyzstan, part 2 of 2

Tulips and Mud in Kyrgyzstan, part 2 of 2

Constitutional Crisis to Prime Minister Crisis, continued. . . . Though the first two assassinations of legislators were alarming, the third execution, of Akmatbaev, has been the most troublesome for Kyrgyzstan's domestic order.  During the incident, after Mr. Akmatbaev had been killed, Prime Minister Kulov came to the prison and negotiated ...

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Tulips and Mud in Kyrgyzstan, part 1 of 2

Tulips and Mud in Kyrgyzstan, part 1 of 2

 Simply put, Kyrgyzstan's Tulip Revolution of March, 2005, saw the ouster of President Akaev for one political and two economic reasons.  Politically, he was consolidating the power of his presidency and weakening the legislature.  Constitutionally-mandated term limits were extended under Akaev's rule.  As Akaev neared the limit of his last extended ...

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The newest Central Asian development bank

On January 26, 2006, the Eurasian Economic Security Council (EAEC or EurAsSec) announced the inception of a new development bank that aims to improve economic issues for its member states.  According to Vladimir Putin, the Eurasian Development Bank (EADB, or sometimes EDB) was proposed by Nursultan Nazarbaev in 2004, in ...

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Tajikistan: Refurbished air force base

What in the West we consider to be the Central Asian state furthest from international access, India is calling "the fulcrum of regional geopolitics." In a move little noted elsewhere, India has developed its first foreign air base‚ in Tajikistan.  The Ayni base is a former Soviet airbase used to supply ...

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Stalin and the hijab

Stalin and the hijab

Eighty years ago, Stalinists attempted to eradicate specific Central Asian religious and cultural practices: one such undesired practice, again relevant, concerned the customary headcoverings for Islamic women (hijab).  According to articles by Douglas Northrop in 2000 and 2001 (see Worth Reading: Uzbekistan), Bolsheviks in Uzbekistan began korenizatsaiia (nativization) in the early 1920's.  By 1926, ...

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Dariga Nazarbaeva and Kazakhstan's Media

Dariga Nazarbaeva and Kazakhstan's Media

"more than words can wield the matter"  Dariga Nazarbaeva, the eldest daughter of Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbaev, continues to be the most influential word-wielder in Kazakhstan.  Ms. Nazarbaeva is the Founder, previous President, and Chairperson for Khabar, Kazakhstan's media conglomerate.  According to BBC, Darigha Nazarbaeva and her husband, Rakhat Aliev, ...

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Solidarity

Mongolia Web reports that New York's Lincoln Center Fest will present the Secret History of the Mongols July 22-29, 2007.  Nine musicians and storytellers will perform the work at the Clark Studio Theater. This passage is from The Secret History of the Mongols: In time Dobun passed away and after he was gone Alan the ...

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That "early, meaningful, and regular" human rights dialogue

That "early, meaningful, and regular" human rights dialogue

Human rights groups have recently come forward to ask that the European Union (EU) continue to implement sanctions against Uzbekistan in response to the Andijan Massacre of May 12, 2005.  The EU met on March 5, 2007, to review the sanctions, which have not thus far borne any ...

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Turkmenistan: Lost in the Pageant, part 2 of 2

Turkmenistan: Lost in the Pageant, part 2 of 2

The pageant's focus now turns again to domestic considerations.  As suitable for a seamless transition, the new policies thus borrowed heavily from the old.  The new President of Turkmenistan has announced the commissioning of a new statue of Turkmenbashi, to honor in death a man who has had countless statues ...

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Turkmenistan: Lost in the Pageant, part 1 of 2

Turkmenistan: Lost in the Pageant, part 1 of 2

Saparmurat Niyazov, Leader and Showman, Turkmenbashi the Great and President for Life of Turkmenistan, passed away on December 21, 2006.  Turkmenistan's constitutionally-mandated succession was bypassed in favor of the Acting Presidency of Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, the Minister of Health and Pharmaceutical Industries.  The legal successor, Ovezgeldy Atayev, the Speaker and Deputy ...

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Dossyz omir bos: Without friends, the world is empty-

Dossyz omir bos: Without friends, the world is empty-

Hello, Central Asia Watchers, and welcome!  This quotation comes from the Say It In Kazakh Web page of the Kazakhstan Embassy to the United States and Canada. Click here for a table of Central Asia Flash Facts; go to the “Worth Reading” Page of this blog for a kind of ...

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