Energy nexus: Russia and Central Asia

MOSCOW. (Ian Pryde for RIA-Novosti) – Last Thursday, Russia’s President Putin arrived in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, for the start of a week-long visit to Central Asia, which will focus on energy. But the visit is not just about oil and gas. Electricity generation and transmission and atomic energy…

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Central Asia – the distorted reality

MOSCOW. (Ian Pryde for RIA Novosti) The inauguration of Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov on February 13 as the new president of Turkmenistan was notable for his speech announcing greater access to the Internet and mobile telephony – a welcome breath of fresh air after Saparmurat Niyazov’s outdated personality cult. But in an…

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Getting the Story Wrong: Akayev Wasn’t Liberal and the Kyrgyz aren’t Anti-Russian

The developments in Kyrgyzstan in March unleashed the usual torrent of “expert” commentary. Armchair academics and parachute journalists saw the protests against the results of the Kyrgyz parliamentary elections, the flight of President Askar Akayev and the ensuing looting as the third democratic, American-inspired and anti-Russian “revolution” in the CIS,…

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No Simple Case of Allegiance: Debunking the Radical Islam Stereotype in Central Asia

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan – The bomb attacks in the Uzbek capital Tashkent in August once again appeared to raise the spectre of Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism in Central Asia. But to see Islam as the only – or even the driving – force in Central Asia is a grave error to…

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