Stories about Central Asia & Caucasus from January, 2009
Georgia: Opposition Unites, Kind Of…
Dateline Tbilisi comments on news that twelve opposition parties have agreed to unite to call for Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili's resignation. The blog says the party believes Saakashvili will be forced to resign by the end of 2009 but points out some of the many factors which will determine if...
Azerbaijan: Carbon Neutral Resort
otto details the development of a carbon neutral resort and residential development on the Zira Island located off the coast of Azerbaijan. The blog posts mockups of the project and says it will be the first carbon neutral development in the Caucasus and Central Asia.
Armenia: Diaspora Politics
tzitzernak2 comments on the role of the Diaspora in local politics in Armenia and raises concerns with the date of a conference to be held by one of the largest lobbying groups in the U.S., the Armenian Assembly of America. The blog says the timing of the event on the...
Azerbaijan: Mammed Amin Rasul-zadeh
In Mutatione Fortitudo marks the 125th anniversary of the birth of Mammed Amin Rasul-zadeh by introducing its readers to one of the founding fathers of the short-lived Azerbaijani Democratic Republic in the early 20th Century.
Georgia: Armenian Activists Detained
Blogian comments on the arrest of two ethnic Armenians in the Georgian region of Samtskhe-Javakheti allegedly for espionage and the formation of an armed gang. The blog says calls for autonomy or independence from Georgia are once again being heard.
Kyrgyzstan: What Did the President Mean?
On January, 27th the President Kurmanbek Bakiev addressed to citizens of Kyrgyzstan. In his speech the President declared that created strategic documents must be realizing more actively. He also identified national interests and told about creation of two new structures (Secretary and Institute of the Strategic Analysis). In addition Bakiev...
Kazakhstan: Livejournal Unblocked. And Blocked Again
On Junuary 28, the Kazakhstani Internet users were suddenly granted access to LiveJournal – the most popular blog platform in the post-Soviet Russian-speaking blogosphere. It was blocked by the national ISP on October 7 last year under unknown reasons – “Kazakhtelecom” has never acknowledged the fact of filtering. We used...
Tajikistan: Terrible Tajik-Uzbek relations
Vadim says that Tajikistan and Uzbekistan have chronically had bad relations since early history of the two countries, and the most recent actions of Uzbekistan made these relations even worse.
Kazakhstan: State-run web-sites tested by the public
Mursya reviews the results of an evaluation of web-sites run by Kazakhstani state authorities. The evaluation was performed by MediaNet, the International Journalism Center, supported by Soros Foundation in Kazakhstan.
Kyrgyzstan: Something About Patriotism
Kyrgyzstani citizens are now legally obliged to listen to their national anthem standing with their right hand over their heart, reports Elena.
Tajikistan: Electricity rationing returns
Seemingly a shock to some, Vadim reports upon why electricity rationing in Tajikistan has returned, as well as why it has only just been noticed by the media.
Kazakhstan: Innovations, Kazakh-Style
Arseny writes about the government's innovation strategies in Kazakhstan, and how efficient they actually are.
Afghanistan: Bagram Prison and Obama’s Gitmo Policy Change
Patrick Frost reflects on how President Obama's political stand towards Guantanamo prison would change the administration's position regarding Bagram Air Base prison in Afghanistan.
Georgia: Glukhov's Case; U.S.-Based “Georgian Chalabis”
Scraps of Moscow writes about Aleksandr Glukhov's case, and notes on the possibility “that Georgian Chalabis are already being groomed Stateside.”
Russia, Georgia: Glukhov's Unit in Tskhinvali Since June 2008?
AnTyx comments on soldier Aleksandr Glukhov‘s mention of his unit's transfer to South Ossetia in June 2008: “If true, it would mean that the war in Georgia was deliberately provoked by Russia.”
Azerbaijan: Democratization Under Siege
Flying Carpets and Broken Pipelines comments on the state of democracy in Azerbaijan and wonders about the country's future now that foreign radio broadcasts have effectively been banned and a referendum to remove the two-term restriction on the presidency is scheduled for March.
Armenia: Army Day
517 Design [RU] posts photographs of a youth procession to the Yerablur military cemetery in Yerevan to mark yesterday's Army Day in Armenia. The national holiday also gave the blog the opportunity to reflect on the 17th anniversary of formation of the Armenian army.
Kazakhstan: Journalist Arrested for Alleged State Secret Disclosure
Ramazan Yessergepov, chief editor of the “Alma-Ata Info” newspaper, was arrested early January this year by the National Security Committee officers from the provincial branch office of the country's main special service. They had come all the way down from Taraz (southern town in Kazakhstan) to his apartment in Almaty...
Russia: Conscript Seeks Asylum in Georgia
Aleksandr Glukhov, a 21-year-old Russian conscript, has asked for asylum in the Republic of Georgia to escape the "unbearable conditions" in the Russian army. One of Glukhov's media appearances took place as he was dining at a McDonald's restaurant in Tbilisi. Russian officials claim that Glukhov was captured by Georgian armed forces in South Ossetia, where he was performing his compulsory military service, and taken to the Georgian capital. Quite a few people in Russia seem to consider Glukhov "a traitor." Below are some of the reactions from the Russophone blogosphere.
Armenia: Open Letter Against Intolerance
Queering Yerevan posts an open letter in Armenian and English for its readers to sign in protest at growing intolerance and homophobia in the pro-government and pro-opposition media as well as from some representatives of civil society in the country. Meanwhile, Unzipped: Gay Armenia links to previous posts detailing the...
Armenia: No PACE Sanctions
Life in the Armenian Diaspora comments on yesterday's decision by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe not to suspend Armenia's voting rights in the influential body. The blog says that promises to amend two articles of the Criminal Code remind it of moves to change legislation in Turkey...