Stories about Central Asia & Caucasus from November, 2011
Georgia: Photoblogger Reports on Presidential Elections in South Ossetia
Russian photoblogger Mitya Aleshkovskiy publishes [ru] pictures taken during the South Ossetia presidential election that took place on 13 November 2011. He writes on his impressions after visiting the region and points out: “There will be a new president here, but the regime will stay the same.”
Russia and Tajikistan: Pilots Sentenced and Migrants Deported
Two Russian pilots have been sentenced in Tajikistan, meanwhile in Russia 300 illegal Tajiks have been arrested for deportation. Is there any connection? Ekaterina reports.
Kazakhstan: 2,2 percent of population have Facebook accounts
Kazakh blogger sympaticus writes [ru] that the number of Facebook users from Kazsakhstan is now 340 660 people, making up the Facebook penetration in Kazakhstan to 2,2 percent. During the last 6 months, the number of the FB users has grown by 18,5 precent.
Russia: Nationalist slogans get spread
Fergananews writes [ru] on popularity of Russian nationalist slogans against immigrants from Central Asia amidst the looming parliamentary elections: “25 percent of high school students approve of nationalist actions of their classmates.”
Georgia: Voting in absentia
Tamada Tales comments on a video posted on an online site of parliamentarians voting for absentee colleagues. The blog notes that while the practice is common elsewhere, it is taken to new levels in Georgia with one parliamentary faction leader even having his vote made by an underling sitting next...
Tajikistan: Bloggers compare the two U.S. State Secretaries’ visits
Tajik civil society and journalists debate the two Secretaries of State’s visits to Tajikistan in 2005 and 2011, neweurasia’s Alpharabius reports.
Uzbekistan: Independent newspaper is shutting down
Tomyris reports that the decade-plus-old independent newspaper “Zerkalo XXI” has been barred from publication in Uzbekistan.
Tajikistan: The Russian pilot scandal is getting spinned
As two Russian pilots have been sentenced in Tajikistan, prompting a huge backlash from Russia’s political class, Alpharabius reviews the situation with little research about the pilots’ mysterious employers.
Afghanistan: US civilian aid begins to fall
Nick Fielding reports that US civilian aid to Afghanistan will begin to decline as troop levels are reduced over the next three years, and it has already fallen from $4.1 billion in 2010 to $2.5 billion this year.
Uzbekistan: How to Be Outraged Effectively
Joshua Foust shares his view on the popular debate over whether the U.S. government should work with the abusive government in Uzbekistan or not.
Azerbaijan: Aaron's Last Post
Having completed his Peace Corps Volunteer service in Lankaran, Aaron in Azerbaijan reflects on his stay in the country and says a fond farewell to his readers.
Armenia-Azerbaijan: Facebook Diplomacy
In an attempt to initiate a mature discussion on resolution of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed territory of Nagorno Karabakh, The South Caucasus Diary asks a Facebook Question to solicit responses on possible solutions and explains why. In a separate post, Global Voices’ Caucasus Editor comments...
Russia/Azerbaijan: Azerbaijan Airlines Refuse to Check-In Russian Citizen with Armenian Surname
LJ-user dimulenka re-publishes [ru] the closed post [ru] of Sergey Gurdzian, “Avtovaz” export director, who writes about a case of ethnic discrimination by Azerbaijan Airlines. Airline representative at the Domodedovo airport refused to check-in Gurdzian on the flight to Baku referring to his Armenian surname and some ‘security instructions.’
Armenia: Impressions and reflections on Turkey
Back in Armenia from his motorcycle ride through Turkey, Areg Harutyunyan reflects on the journey and shares his impressions of the country. Despite its political and historical problems with Armenia, the motorcyclist and blogger says Turkey is fascinating, hospitable, complex, and diverse.
Russia/Georgia: The Dilemma of Politics Blogging for Cash
One well-known Georgian political blogger writes of his dilemma in being approached for payment for a blog post. Blogging for cash is a recent shady public relations phenomenon in Russia and former Soviet Republic countries. Dmitry Davidov reports.
Kyrgyzstan: First-ever peaceful president transition
neweurasia offers a photo-reportage from the Kyrgyz presidential elections that took place last Sunday, noting that for the first time in the history of independent Kyrgyzstan, the presidency is shifting from one person to another in a peaceful way.
Turkmenistan: Hack heaven
Neweurasia’s Annasoltan explores the rise of hacking in the Turkmen segment of the world wide web and its particularly Turkmen flavor.
Kyrgyzstan: President-elect vows to close U.S. military base by 2014
Joshua Foust ponders on seriousness of the news that Kyrgyz President-elect Almazbek Atambayev, “a friend of Russia”, made a warning that the U.S. air base must close by 2014.
Kazakhstan: Blasts Spark New Fears Over the Rise of Extremism
Early in the morning of October 31, two blasts occurred in the downtown district of Atyrau, the major city in Western Kazakhstan and the unofficial "oil capital" of the Central Asian country, which has long been boasting of itself as a showcase of inter-ethnic and inter-religious tolerance.
Uzbekistan: New Law Forbids Alcohol Consumption in Streets and Parks
The president of Uzbekistan has approved a law regarding "the distribution and consumption of alcohol and tobacco products" which will come into force in April 2012. The law states that the consumption of alcohol in streets, parks and other public places is banned.
Kazakhstan: Bloggers Discuss New Copyright Protection Bill
Kazakh bloggers are discussing a new copyright protection bill which would grant state authorities the power to shut down completely any portal considered to be in violation of copyright.