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· May, 2012

Stories about Central Asia & Caucasus from May, 2012

Kazakhstan: 12 Border Guards Found Dead After a Blaze

  31 May 2012

Following reports that 12 border guards have been found dead in a burnt-out frontier post in southeastern Kazakhstan [ru] and the lack of immediate reaction from the authorities, local blogger Almazinho1978 writes [ru]: “At the very least, they could have declared a period of official mourning… My condolences to the relatives...

Armenia-Azerbaijan: Eurovision Propaganda Fail

  31 May 2012

Global Chaos takes a look at the government-led publicity and international media attention surrounding this years Eurovision Song Contest held in Baku, Azerbaijan. The Public Diplomacy blog also notes the propaganda deployed by arch-foe Armenia's Public TV against Azerbaijan during the final, including re-inventing elements of Novruz as Christian even...

Uzbekistan: Facebook Clone is Launched

  31 May 2012

YouFace is a new social networking site launched in Uzbekistan. Its interface is strikingly similar to that of Facebook except that YouFace quotes Uzbek President Islam Karimov on its welcome page. Another local social networking platform, the Uzbek-language Muloqot.uz, was established about a year ago.

Kazakhstan: Where Central Asia's Bread Comes From

  30 May 2012

On Vox Populi, photographer Kanat Beysekeev presents an annotated photo report [ru] on wheat sowing and the everyday life of farmers in northern Kazakhstan. Much of the wheat flour consumed in Central Asia comes from this area.

Tajikistan: Can Drug Money Be Used to Build Mosques?

  27 May 2012

Islamic authorities in Tajikistan are unanimous in condemning the use and sale of drugs, writes [tj] journalist Kayumars Ato in his blog. At the same time, some religious leaders argue that using drug money to finance the construction of mosques is okay.

Azerbaijan: Rewriting The Geopolitical Narrative

  26 May 2012

Following concern expressed in some quarters with how the international media has covered the Eurovision Song Contest in Baku, East of Center looks at the geopolitical issues behind Western engagement of the oil-rich former Soviet republic, arguing that policy towards Azerbaijan might not solely be confined to energy interests.

Tajikistan: Singers Turn to Religious Motifs

  24 May 2012

In his blog, journalist Kayumars Ato writes [tj] that pop singers and rappers in Tajikistan increasingly use religious motifs in their songs. The use of music for religious purposes remains a controversial topic in the country.

Azerbaijan: Live Eurovision Human Rights Discussion on Facebook

  24 May 2012

On the eve of this year's Eurovision Song Contest final in Baku, Azerbaijan, RFE/RL is planning a live Facebook chat with Elisa Munoz, Acting Executive Director of the International Women's Media Foundation, and Khadija Ismayilova, investigative reporter and talk show host for RFE/RL's Azerbaijan Service, at 13.00 EDT (17.00 GMT)...

Armenia: Fascist Rubo (Hayrapetyan)

  24 May 2012

With anti-gay hysteria breaking out in nationalist and official circles, Unzipped: Gay Armenia now reports that Ruben Hayrapetyan, a ruling Republican Party MP and President of the Armenian Football Association, has joined in by declaring that homosexuals should be ‘punished.’ One of Armenia's notorious oligarchs also known as ‘Nemetz (German)...

Tajikistan: Did Drug Money Finance Cell Phone Company?

  23 May 2012

Diplomatic cables made available by WikiLeaks reveal interesting details about who stood behind the creation of Tajikistan's major companies. In his blog, journalist Zafar Abdullayev analyzes [ru] documents that suggest the formation of one of Tajikistan's largest cell phone operators was financed by drug money. Another major cell phone company...

Azerbaijan: Is Eurovision A Rare Opportunity For Change?

  22 May 2012

With increased media attention on the country during this week's Eurovision Song Contest in Baku, Azerbaijan, former prisoner of conscience Emin Milli argues that the international music competition offers a rare opportunity to raise concerns with human rights abuses and the lack of democratic freedoms in the oil-rich former Soviet...

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Armenia: Nationalists Disrupt Cultural Diversity March

  22 May 2012

As was the case in 2009 during a rally to mark International Women's Day, nationalists in Armenia infiltrated and disrupted a march in Yerevan on 21 May to commemorate World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.

About our Central Asia & Caucasus coverage

Zhar Zardykhan is the Central Asia editor. Email him story ideas or volunteer to write.

Arzu Geybullayeva is the South Caucasus editor. Email her story ideas or volunteer to write.


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