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· July, 2021

Stories about Central Asia & Caucasus from July, 2021

Armenia and Azerbaijan exchange accusations in renewed clashes

It was the deadliest clash since Russia brokered ceasefire ended the 44-day war between Armenia and Azerbaijan in November 2020.

The Georgian Dream Party’s anti-media crusade continues

Following the homophobic, anti-journalist riots on July 5, the Georgian government officials accused of inciting the violence have gone on the offensive against journalists.

Fifth woman murdered in Azerbaijan in 10 days

A woman strangled to death in Azerbaijan is the fifth victim killed over a personal conflict with the attacker in the last 10 days.

Fresh clashes on Nakhchivan border

Armenian and Azerbaijani forces exchanged fire along the border between Armenia and the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan, just 66 kilometers from Yerevan.

In Azerbaijan's capital, taxi drivers are now engaging in a generational war around technology

Afgan Maharramov, 54, like many other traditional taxi drivers, is struggling to compete against new taxi apps in Baku.

Global investigation reveals Pegasus Project identified in Azerbaijan and elsewhere

Around 1,000 phone numbers belonging to users in Azerbaijan were identified, among them, prominent journalists, editors, rights defenders, lawyers, political activists, as well as their friends and family members.

Digital education lags behind as Kyrgyzstan’s schools lack access

As the government attempts to provide education online or on TV, both children and teachers suffer from a lack of access to internet and devices.

Devices of journalists, government officials in Kazakhstan hacked and spied on

Journalist Serikzhan Mauletbai found himself on a list of people targeted by Israeli-made spyware the government of Kazakhstan bought. The current president and prime minister are also on the list.

Street art protest in Kazakhstan becomes routine

Since Nazarbayev’s resignation in 2019, new protest movements in Kazakhstan have chosen street art as their preferred tactic. In this case, the target is a public utility hut in Almaty.

Azerbaijani Director who justifies sexual assault faces backlash, no repercussions

A man named Tural Safarov, shared a video message on July 6, targeting Azerbaijani women and justifying sexual harassment.

Will an award-winning animated film about a Czech woman in Kabul change how Czechs perceive Afghanistan?

A Czech animation movie won a major award for depicting a love story between a Czech woman and an Afghan man. But can this movie change perceptions about Afghanistan?

What is the Kurultai: Kyrgyzstan's political body based on an ancient nomadic tradition

In an effort to strengthen control over the political process, the Kyrgyz leadership brought back the Kurultai, an institution centered around traditional values.

The imprisonment of the ‘Lucky Family': How Chinese authorities detained and sentenced a whole birthday party

A birthday party among friends and family resulted in several arrests on suspicion of extremism in Xinjiang, as authorities in China continue to surveil and detain Uyghurs and Kazakhs.

Georgia mourns the death of a journalist

Known among his TV Pirveli colleagues as Lekso, journalist and cameraman Aleksandre Lashkarava, 37, was found dead in his apartment on July 11 in Tbilisi.

EU flag torn down from Georgian Parliament in second day of far-right street violence

Several thousand people including queer rights activists and supporters as well as opposition leaders gathered outside the parliament building in Tbilisi to protest violence against LGBTQI+ Pride organizers.

Environmentalists stage protest in front of Azerbaijan's Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources

Environmentalists staged a protest in front of the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources in Baku, citing deforestation and the long term lease of forest lands to private holders.

Controversy over an explosion in the Caspian sea

A July 4 explosion in the Caspian Sea caught international attention. According to officials, the blast was caused by an underwater mud volcano. No casualties were reported. 

Kazakhstan celebrates its leader with two more statues

Nazarbayev's cult of personality in Kazakhstan continues two years after his resignation. For his birthday, the government built two statues, one in Turkistan and one in the capital Nur-Sultan.

Tbilisi Pride march canceled amid violent attacks

March for Dignity, a Pride March organized in Tbilisi was cancelled by the organizers amid violence and attacks against the organizers of the event and journalists.

About our Central Asia & Caucasus coverage

Paolo Sorbello 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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