Stories about Central Asia & Caucasus from May, 2023
Mongolia embroiled in a major corruption scandal over the allocation of educational loans
The main finding of the two-month long investigation is that 90 percent of the loans were issued to high level officials, their children, and those who had access to closed information.
In Azerbaijan, violence against LGBTQ+ people continues unabated
According to ILGA Europe, an international non-governmental organization advocating for LGBTQ+ rights and freedoms, Azerbaijan occupies the last place among 49 countries on the organization's Rainbow Index consecutively for three years in a row.
Fake accounts and presidential elections in Kazakhstan
The ruling leadership in Kazakhstan is aware of the importance of capturing the hearts and minds of internet users, spreading disinformation and using artificial automated accounts to imitate enthusiastic support for the government.
‘Telman was here': the story of an Azerbaijani man searching for a better life
At 50, Telman spends his days walking the streets of Baku going through every trash box he finds, collecting recyclable items, food, and dreaming of a better life.
New report uncovers the first documented case of Pegasus spyware used in an international war context
"This investigation is key to understanding the full scope of harms of invasive Pegasus spyware and the entire industry which has been operating with little to no oversight for years."
‘Central Asian literature exists regionally only in Russian': Interview with Russophone Uyghur writer Ramil Niyazov-Adyldzhyan
While the majority of Uyghur people live in China, a large Uyghur diaspora lives in Central Asia, including in Kazakhstan, where they are freer to express themselves.
Mongolian film ‘If Only I Could Hibernate’ reaches historic milestone at the Cannes Film Festival
The film’s success is poised to kickstart a new era in Mongolia's filmmaking industry. And the government is ready to contribute.
Protests break out in Georgia as Russia flight routes resume
Flights between Georgia and Russia have been banned since 2019, on President Putin's orders, following Russian lawmaker Sergey Gavrilov's visit to the country in June 2019. They just reopened to much controversy.
Sanctions against violators of women’s rights: A political lens
Emphasizing humanitarian aid and empowering women's self-determination and autonomy might be a better approach to creating meaningful change for women and girls than sanctions as a sole strategy.
Hungarian beekeepers find a haven for bees in Kyrgyzstan
Describing the Toktogul region, Ferenc Takács from Fulmer says: “This is a heaven for bees because it is a heaven for flowers.”
Importing illiberal practices: The Kyrgyz state’s attack on media, journalists and bloggers
The Kyrgyz government is importing illiberal practices from Russia, and these changes have impacted public lives and affected the activity of media, journalists and bloggers.
The stories of Koreans in Kyrgyzstan who converted to Islam
Their conversion is partly the result of the re-Islamization of Kyrgyzstan, which started in 1991, after Kyrgyzstan gained independence.
Progress at last? Armenia and Azerbaijan give peace another chance
The leaders of both countries agreed to resume bilateral meetings, and address questions of border delimitation, reopening transport and economic links, and the release of detainees.
A cinematic journey through Uzbekistan: How one actor’s career reflects the nation’s cultural evolution and history
Through the exploration of Rajabov's work, one can gain a deeper understanding of the people and the land he so passionately represented.
Armenia and Azerbaijan take one step forward, three steps back in mending relations
Since active fighting ceased between Armenia and Azerbaijan in November 2020, following the 44-day war, there have been numerous attempts to normalize ties and relations between the two neighbors.
Unfreedom Monitor Report: Kazakhstan
Advox research into digital authoritarianism in Kazakhstan is now in a report. Read an excerpt and download the full pdf.
Anti-Taliban groups come together and call to resist with all means
As the international community is starting to discuss how to engage with the Taliban, the importance of the Vienna conference will continue to grow.
Central Asian leaders display loyalty to Kremlin at the military parade in Moscow
Russia’s allies in Central Asia are in a delicate position. They have to maintain neutrality while being pressured by Russia, who is leveraging the region’s political, security, and economic reliance.
In Kazakhstan, political dissidents accused of spreading disinformation
These incidents show how the Kazakh government does not hesitate to abuse its own laws, purportedly enacted to safeguard citizens, for its own ends to repress dissent and maintain control of the narrative.
Constitutional referendum in ‘New Uzbekistan’ follows the old script
The independent expert community unanimously agrees that the main goal of holding the referendum was to nullify Mirzioyev’s previous two presidential terms and open the door for his reelection.
Poisoned, soaked, but still dancing: Georgia’s ‘Zoomers’ enter the political arena
Images of young Georgians standing unflinchingly against water cannons, wearing snorkels, face masks, and scarves to protect from tear gas, or dancing as riot police advanced were widely shared.