Stories about Central Asia & Caucasus from February, 2009
Uzbekistan: U.S. Airbase Seeking New Home
Elina reports that after the American airbase has been closed in Kyrgyzstan, a top U.S. general is visiting Uzbekistan to discuss alternative supply routes for the army in Afghanistan.
Kazakhstan: Politics and Society in Times of Crisis
Politics remain the major topic of the online discussions in Kazakhstan – much more frequently and intensely than in public life. One of the most recent events, widely discussed by the bloggers, was the establishment of the new state award – the title of the Kazakhstan's Hero of Labor (an...
Azerbaijan: News site closed down?
Following a recent ban on foreign broadcasts in the country, the content of a leading news site considered more independent than most in Azerbaijan was replaced on Thursday with a message informing readers that the “project is closed.” Although the authorities denied any involvement with the site's disappearance, bloggers were not convinced.
Armenia: Remembering the Budapest Murder
Yesterday marked the fifth anniversary of the murder of 26-year old Gurgen Margarian, an Armenian officer attending a NATO Partnership for Peace program in Budapest, Hungary. Killed in his sleep with an axe wielded by his Azerbaijani counterpart, Ramil Safarov, some Armenian bloggers made special posts to commemorate the day.
Georgia-Russia: Information War
Writing for the Frontline Club blog, Al Jazeera's Matthew Collin comments on a new report by the Committee to Protect Journalists which criticizes both Russia and Georgia of exerting control over the media. In particular, the blog says that coverage of the August war over South Ossetia in both countries...
Georgia: Eurovision Controversy
Following its recent war with Russia, Georgia had initially planned to boycott this year's Eurovision Song Contest to be staged in Moscow, but later changed its mind. However, if reversing that decision might have initially seemed an attempt to repair damaged relations, yesterday's national song contest proved otherwise. Eurovision bloggers react.
Afghanistan: The Unlamented Death
Colla says that the death of Taliban commander Mullah Ghulam Dastagir last night in an airstrike in the northwestern province of Afghanistan brings to a bloody end a saga which had been particularly damaging for President Hamid Karzai.
Kazakhstan: Three years after the assassination
Zhanna Zhukova writes that it has been 3 years since brutal assassination of the democratic politician in Kazakhstan, and reports on the recent actions of the opposition in this regard.
Uzbekistan: The dollar's crazy dance
U.S. Dollar to make Uzbekistan Sum feel nervous and doubles fears to face devaluation in future, Musafirbek reports.
Kazakhstan: Grand External Debt
Askhat writes about the size of the Kazakhstan’s consolidated external debt.
Kazakhstan: Singles unlucky in Pattaya Open
Dina reviews the performance of Kazakhstani tennis players in the Pattaya Open tournament.
Kazakhstan: Ban on Scientology Church
KZBlog reports that the public prosecutor of Karaganda oblast is seeking to close its Scientology Center on charges that they cause physical and psychological harm to people.
Afghanistan: ANSF to the Rescue
Joshua Foust notes that during the Wednesday suicide bombers attack in Kabul, most of the terrorists were stopped by the Afghan police were able to put an end to the attacks fairly quickly.
Tajikistan: Water, dams, and Central Asia.
Elina Galperin says that Tajikistan has a very important resource – large reserves of fresh water – but lacks energy resources, “and this is where the conflicts begin”.
Tajikistan: A perilous state
Peter Marton analyzes the recent International Crisis Group's report on Tajikistan, a country widely believed to be a failing state.
Kazakhstan: A Kazakh Video Tube
On St. Valentine’s Day, February 14, a Kazakh video hosting project Kaztube.kz came to life. Dozens of videos with congratulations from celebrities and government officials had been uploaded for the opening of the website. Even the prime minister congratulated on the opening of new service — such PR is unheard...
Former Soviet Union: The Legacy of Afghanistan
Window on Eurasia writes that across the former Soviet Union, “a debate is raging between those who believe the Soviet intervention [in Afghanistan] led to the demise of the Soviet Union and those who are convinced that the decision to withdraw [20 years ago] had precisely that effect.”
Afghanistan: “Copyright on God’s Words”
Amila Bosnae reacts to the news of a death sentence given to two Afghans who “translated the Quran into one of their country’s languages.”
Georgia: Eurovision Pop Protest
Writing for the new Frontline Club blog, Matthew Collin says that Georgia might use this this year's Eurovision international song contest to be held in Moscow to poke fun at its foe in last year's short lived August war with an entry entitled “Put-In Disco.”
Armenia: Obama and the Genocide
Onnik Krikorian in Armenia wonders whether U.S. President Barack Obama will fulfill his campaign promise to recognize the 1915 massacre and deportation of Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire as genocide. While many believe that he will, the blog examines the risk in doing so of damaging efforts to normalize...
Armenia: Repressive Religious Laws
Writing for the new Frontline Club blog, Global Voices Online's Caucasus Editor examines three new controversial pieces of legislation which raise serious concerns about religious freedom in Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh.