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Tajik Woman Reportedly Killed at Russian Military Base in Tajikistan

Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Wikipedia image.

Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Wikipedia image.

The purpose of Russia's military base in Tajikistan is to help the weakest country in Central Asia ward off hypothetical incursions from neighbouring Afghanistan. But as Moscow reinforces its presence in the republic of eight million amid the intensification of fighting to the south, the greater threat to Tajikistan's security seems to be the soldiers of the 201st rifle division stationed there.

On the night of November 5, Tajik national Shoira Jabborova was reportedly killed on the territory of the base by Russian military officer Ivan Sherbakov, a senior lieutenant of the 201st division. During the preliminary joint Russian-Tajik investigation Sherbakov reportedly said he could not remember anything because he was so drunk.

A source from the investigative group told local outlet Asia Plus November 12 that the reason for Sherbakov's lethal violence towards Jabborova may have been jealousy and that Jabborova was known by base security as his ‘wife’ despite Sherbakov having a wife of his own in Russia.

The incident comes at a bad time in Tajik society's conflicted relationship with Russia, less than a month after the death of a five-month old child of Tajik migrant workers. Umarali Nazarov died of a reported lung complication having been confiscated by authorities in St-Petersburg from his parents, who were under suspicion of breaking migration law.

It also follows the murders of Tajik taxi drivers by Russian soldiers at the base in 2009 and 2014.

Jabborova's death is top news in Tajikistan, with the comments free-for-all under the independent Asia Plus news agency's Russian language service serving as a platform for debate, bickering and occasional hate speech among users.

Gulomkul, a reader of Asia Plus news agency, wrote:

Мало убивать,насиловать,сажать,издеваться таджиков в России,теперь продолжается убийство дома, на своей земле!

It is not enough that they kill, rape, imprison and make fun of Tajiks in Russia — now the killing continues at home, on our own soil!

A commenter called Human demanded a local court try Sherbakov, rather than allow him to be tried by a Russian military court as the soldiers that killed the two Tajik taxi drivers were.

Блин а, почему народ молчит, это уже какое убийство по счету??? Почувствовали безнаказанность собаки. Если не будет открытого суда и эту свинью не посадят, то нечего говорить о нашей независимости. Мне стыдно за наше правительство!!!

Why are the people silent, how many murders already? These dogs feel impunity. If there is not an open court and this pig is not imprisoned, then you can forget talk of our independence. I am ashamed of our government!

Shortly after the murder Tajikistan's Foreign Minister called in Russia's ambassador to the country and handed him an official note of protest.

The incident carries the risk of causing tension between Tajiks and the country's remaining ethnic Russian minority, who are especially supportive of the base's presence in the country. One vented:

Во-первых что она делала на территории базы в общежитии для вояк.Во-вторых его вина пока не доказана.И в-третьих,русофобы ну хватит уже галдеть одно и тоже.Что таджики не убивают и не насилуют в России?Научитесь вести себя нормально иначе так и останетесь гастербайтерами.У вас родственники друг друга кромсают и жгут,о чем вы говорите? 201-я тут была,есть и будет.Иначе сюда придет ваш Игил и уничтожит тут все.Чем раньше вы поймете,что без России вы никто,тем будет лучше для всех…

Firstly, what was she doing at the hostel of the soldiers? Secondly, his guilt is not proven yet. Thirdly, Russophobes quit clamouring for the same thing all the time. Don't Tajiks kill and rape in Russia? Learn how to behave otherwise you shall remain “gastarbeiter” [a commonly-used term for immigrants]. Your relatives shred and burn each other, what are you talking about? The 201st division was, is, and will be here. Otherwise your ISIS will come and destroy everything. The sooner you realize that you are nobody without Russia, the better for everyone…

Dilshod, in turn, thinks it is time for Tajikistan to bid farewell to the 201st Motor Rifle Division:

Скоро уже эти не до человеки в наши дома будут заходить и убивать всех подряд. У себя они убивают наших младенцев и обвиняют их родных родителей, в своей 201 базе устроили притон тут где насилуют и убивают наших сёстр.
Ну зачем нам тут эти алко-вояки которые только могут убивать не винных женщин и детей у нас, а границу уже десять лет мы сами охраняем и справимся без вас вы лучше свою границу охраняйте от Китая и не лезьте к нам со своими советами. Мы как нибудь сами разберемся со своими проблемами без вас.


Soon these non-people will enter our houses and kill everybody one by one. They kill our babies and blame [the babies’] parents in their homeland, they create a brothel on the 201st division's base where they rape and kill our sisters. Well, then, why do we need these alco-warriors who kill the innocent women and children? We have guarded our borders ourselves for ten years*, and can handle it without you…We can deal with our problems ourselves.

That is unlikely to happen any time soon. Russia's military presence in Tajikistan was extended via a 30-year extension signed between the two countries in 2012. Tajikistan also hosts a Russian Space Control System and the Okno Space Surveillance System. Russian troops guarded the Central Asian state's frontier before local forces reprised that role in 2005.

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