Latest posts by Zhar Zardykhan
No good news for media freedom in Kyrgyzstan as government arrests journalists, activists, and bloggers
In the meantime, the government continues its practice of freezing media outlets’ bank accounts and blocking websites, publicly harassing journalists and social media activists.
With the Russian invasion of Ukraine unlikely to stop soon, Kazakhs rally around their language
Interestingly, it seems to be Putin’s war in Ukraine that induced many Kazakhs to embrace the Kazakh language, and, in some cases, to start learning it anew
From ‘forerunner’ to ‘a puppy': How Mongolia got hooked on Russia's ‘Pivot to Asia’
Mongolia tried to benefit from competing interest between Russia and China, the only countries it borders, however, as Russia become more dependent on China after 2014, the possibilities for balancing diminished.
Russians fleeing Putin’s war face long border queues, overpriced flights, fear, and uncertainty
Ticket prices out of Russia are soaring and bordering countries are braced for an influx as an estimated 700,000 young men have left the country since Putin's announcement of mobilization.
Carving a path for LGBTQ+ people through shame, homophobic violence, and bans
People lean towards embracing dignity and pride for what they are. Being “Kazakh” and being “gay” seemed to be mutually exclusive, but we become aware of our rights, our self-worth.
A water diplomacy expert discusses the prospects of water conflict and cooperation in Central Asia
There are sufficient water resources in the region, but the regional cooperation is challenged by poor governance frameworks and weak institutional capacity.
As peace and prosperity unravel, Central Asia braces for a surge of forced labor and sexual slavery
Economic crises, cuts in public spending and subsequent unemployment are commonly regarded as the factors that aggravate the risks for vulnerable groups of population to fall prey to human trafficking
Superstar wrestler jailed for murder as high crime rate alarms Mongolians
The court of the Khan-Uul district of the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar sentenced the champion judoka and the former president of the Mongolian National Olympic Committee Tüvshinbayar to 16 years in jail
Central Asia rushes into armed drone race as regional arms transfers brew
Central Asia’s search for military drones started long before the Russian-Ukrainian war, and was shaped by the imminent rise of military drones and Russia’s gradual lag in advanced military technologies.
A woman chess champion challenges ageism, sexism, and political intrigues in Kazakhstan
The confrontation was quickly drawn into the whirlpool of intrigues and accusations, causing public outrage, and revealing the behind-the-scenes activities of turbid relations between professional sports and governmental politics.
Tajik government crushes restive region amid deep economic and security concerns
The government's response to recurrent protests and riots in the region is almost exclusively confined to the use of force and coercion, totally ignoring dialogue or mutual concessions.
Central Asia celebrates Victory Day amid Russian pressure
In Putin's Russia, the victory over Nazi Germany became instrumental in legitimizing the regime, suppressing political dissent, and pursuing an aggressive foreign policy, including the war in Ukraine.
Central Asia’s fears of rising militancy in Afghanistan as Moscow invades Ukraine
Since the Taliban takeover in August 2021, the three Central Asian states that border Afghanistan intended to defend their borders through security reinforcement and diplomacy, primarily relying on Russian initiatives.
Nothing new in the ‘New Kazakhstan’ as attacks on social media freedom continue
As the world marks World Free Press Day, the government of Kazakhstan enacts a law restricting social media freedom in a country where media are under control of state authorities.
Inflation, youth, and protests in Mongolia
In a movement soon known as the "Do Your Job!" protests, youth urged the government to do their job, as they protested against corruption, injustice, debt burden and inflation.
War, words, and worries in Central Asia
Each state responded differently to the war: ignoring it altogether, incorporating their own national interests, and adapting to the changing course of war, while trying to withstand Russian pressure.