Uzbekistan celebrated the 19th anniversary of its independence on September 1 with a flourish of patriotic slogans, warnings to be vigilant about external enemies, streets closed to traffic, and orders to dissidents not to go outside. President Islam Karimov announced that the average income was now $500 a month, and the state-run press carried stories about increases in pay. The propaganda was offset by independent media such as uznews.net, which noted that while some people have higher pay, the state doesn't pay it on time.
In the last year, President Karimov has stepped up nationalist rhetoric and has demonstratively retired symbols from the Soviet era, seen as a dominance of Russian culture, by renaming streets and removing a World War II monument and replacing it with one promoting the Uzbek homeland.
To read the full story
Catherine A. Fitzpatrick compiles the Uzbekistan weekly roundup for EurasiaNet. She is also editor of EurasiaNet's Choihona blog. To subscribe to Uzbekistan News Briefs, write firstname.lastname@example.org