Only a few crumbs of information have been provided so far about the state of health of Uzbekistan’s President Islam Karimov.
The biggest bombshell was dropped on Instagram by Karimov’s daughter, Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva, who revealed on August 29 that the 78-year-old president had succumbed to a brain hemorrhage.
Uzbek authorities have been atypically candid about the fact of the illness, if not the details. Analysts say that Tashkent was likely prompted to reveal Karimov’s illness and hospitalization — the first time the government has ever commented on his state of health — because of upcoming Independence Day celebrations on September 1, since the president’s absence would have sent the rumor mill into overdrive.
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Joanna Lillis is a freelance writer who specializes in Central Asia.