There is work under way to lay down new water pipes near the family home of Abror and Akram Azimov in Jalal-Abad, in southern Kyrgyzstan. A deep trench dug along the length of the street has turned the web of lanes in this largely ethnic Uzbek neighborhood into an obstacle course.
So when a man came visiting on April 11 claiming to be from the local waterworks company, nobody was surprised. His questions did seem strange, however.
“Are there any Russian citizens living here?” he asked. Pressing further and betraying evident detailed knowledge about members of the household, he asked, “Is Akram here?” Spooked by the line of questioning, the woman at the door cut the exchange short.
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Peter Leonard is EurasiaNet's Central Asia editor.