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Bruce Pannier

Turkmenistan: Caspian windfall can’t come quickly enough

On August 12, President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov was in Aktau, Kazakhstan, to take...

Russian telecoms giant seeks $750M in damages from Turkmenistan

Russian telecommunications giant MTS has filed a case with a World Bank...

Turkmenistan: The art of flattery

When the history books are written at the end of time, it...

Turkmenistan: Taking in the dirty laundry

Akhal-Teke is a Eurasianet column compiling news and analysis from Turkmenistan....

Quiet Desperation: Turkmen Villagers Fear Afghan Conflict, But Won't Say It Out Loud

"Bullets are constantly landing in our village and if we had any...

Edward Allworth: The Last of the Great Masters of Central Asian Studies

The field of Central Asian Studies lost perhaps the last of its...

I'm Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov And I'm Asking For Your Vote

Authorities in Turkmenistan have announced that the country will conduct a presidential...

Central Asia: Interpreting and Remembering the 1916 Revolt

“You must have some more of these potatoes,” the scholar next to...

Turkmen Authorities Giveth and Turkmen Authorities Taketh Away

Qishloq Ovozi just looked at the situation in Turkmenistan, where wage arrears...

Turkmenistan’s Reality: Unpaid Wages and Shortages of Food

“You get there and the line is so long it can take...

Kazakhstan and the Cyber-Snitch

It's no secret that social-network sites on the Internet are being abused...

Uzbekistan: Samarkand Street Sweepers Strike Back

Armed with only the tools of their trade, a group of more...

An Unbelievable Turn in Uzbekistan's Campaign Against Suspect Islamic Groups

Authorities in Uzbekistan appear to have found a new Islamic group to...

The Breaking of a Tajik Defense Lawyer

Ishoq Tabarov was known for defending Tajiks who most needed defending. He...

The Perils of Smoking Cigarettes in Turkmenistan

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov is against cigarette smoking and his antismoking stance...

Central Asian Land and China

One topic guaranteed to inflame passions in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan is...

Remembering The Great Urkun 100 Years Later

Every year for the last 100 years, when the snow melts in...

Another Crack in Uzbekistan's Economic Success Story

A new group of people is joining the ranks of the unemployed...

How to Be the Next Central Asian Leader

When 2016 started there were no national elections scheduled in any of...

The First 40 Days: Uzbekistan's Tales of Success and the Reality on the Ground

Coming out of 2015, Uzbekistan’s authorities were able to ignore signs of...

Russia Seeks To Drive Wedge Into Central Asia

Russia appears to be practicing a bit of "divide-and-conquer" politics in Central...

Kazakh Students Complain About Being Part of Compulsory Crowds

Many young people enter universities with the hope that one day their...

Afghan Fighting Reaches Turkmenistan's Border

Afghanistan's problems are now clearly visible from Turkmenistan's side of their border,...

Away From Kyrgyzstan’s Campaign Trail: Chinese Influence

The Qishloq went Ayl in Kyrgyzstan recently: three weeks, some 3,000 kilometers...

Kazakhs Fight Extremist Recruitment Onstage

There are many conspicuous ways to fight terrorism and extremism: militarily, financially,...

Turkmenistan Cutting “Last Lifeline” with Satellite Seizures – Watchdog

According to rights watchdogs and the crumbs of independent reporting coming out...

Does Nuclear Deal Presage a New Era for Iran-Central Asia Relations?

Did a door to Europe just open up for Central Asia?...

Taliban Takes District on Turkmen Border

The Taliban has overrun Afghanistan’s Khamyab District and is now Turkmenistan’s immediate neighbor....

Central Asia's Desirable Militants

Citizens of Central Asia seem to be present wherever a Sunni Muslim group...

Central Asia Turning to Civilian Militias to Shore Up Border Security

Two Central Asian countries are taking an extreme step to strengthen security along their...

Is Turkmenistan Losing Iran as a Gas Customer?

It appears Turkmenistan is about to lose its second-best customer for natural...

Is Turkmenistan’s Gas Flowing Toward a One-Country Policy?

Ninety percent of Turkmenistan’s exports are hydrocarbons....

More Warnings South of the Afghan-Turkmen Border

The situation in Afghanistan's northern Jowzjan Province continues to deteriorate, with one...

A Pipeline From a Land of Water to a Land of Oil

Iran is looking for more water and some Iranian officials believe the...

A Tale of Russian Separatism in Kazakhstan

Few people now would recognize the name Viktor Kazimirchuk but it has...

Here We Go Again: Turkmen Statue Proposal Suggests History May Be Repeating Itself

Turkmenistan, where praise for the president is always on public display, is...

Shake-Ups At Kashagan

The setbacks for Kazakhstan's enormous Caspian oil field, Kashagan, seem to just...

Turkmenistan Slowly Reacting To Instability On Afghan Border

While the talk around Central Asian security these days usually revolves around...

Local Hopes Raised After Turkmen-Afghan Border Meeting

RFE/RL's Turkmen Service, Azatlyk, has been following events along the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan border...

New Turkmen Opposition Movement Appears

It has been a long time since a new Turkmen opposition party...

U.S. Official Visits Uzbekistan Amid Military Base Speculation

The U.S.'s top diplomat responsible for Central Asia just finished a trip...

Uzbekistan: "Reform-Resistant Authoritarian Regime," Says Freedom House

Freedom House's latest Nations in Transit report doesn't tell any new story...

Uzbekistan: Is Medvedev Nudging Karimov to Step Down?

Bruce Pannier, blogging for Chaikhana at Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe, caught the...

Dissident Fears Payback Upon Deportation To Turkmenistan

Upon reaching Sweden after living illegally in Russia for nearly a decade,...

The Growing Threat Of Militants In A Corner Of Central Asia

From the Tajik-Afghan border in the south to Kyrgyzstan's capital of Bishkek...

Russia's Star On Rise Again In Kyrgyzstan

Outside forces have competed for influence in Kyrgyzstan since the vacuum left...

Kyrgyzstan's Elite Police Unit: Both Defenders And Defendants

Being a law-enforcement officer is never an easy job. Being a member...

Tajikistan Agrees To Allow Chinese Farmers To Till Land

New guest workers are coming to the cotton and rice fields of...

Uzbekistan: Direction Unknown

Uzbek President Islam Karimov, greeting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at...

Kyrgyz Courtroom Scenes Leave Justice In Jeopardy

Caged in the back of a courtroom, they were attacked by police...

Uzbekistan Weekly Roundup

Last week, President Islam Karimov came to New York to participate in...

Turkmenistan Tips Its Hand On Future Energy Exports

Turkmenistan, so key to the energy plans of so many, had long...

Wary Locals Question Allegations Of Islamist Role In Kyrgyzstan's Ethnic Violence

KARA-SUU, southern Kyrgyzstan -- Six weeks after ethnic violence between Kyrgyz and...

Kyrgyzstan: Anatomy Of A Conflict

OSH, Kyrgyzstan -- With an empty gaze, Alishir surveys the rubble of...

Kyrgyzstan: The Story Of One Life Upturned By Ethnic Violence

Just days ago, Kholida Ahmedova led a relatively comfortable life along with...

Kyrgyz Troops Dismantle Osh Barricades; State of Emergency Raises Referendum Doubts

OSH, Kyrgyzstan -- Troops and local residents in Kyrgyzstan's southern city of...

Humanitarian Crisis Deepens In Kyrgyzstan

The United Nations has called on governments around the world to provide...

Judge Not, Lest Ye Be Judged

Uzbekistan’s business elite may soon be able to take a breather. The...

Hopes Raised Anew About Future Of Nabucco Gas Pipeline Project

After a long, cold winter for the Nabucco pipeline project, March has...

Big Business In Uzbekistan Targeted In Wave Of Arrests

Some of the wealthiest people in Uzbekistan have reportedly been arrested or...

Big Business In Uzbekistan Targeted In Wave Of Arrests

Some of the wealthiest people in Uzbekistan have reportedly been arrested or...

Turkmen Pilgrims Make A Homegrown Hajj

Fears of swine flu led the Turkmen government to ban its citizens...

60 Years After First Soviet Nuclear Test, Legacy Of Misery Lives On In Kazakhstan

"First Lightning," a 22-kiloton nuclear bomb, exploded at 7 a.m. local time...

Germany's Gas War? Nabucco Vs. South Stream -- And Schroeder Vs. Fischer

It's been an up-and-down year for the Nabucco natural gas pipeline. Just...

Central Asia and Caucasus: Dark Days for Democratization - Report

The countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia experienced a decline in...

New Power Line Lights Up Afghan Capital

The lights are on again in Kabul. And that's no small change....

Turkmenistan's 'Gray Cardinal' Leaves Government

With the resignation this week of a cabinet minister widely regarded as...

Central Asia Poised To Become The Atomic El Dorado

With the Kazakh president signing an agreement on civilian nuclear cooperation with...

2008 In Review: Russia, EU See Caspian Energy Dreams Deferred

Entering the year, Russia appeared to have the upper hand in securing...

Turkmen Parliamentary Elections Offer New Twists On Same Old Story

There will be several notable firsts when Turkmenistan holds parliamentary elections on...

Independent Audit Shows Turkmen Gas Field 'World-Class'

Turkmenistan has long boasted that it has some of the largest natural-gas...

Tajik Judge Alleges Official Uzbek Role In Courthouse Bombing

An accusation of official involvement in cross-border terrorism has inflamed tensions between...

New Kazakh Media Company Bodes Ill For Independent Press

A new Kazakh media holding company, made up of outlets that support...

Kazakhstan: President's Former Son-In-Law Offers To Testify In U.S. In 'Kazakhgate' Probe

Rakhat Aliev, the exiled former son-in-law of Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbaev, says...

Turkmenistan: 'April' Returns To Ashgabat

It's April again in Turkmenistan. Not "Gurbansoltan" -- the name of late...

Kazakhstan: Coup Plots And Corruption Alleged As Former Presidential Son-In Law Battles Authorities

A televised documentary accuses the former son-in-law of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev...

Kyrgyzstan: The Bittersweet Fruits Of The Revolution

This is the first year Kyrgyzstan is officially marking People's Revolution Day...

Central Asia: Severe Flooding Expected After Harsh Winter

After a winter many are calling the worst in nearly four decades,...

Kazakhstan: One Of Few Remaining Independent Newspapers Faces Closure

An Astana court has ordered the independent newspaper "Law and Justice" to...

Turkmenistan: 'Gas-Rich' Residents Shiver In The Cold

As Russia, Iran, China, and Europe all vie for a piece of...

Kazakhstan: The Forgotten Famine

At first sight, the small village of Samsy is an unremarkable place....

After Years Of Turmoil, Kyrgyz Voters Go To The Polls

Kyrgyz voters are set to go to the polls to pick a...

Central Asia: Is The Region Entering A New Era Of Cooperation?

Central Asia seems to have entered a new period of cooperation. Regional...

Kazakhstan: Arrest Of Presidential Son-In-Law Could Open Pandora's Box

Kazakhstan's recently recalled ambassador to Austria, Rakhat Aliev, is awaiting possible extradition...

Central Asia: EU Seeks Energy, Presses On Rights

A high-level European Union delegation held meetings in Kazakhstan with representatives from...

Kyrgyzstan: Revolution Anniversary Highlights Political Failures

Kyrgyzstan marks the second anniversary on March 24 of what some have...

Kyrgyzstan: Debate On Legalized Polygamy Continues

The debate on legalizing polygamy has returned to Kyrgyzstan. The issue has...

Kazakhstan: Nazarbaev's Son-In-Law Sent To Austria Amid More Accusations

Rakhat Aliev, the son-in-law of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev, has had an...

Uzbekistan: Why Aren't Voters Electing A New President?

January 22 should have been a big day in Uzbekistan. It's the...

Turkmenistan: Presidential Campaign Opens With Surprising Promises Of Reform

Turkmenistan's six presidential candidates officially hit the campaign trail this week. They...

Kazakhstan: Ruling Party Gets Even Bigger

Kazakhstan's ruling Otan party has dominated the political scene since it was...

Kyrgyz Government Resigns

The Kyrgyz government resigned today, which Prime Minister Feliks Kulov said after...

Kazakhstan: Zheltoqsan Protest Marked 20 Years Later

Kazakhstan is marking the 20-year anniversary of Zheltoqsan, a massive protest in...

Kazakhstan: President Tells West -- We Don't Need Your Advice

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev made some surprising comments on November 10. The...

Tajikistan: Officials Entice Ethnic Tajiks To Western Border Region

The government of Tajikistan has begun resettling the first of about 1,000...

Central Asia: 'Fathers Are Crying There, Children Are Crying Here'

The government of Turkmenistan has for years practiced a domestic policy that...

Tajikistan: Presidential Candidates Take To Campaign Trail -- Together

With Tajikistan's presidential elections less than two weeks away, none of the...

Tajikistan: Experts Say Incumbent President Will Be Easily Reelected

Tajikistan's presidential election is slightly more than one month away. RFE/RL's Tajik...