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Central Asia's 'Drug Capital' Fights To Stem Tide Of Narcotics

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

OSH, Kyrgyzstan -- The Kyrgyz city of Osh in the Ferghana Valley is known as the "capital of the South." But it also bears another name that gives no reason for pride: Osh is also called the region's "drug capital."

The city is located on one of the major drug-trafficking routes from Afghanistan to Russia and Europe.

Drugs, mostly heroin, are brought from Afghan labs to Tajikistan and then into Osh. From there it is shipped north, to the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek, across the border to Kazakhstan, and on to Russia.

Several factors contribute to Osh being the regional drug capital, one being its geographical location. Kyrgyzstan shares a long, poorly controlled border with Tajikistan, which mostly runs through mountainous terrain.

But, according to Ruslan Altybaiev, the deputy head of mobile operational groups at the Kyrgyz Drug Control Agency, corruption and poverty also play a role.

To read the full story

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

Central Asia's 'Drug Capital' Fights To Stem Tide Of Narcotics

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