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authoritarianism

Fear, Silence Weigh on Turkey's Armenians after Failed Coup

Aruş Taş, a silversmith in Istanbul’s historic Grand Bazaar, has witnessed decades...

Is This Putin’s Utopia?

“To be a Eurasianist should be cool, it should be stylish.”...

Azerbaijan’s Rural Areas Lack Lawyers Following New Rule

After dismissing about 90 percent of the country's lawyers late last year,...

Azerbaijan Calls Snap Presidential Elections

Azerbaijan has unexpectedly announced that it is moving up presidential elections, previously...

Uzbekistan: Contentious Figure Takes Over Top Boxing Post

Gafur Rakhimov, a businessman from Uzbekistan who has been linked by US...

Kazakhstan: Businessman a Hostage in Astana-Ablyazov Feud?

Without warning one evening in November, agents from Kazakhstan’s security services mobbed...

Academic Freedom in Tajikistan Endangered: What is to be Done?

Academic freedom is imperiled in Tajikistan, and determined action by the international...

Kyrgyzstan: After Defamation Cases, MPs Target Social Media

As Kyrgyzstan’s presidents past and present prepare to collect giant libel suit...

Royal Role Models: Historical Revisionism in Russia and Turkey

Like his counterpart in Russia, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is looking...

The Royal Role Model: Historical Revisionism in Russia

An anomalous facet of Russia’s authoritarian political system is that presidential elections...

Azerbaijan’s Pre-Soviet Independence Embroiled in Post-Soviet Polemics

In 1918, Azerbaijan became the first democratic and secular republic in the...

Tajikistan: Searching for Food Security

Uzbekistan’s recent efforts to reform its cotton-production system have caught the attention of...

Kyrgyzstan Takes Authoritarian Turn With Renewed Assault on Media

Officers with Kyrgyzstan’s anticorruption agency moved to shut down an opposition-owned television...

Uzbekistan: Robbie Williams’ Bottom Ignites Online Firestorm

British pop singer Robbie Williams has sparked online rage in Uzbekistan by...

Post-Soviet Governments Weaponize Transparency: Report

Authoritatian governments have cleverly used the liberal norm of transparency in order...

Eurasian Economic Union:  Many Problems, Few Solutions

The squabble between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan was relatively petty, but the cracks...

China Striving to Boost Energy Imports from Turkmenistan

China is expected to be a major presence at the 28th meeting...

Kyrgyzstan: A Lucky President Prepares to Leave Office

With only days remaining before his six-year tenure as chief executive ends,...

Azerbaijan: An Activist Defies NGO Stereotypes

Shahin Javadov comes from a long line of rabble rousers....

What if the Soviet Union had not Collapsed?

As states go, the Soviet Union died young. It also never made...

Central Asia and the Bolshevik Revolution: A Look at the Balance Sheet at the Centennial

Although it happened thousands of miles away, and did not reflect any...

Catalan Violence Tarnishes European Values in Post-Soviet View

The use of heavy-handed tactics by police to disrupt the Catalan referendum...

Azerbaijan: Seeking to Arrest Critical Journalists throughout the Ex-USSR

The arrest of an Azerbaijani journalist in Ukraine marks a fresh instance...

Azerbaijan: Suffocation of NGOs Raises Questions About Donor Strategy

The Azerbaijani government has forced the local chapter of the global corruption...

Saakashvili’s Train to Ukraine Stopped in Poland

Ex-Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili on September 10 found himself stuck in a...

Ukraine and Chinese Investment: Caution Amid Potential?

As Ukraine’s recent economic difficulties persist—the country registered a modest growth rate...

Central Asia’s Catechism of Cliché: From the Great Game to Silk Road

When people ponder the history of Central Asia, they tend to have...

Georgia After Montenegro’s NATO Accession

Montenegro’s recent accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) sent an...

Kyrgyzstan Bars Entry to Respected Russian Rights Activist

In a sign of the growing political chill descending over Kyrgyzstan, authorities...

Turkmenistan: President Calls Time on Welfare Benefits

The president of Turkmenistan has in a long-awaited move ordered an end...

Georgia: Dissident Snatching Dents Georgia’s Image

Georgia’s international standing has long benefited from being sandwiched between authoritarian countries,...

Journalist Vanishes from Georgia, Resurfaces in Azerbaijani Jail

The murky disappearance of an Azerbaijani journalist from Tbilisi and his sudden...

Kazakhstan: Activist Recantation Demoralizes Civil Society

Only two years ago, civic rights activist Olesya Khalabuzar was proclaiming ambitiously...

Repression is the Mother of Invention: Civil Society Groups Embrace Technological Innovation

Activists and innovators are joining forces to improve watchdog capabilities in Eurasia....

EITI Suspension of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan Tests Its Global Leverage

With the suspension of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, along with Azerbaijan’s withdrawal, the...

Uzbekistan: Top UN Human Rights Official on Landmark Visit

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, arrived...

Turkmenistan Braces for More Cost of Living Increases

Life is getting dearer in Turkmenistan. President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov last week instructed...

Central Asia: What Will US Foreign Policy Toward the Region Look Like?

A few days after the arrest of a leading opposition politician in...

Uzbekistan: Clamor Grows for Release of Activist

For almost two weeks, one of Uzbekistan’s best-known human rights activists has...

Kazakhstan: Pre-Soviet History Packed with Political Mines

Sitting in a modest, domed brick mausoleum, a bust of the partisan...

Georgia: With TV Station Takeover, Is Free Speech at Stake?

Journalists at Georgia’s last major opposition broadcasting company are digging in and...

Russia: The Specter of Revolution – Part 1

Part 1 of a 2-Part Series...

Kyrgyzstan: Interrogation Brings Opposition Onto Streets

The sight of large, angry crowds outside government buildings has become relatively...

Kyrgyzstan: Investigation Reveals Funny Business at Customs Service

An in-depth investigative report by RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz service into the suspicious wealth of a...

Stalin’s Giant Pencil: Debunking a Myth About Central Asia’s Borders

Few parts of the world are the subject of as much sustained...

Turkmenistan: President Bags Huge But Implausible Election Win

As had been widely anticipated, Turkmenistan’s president has not only won the...

Brexit & Trump Equals Bad News for Balkans

Donald Trump’s rise to power, combined with the UK’s decision to leave...

Kazakhstan: Unregistered Phones to Be Blocked in Anti-Terrorism Ruse

Under a newly approved law, authorities in Kazakhstan will from this summer...

Uzbekistan: Possible Changes at Security Agencies Offer Litmus Test for Reform

Ulugbek Haidarov says the date of September 14, 2006, will forever be...

Russia: Putin the Historian

According to a number of biographical accounts, history was Russian President Vladimir...

Uzbekistan: Familiar Landslide Election Win Portends More of the Same

The victory of Shavkat Mirziyoyev in Uzbekistan’s special presidential election December 4...

Eurasia: Tracking the Rise of the Repressintern

Russia has forged an informal network of authoritarian-minded states in Eurasia dedicated...

Eurasia and the Appeal of Illiberalism

Brexit, a Trump presidency and populist and pro-Russian leaders coming to power...

Kazakhstan President Chews the Cud on US-Style Talk Show

“We have a great show tonight!” (Applause and cheers). “And our first...

Kyrgyzstan: Opposition Hit With Telecoms Scandal

Numerous objectors to plans to tinker with Kyrgyzstan’s constitution have found themselves...

The Armenian Diaspora and Armenia: A New Relationship?

Leading members of the Armenian Diaspora are looking to take on a...

Central Asia Heartened By Trump's Russia-Friendly Views

Central Asia has looked at Donald Trump’s election to the US presidency...

Kyrgyzstan: Government Notices It Doesn't Even Have Constitution

How important can a constitution be when you cannot even find the...

Twitter Tricks: Will The Real Gulnara Karimova Please Stand Up?

Speculation about the fate of Gulnara Karimova, the daughter of the late...

Kyrgyzstan: Security Services Detain Tajik Activist’s Wife

Kyrgyzstan’s security services detained the wife of a Tajik opposition figure over...

Russia: Tsar Putin? Zhirinovsky Raises Eyebrows With Remarks At Kremlin Ceremony

Was Vladimir Zhirinovsky calling for the restoration of the Russian monarchy, commenting...

Kyrgyzstan: Constitutional Referendum Fix Sailing Through Parliament

Kyrgyzstan’s parliament has passed a second reading of draft bill on holding...

Russia & Turkey: Trying to Revive Economic Cooperation

The renowned economist John Kenneth Galbraith once said that “politics is the...

Uzbekistan: Karimov’s Stature Grows After Death

Uzbekistan’s long-serving leader may be dead, but the government is intent on...

Kyrgyzstan: Nomad Games Looking to Gain Legitimacy

Imagine if the Olympic Games were held in Genghis Khan’s day –...

Ukraine and Georgia: Two Rabbits, One Misha

There is an old Ukrainian saying – if you chase two rabbits,...

Azerbaijan: Economy Riding in the Breakdown Lane

Just a few months ago, authorities in Azerbaijan spent tens of millions...

Uzbekistan: Senate Speaker Assumes Caretaker Role, as Succession Struggle Unfolds

Uzbekistan appears to be adhering to the constitutional process for political succession...

Uzbekistan: Karimov’s Successor Faces an Economic Mess

What was supposed to be a gala celebration of Uzbekistan’s 25th anniversary...

Uzbekistan’s 2011 Constitutional Reforms and Succession

Tinkering with constitutions in authoritarian nations rarely draws much attention,  and understandably...

Uzbekistan: President Dead, Not Dead

As could be expected, the status of Uzbekistan’s President Islam Karimov is...

Uzbekistan: President's Daughter Says Leader Had Brain Hemorrhage

New light has been shed on the state of health of Uzbekistan’s...

Tajikistan: Opposition Politician Dies in Jail as Another's Life is in Balance

A high-ranking member of a banned opposition party in Tajikistan jailed for...

Uzbekistan Tells Its Pop Stars: Stay at Home

Uzbekistan’s unfortunate pop stars have been landed in hot water once again....

Why Brexit is Bad for Azerbaijan

The Brexit crisis could create geopolitical headaches for Azerbaijan at a time...

Contemporary Art from Former Soviet Union Finds Collectors

In the early 1990s, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, art...

Azerbaijan: Pharrell Williams' Few Words on Freedom

American singer Pharrell Williams became the only visiting celebrity to call for...

Kyrgyzstan: Investigators Link Coup Plots and Kumtor

Kyrgyzstan has arrested yet another once-powerful politician on charges of plotting a...

Tajikistan: Opposition Leaders Sentenced to Life in Jail

The leadership of what was once Tajikistan’s last surviving genuine opposition party...

Report Illustrates How Moscow Acts as Beacon of ‘Worst Practices’

Russia is leading the way in developing a regional model of repression,...

Kazakhstan: Prosecutors Dub May 21 Rallies 'Attempted Coup'

Authorities in Kazakhstan are categorical about what they believe was the ultimate...

Tajikistan: Weary Population Resigned to a President-for-Life

The ballot in Tajikistan’s weekend referendum was childlike in its simplicity. It...

Tajikistan: Lawyers in the Government's Crosshairs

Rights groups have pressed Tajikistan to unconditionally release lawyers who were jailed...

Kyrgyzstan: Constitutional Changes Afoot?

With Kyrgyzstan facing a presidential election in 2017, speculation is mounting about...

Freedom House: Economic Troubles Threaten Stability in Ex-Soviet 'Dictatorships'

In a new report, Freedom House warns that economic woes are threatening...

Going to Central Asia? Make the Trip Count

Germany’s foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, is visiting Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan this...

Can Kyrgyzstan’s Opposition Bite as It Barks?

Spring has come early in Kyrgyzstan and so the ragtag, non-parliamentary opposition...

Uzbekistan: Tashkent Stifles Art of Debate With Terror Charges

Uzbekistan has never been a fan of free speech — but Tashkent...

Democracies Should “Lead by Example” on Free Expression – OSCE Media Rep

The OSCE’s outgoing Representative on Freedom of the Media, Dunja Mijatovic, indicated...

Kyrgyzstan: Newspaper Editor Assaulted in Bishkek

The editor of a newspaper in Kyrgyzstan was assaulted outside his home...

Tajikistan: Casting Net Abroad in Hunt for Opposition

The government’s persecution in Tajikistan of its domestic opposition in recent months...

Tajikistan: Data Gateway Deals Blow to Internet Freedom

In November, international experts and officials gathered in the capital of Tajikistan...

Report: Many International Organizations Shrinking from Rights Responsibilities in Eurasia

A new report evaluates how international organizations that are active in Eurasia...

Tajikistan: Jailed Lawyer's Detention Extended

A court in Tajikistan has ruled to extend the detention of jailed...

Azerbaijan: Is Taleh Bagir-zade Baku’s Sheikh Al-Nimr?

The Muslim world continues to reverberate from the shock created by Saudi...

How Much Should the United States Still Care About Central Asia?

The United States has struggled in the post-Soviet era to define a...

Tajikistan: President Vows Radiant Future, and More Money for Security

As economic anxieties begin escalating into panic across many former Soviet republics,...

Kazakhstan: Authorities Make Martyrs of Political Nobodies

Authorities in Kazakhstan have flexed their muscles in an attempt to rattle...

Time for Germany to Take a New Approach on Uzbekistan

Germany is ending its controversial military cooperation with Uzbekistan over the Termez...