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base politics

Turkish lira casts pall over Caucasus and Central Asia

The Turkish Lira last week ended one of the most turbulent weeks...

Uzbekistan, Tajikistan talk up new era of amity

For the first time since coming to power in the early 1990s,...

After 100 days, what's new in the “new Armenia”?

August 17 marks 100 days since Nikol Pashinyan became prime minister of...

Tajikistan: Rights groups urge clemency for journalist in appeal

A court in Tajikistan is this week set to hear the appeal...

Making U.S.-Armenia relations great again

Will a meeting between Armenia's newly elected prime minister, Nikol Pashinyan, and...

Taliban holds talks in Uzbekistan

A group of representatives for Afghanistan’s Taliban militant organization last week wrapped...

Uzbekistan remains desolate place for opposition politics

Contrary to what some may believe, Uzbekistan does have a political opposition. ...

Caspian agreement may trigger cascade of energy projects

A convention on the Caspian Sea to be signed at an upcoming...

Nine Armenian teenagers wounded in anti-LGBT attack

Nine LGBT activists and their friends were attacked in a village in...

Internet grinds to near-halt in Tajikistan

Whole swathes of the internet have been blocked in Tajikistan following the...

For Armenians, they're not occupied territories – they're the homeland

When Alexander Kananyan moved to Kelbajar in 2000, it was “completely destroyed,”...

Tajikistan seizes momentum to tar opposition as terrorists

A court in Tajikistan has sentenced 14 people that authorities say were...

Tajikistan: A mystery Islamic State conversion for a hopeless young man

Jafariddin Yusufov’s friends and neighbors say he vanished two months before the...

Turkmenistan: The more it changes, the more it stays the same

Finally some good news is on the horizon for Turkmenistan....

Saudis brag about giving Tajikistan $200M in aid

Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Tajikistan has revealed in an interview that Riyadh...

Kazakhstan: In two minds about cryptocurrencies

The cryptocurrency business can be a flash in the pan....

Kyrgyzstan frets over terror plots

Kyrgyzstan is fretting amid claims of a series of terrorist plots and...

Mining dispute threatens Armenia’s post-revolutionary political consensus

“Honestly, would you come here for a vacation?” asks Aharon Arsenyan, 24,...

Russian press portrays Armenia's Pashinyan as "carbon copy" of Poroshenko

Russia appears to have stepped up its information war against the new...

Armenia's uprising spreads to its church

On a dirt road high in the mountains of southern Armenia, the...

Now hiring in Georgia: presidential candidates

Presidential elections are scheduled for this fall in Georgia, and many expect...

Abkhazians appreciate Syrian recognition, no matter the circumstances

Outside Abkhazia’s derelict former parliament, burnt beyond repair during the territory’s secessionist...

Pashinyan in Brussels: “We expect more assistance”

Armenia's newly elected prime minister Nikol Pashinyan visited Brussels and had a...

Armenia's old regime fights legal onslaught

The government of Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan is undertaking a wide-ranging...

Attacks in Azerbaijan raise accusations of Islamist extremism, government skullduggery

Two policemen have reportedly been killed in Azerbaijan's second city, Ganja, following...

New York theater fills Russian community’s hunger for drama

The black-box studio on 8th Avenue in Manhattan was small, but the...

Kazakhstan, Russia celebrate 20 years of friendship despite the cracks

At the official level at least, Kazakhstan and Russia have been exchanging...

Uzbekistan: Even in death, cult grows around Karimov

A whimsical plaque at the entrance to an exhibition hall in Uzbekistan’s...

Azerbaijan suffers blackout, and political blame game begins

Azerbaijan suffered a massive, country-wide blackout after an explosion at a power...

Following Armenian uprising, Azerbaijan’s saber rattling grows louder

Azerbaijan has sharpened its threats of war against Armenia in an apparent...

Turkmenistan: The art of flattery

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

Kazakhstan is throttling the internet when the president’s rival is online

Every evening for the past four months, social media websites have become...

With new railway, Turkey seeks to isolate Armenia and integrate Azerbaijan

Kars, in far eastern Turkey, has a long history as a frontier,...

Azerbaijan's military operation in Nakhchivan: less than meets the eye?

Officials in Azerbaijan have been lauding a “historic” military operation, demonstrating the...

Turkmenistan: What’s left of rights?

A highly unusual document landed a prominent spot on the website of...

Kazakhstan: Presidential daughter getting Panama-ed at a tricky time

Not for the first time, Kazakhstan’s ruling family has cropped up in...

Kyrgyzstan’s ex-president paying the price for years of abrasive rule

Over the six years in which he ran Kyrgyzstan, former President Almazbek...

Armenia’s revolutionary government steps up anti-corruption purge

Armenia's authorities have accelerated their campaign against officials in the former government...

Kazakhstan: Ablyazov-linked trial kicks off amid scuffles

A courthouse in Kazakhstan’s business capital, Almaty, was a picture of chaos...

Perspectives | Russia’s grassroots environmentalists form civil society’s vanguard

When Vladimir Putin was asked about air pollution during last week’s marathon...

Tajikistan: No laughing matter as comedian journalist goes on trial

The criminal trial of well-known journalist and comedian in Tajikistan is set...

Georgian protests draw other bereaved parents

Protests led by a murdered teenager’s father are set to continue in...

Georgian vigilantes take on South Ossetia’s creeping border crisis

Russian soldiers hold a position just 250 meters from Georgia's main east-west...

How Kyrgyzstan’s new president turned on his mentor

It was just half a year ago that Kyrgyzstan made history with...

Azerbaijani military advances on tense Nakhchivan-Armenia border

Azerbaijan's military has advanced further into a no man's land on the...

Turkmenistan: Cotton bans and whitewashes

It is not often that you hear about cotton from Turkmenistan, although...

Kazakhstan: Government concerns for media ring hollow

With their country consistently ranked near the bottom of international press freedom...

Is Kazakhstan’s political opposition creeping back?

After a long hibernation, organized political opposition is making a comeback in...

Kazakhstan: Local tycoon arrested on corruption charges

Security services in Kazakhstan said on May 23 that they have arrested...

Young activists and regime veterans: Armenia’s new compromise government

Armenia's new prime minister Nikol Pashinyan has formed his first post-uprising government,...

Uzbekistan: Hizb ut-Tahrir trial a testbed for religious boundaries

The opening hearing of Guzal Tokhtakhadjayeva’s criminal trial last month began late...

Azerbaijan marks centennial of democratic republic with little fanfare

One hundred years ago this month, the first secular democracy in the...

Kyrgyzstan: Former president drops libel claims against reporters, activist

The embattled former president of Kyrgyzstan has announced he is dropping his...

Uzbekistan aglow after president’s successful US visit

As the Washington rain beat down during the conclusion of Uzbek President...

Georgia stakes place on wild frontier of blockchain governance

In Tbilisi’s industrial-chic factory-turned-cultural center Fabrika, a mix of glamorous Georgian models,...

Perspectives | Tashkent Syndrome: Is Uzbekistan getting a free pass?

What is the right bar against which to measure the seriousness of...

Stink bugs invade Georgia; Russia blames the U.S.

Something caught the eye of Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili in the middle...

Pashinyan team hints at release of radical opposition figure

An ally of Armenia's prime minister has suggested that the new authorities...

Tajikistan: Turning pigs into sheep, and other plagiarism adventures

It was like something out of a fairytale. Nazrulo Amirov turned pigs...

Uzbekistan: Journalist goes free at end of trial

A prominent journalist in Uzbekistan has been found guilty of public calls...

Kyrgyzstan man faces prison for Facebook insults

Temir Bolotbek feels strongly about architecture. So much so, that a squabble...

Perspectives | Kazakhstan is Central Asia’s migration outlier

Central Asian states are collectively known as a wellspring of migrants, most...

Protests in Armenia: Nikol Pashinyan's unlikely rise

Nikol Pashinyan, who has led the largest political protests in Armenia's post-Soviet...

Armenia's "Velvet Revolution" keeps peace with Russia - for now

The leaders of the protest movement that toppled Armenia's longtime leader Serzh...

Kyrgyzstan and its government: New names, old faces, uncertain future

There is at least one new thing about Kyrgyzstan’s latest prime minister....

In wake of Armenia's peaceful uprising, diaspora's clout is questioned

The huge anti-government protests in Yerevan that toppled longtime leader Serzh Sargsyan...

Azerbaijan appoints new prime minister from old elite

Azerbaijan’s parliament has unanimously approved the appointment of Novruz Mammadov, a longtime...

Kazakhstan gets Russian flak over UN Syria vote

Indignation is brewing in nationalist quarters in Russia over Kazakhstan’s recent decision...

Kazakhstan adopts Hollywood glamor to energize cinema industry

Mondays are not normally a busy day for cinemas, but at least...

Thousands gather in Yerevan, demanding Sargsyan step down

Armenians took to the streets on the evening of April 13 to...

Heavy metal fights to survive, and bridge communities, in the Caucasus

In a damp, dimly lit tunnel underneath Tbilisi, a singer, clad in...

Turkey's authoritarian turn deprives Tajiks of safe haven

There was a time when Turkey felt like a safe haven for...

Kyrgyzstan: Prosecutor next for chop as ex-leader’s allies are removed

The high-ranking holdover allies of Kyrgyzstan’s former president are tumbling like bowling...

Perspectives | Washington joins Azerbaijan to undercut a transparency initiative

Campaigners were joyous nine years ago when Azerbaijan became the first country...

Armenia and Azerbaijan compete to attract Iranian cargo

On its heavily fortified border with the Islamic Republic of Iran, Armenia...

As Armenia effects its political transition, all eyes on Sargsyan

Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan stepped down on April 9 and handed his...

Georgia aims at "better future" with breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia

The Georgian government has unveiled an ambitious new project to reintegrate its...

Kazakhstan threatens to block Telegram

Kazakhstan has warned it will block the popular Telegram messaging app unless...

Armenia suspends Schengen visa processor’s activities due to links with Turkey - reports

Armenia’s Justice Ministry suspended activities at a Turkey-linked company hired by the...

Breaking Tajikistan's banks: The north falters as ruling family cements position

When the chief executive of one of Tajikistan’s few banking success stories...

Kazakhstan: Police detain top reporter for local Forbes

Police in Kazakhstan have raided the offices of the local online edition...

Kyrgyzstan: Atambayev returns, opening up front against president

It was like he had never left. Kyrgyzstan’s former president, Almazbek Atambayev,...

Uzbekistan throws party for Afghanistan talks, Taliban skips

It has been many a year since Uzbekistan’s capital has seen such...

Kyrgyzstan: Former presidential candidate accused of coup-plotting

Security services in Kyrgyzstan have opened a second criminal investigation against former...

Rugby gains hold in Georgia as Georgian rugby rises abroad

On a mild Sunday afternoon, before a whistling, clapping, honking crowd of...

Uzbekistan, Tajikistan: As the Karimov wall crumbles, families reunite

“And who are you?” Robiya Rahmonova asked expectantly one March morning when...

Kazakhstan: Opposition Figure Sparks Balloon Crackdown 

When Kazakhstan’s Public Enemy No. 1 ordered his supporters to brandish blue...

Georgian President Stumps for More US Support, Details to Follow

On his recent visit to Washington, Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili took every...

Azerbaijan Books US Pop Star Christina Aguilera

Azerbaijan’s controversial Formula 1 Grand Prix, scheduled to be held this April,...

Perspectives | New Book Purports to Offer "Smoking Gun" Proving Armenian Genocide

The idea that the Ottoman government intentionally destroyed its Armenian population during...

Central Asia Leaders Confab but Stop Short of Binding Commitments

A gathering of Central Asia presidents held in Kazakhstan’s capital this week...

Think Tank Warns of Possible Unrest In Tajikistan's Pamir Region

An International Crisis Group briefing on Tajikistan is sounding the alarm on...

Kazakhstan: Court Dubs Opposition Movement Extremist

A court in Kazakhstan has ruled to designate an opposition political movement...

Tajikistan and Uzbekistan Learn to Be Friends Again

The president of Uzbekistan was due to fly out of Tajikistan around...

Perspectives | The End of the Power Vertical? Corruption and Stagnation in Putin's Fourth Term

Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly promised to tackle corruption. But in...

The World's First Democratically Elected Muslim Woman Was from Georgia

The village of Karajala is fairly typical of the dozens of settlements...

Kyrgyzstan: High-Level Resignation Points to Trouble at the Top

The defection of a high-ranking figure from within Kyrgyzstan’s presidential administration has...

For Tajikistan's Asylum Seekers, Poland is a Dead End

Kalandar Sadurdinov, a 70-year-old from Tajikistan, is one of thousands wanted back...

Uzbekistan: New Allegations of Torture Emerge in Journalist’s Case

On the eve of a trial in Uzbekistan against a prominent journalist...

Armenia Prepares to Empower Prime Minister, Downgrade President

Powerbrokers in Armenia are set to elect a new president, completing the...