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base politics

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...

Central Asia: Put Out the Islamic State Flags

A curious little drama has played out in Tajikistan that neatly encapsulates...

Turkmenistan: Work Begins on Afghan Part of TAPI, High-Voltage Cables 

Work officially began February 23 on the Afghan section of the TAPI...

Baku Embraces Conspiracy Theory Blaming Armenians for Own Pogrom

This February marks the 30th anniversary of the events that launched the...

Uzbekistan: Abdullayev Case Taken Over by Prosecutors

A prominent rights activist in Uzbekistan has said that the criminal case...

Kazakhstan: Tackling Taboos Through Theater

A man careers through haze as leather-coated figures give chase against a...

Tajikistan: Turkey Hands Over Opposition Politician in Extra-Legal Move

An opposition politician from Tajikistan has...

Uzbekistan: Intelligentsia Make Plea For Opposition Leader’s Return

More than 400 representatives of Uzbekistan’s self-described intelligentsia have signed an online...

Armenia's Next President Faces Eligibility Challenge

Investigations by Armenian opposition media have suggested that the ruling party's candidate...

Is This Putin’s Utopia?

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

Report: Uzbekistan Case Against Jailed Reporter to Be Dropped

A rights activist in Uzbekistan has claimed that sedition charges against reporter...

Azerbaijan’s Rural Areas Lack Lawyers Following New Rule

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

Uzbekistan: Security Services Lose Elite Units

Weeks before Uzbekistan’s president shoved the head of the security services out...

Uzbekistan Racing Against Time to Avoid Energy Crunch

Since the soil beneath Uzbekistan is brimming with oil and gas riches,...

New Georgian Hospital Aims to Heal, and Win, Abkhazian Hearts and Minds

Two kilometers from the border crossing into breakaway Abkhazia, the village of...

Azerbaijan Calls Snap Presidential Elections

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

Kazakhstan: Terrorist Plot — or Concocted Conspiracy?

Three men in plain white face masks gaze into the camera as...

As Uzbekistan’s Last Stalinist Politician Exits Scene, What Next?

The morning in Uzbekistan began, fittingly enough, with an earthquake....

Uzbekistan: President Fires Powerful Security Services Chief 

The president of Uzbekistan has in his most dramatic personnel reshuffle since...

Kyrgyzstan: Freeze Turns to Hot Fury Over Bishkek's Power Plant Failure

Aigul Dogdurova, a 43-year old native of Bishkek, cannot remember anything like...

Uzbekistan: Contentious Figure Takes Over Top Boxing Post

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

Uzbekistan: Tajik-Speaking Teachers in Short Supply

A state-owned newspaper in Uzbekistan for the ethnic Tajik community has published...

Kazakhstan: Morality Mavens Monitoring Women

A new superhero called Uyatman appeared on the scene in Kazakhstan a...

Tajikistan: Exiled Opposition Politician Returns Home

A prominent opposition politician from Tajikistan has returned home for a brief...

Armenia-Azerbaijan: Is Monitoring of Occupied Territories Back on the Table?

Armenia and Azerbaijan have agreed to increase the size of the international...

Georgia: US-Funded Media Outlet Grapples with Controversy

An in-house controversy within Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty is spilling into the...

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...

Presidential Selection: Armen Sargsyan’s Second Coming to Armenia

On January 19, Armenia’s outgoing president Serzh Sargsyan presented his ambassador to...

Azerbaijani Teacher Fired After Call for Peace with Armenia

In late December, a group of men from a nationalist organization broke...

Georgia: Security Forces' Killing of Teenager Runs Risk of Alienating Isolated Muslim Region

A teenager shot during the counter-terrorism operations in Georgia’s Pankisi Gorge has...

The Rail Deal for Central Asia

It is an exciting time to be a railway enthusiast in Central...

Tajikistan: President’s Son Intervenes to Save Messaging Apps

Users of messaging apps in Tajikistan have had a rollercoaster start to...

Kyrgyzstan: Opposition Politician's Top Ally Gets 12-Year Prison Sentence

A court in Kyrgyzstan has sentenced a member of parliament and a...

Armenia, Turkey Trade Blame After Yerevan Abandons Protocols

Turkey and Armenia are trading accusations over responsibility for the apparent end...

Case Continues Against South Ossetian Journalist Accused of “Slandering” Ruling Party

A criminal case against one of South Ossetia's leading civic activists and...

Kyrgyzstan Takes Authoritarian Turn With Renewed Assault on Media

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

US Citizen Accused of Plotting to Assassinate Armenian Officials

Armenian authorities have issued an arrest warrant for a United States citizen...

The Paradise Papers Shine Light on Kleptocracy

The Paradise Papers comprise millions of leaked documents relating to offshore activities of...

Tajikistan: How a Broke Government Keeps its Books Balanced

In its annual budget, Tajikistan is relying on unusual accounting maneuvers to ensure...

With Opening of Turkish Border, Georgia's Armenians Grow Uneasy

A few weeks ago, residents of the village of Dadash, on Georgia's...

Defendant in Dink Murder Case Says Officials Knew of Plot in Advance

Turkish authorities knew of an assassination plot against Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink...

Armenia Debates Shift Away From Nuclear Power

With its aged nuclear power plant scheduled to close in a decade,...

Russia Claims Caspian States Reach Agreement on Sea's Status

The five states bordering the Caspian Sea have finally agreed on "all...

Iran Launches New Corvette on Caspian

Iran has launched a new warship on to the Caspian, in what...

Armenia: War Hero Sentenced to Six Years in Prison

On November 28, a court in Yerevan sentenced Karabakh war hero Samvel...

Russian TV Backs Down After Calling Armenian Hero "Fascist Collaborator"

A Russian state television station has apologized after airing a segment about...

Kyrgyzstan: A Lucky President Prepares to Leave Office

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

Kazakhstan: Prosecutors Hunt Mystery Millionaire Offical

Kazakhstan is abuzz with this week’s supposed revelations about how a government...

Georgia: Trump Administration Boosting Military Aid

The United States is stepping up its military aid to Georgia as...

Kyrgyzstan: Activists Demand Halt to Glacier Mining

The government and the activist community in Kyrgyzstan are at loggerheads over...

Uzbekistan: Another Journalist Arrested, Casting Doubt on Liberalizing Agenda

Security services in Uzbekistan have arrested another journalist, Hayot Nasreddinov, sowing doubt...

Russia’s Oil Industry: Surmounting the Bolshevik Legacy of Inefficiency

As an economic experiment, the communist system of central planning constituted a...

Azerbaijan's Switch on Turan: PR or Pressure?

Azerbaijan has dropped charges of tax evasion and abuse of power against...

Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan Bicker Over Contraband

When Sarsenbay Koishybayev, a retiree in Almaty, Kazakhstan, went to his local...

Russian-Armenian Tycoon Expanding Influence in Armenia

Samvel Karapetyan, an Armenian-born billionaire who has built a business empire in...

Uzbekistan: A Breeding Ground for Terrorism?

A mass killing in New York perpetrated by a citizen of Uzbekistan...

Iran and Azerbaijan Boosting Military Ties

Iran and Azerbaijan have held the first meeting of a military cooperation...

What Is to Be Done About the ‘Russian Question?’

The October Revolution of 1917 was not a singular event, but five...

Uzbekistan & Turkey: Is It Love?

The just-concluded Uzbek-Turkish summit meeting in Ankara was like a meeting of...

Kyrgyzstan: Presidential Losers’ Grip on Parliamentary Power Base Falters

Now that Kyrgyzstan’s ruling party candidate Sooronbai Jeenbekov has his presidential election...

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...

Tashkent City: Is ‘Progress’ Worth the Price Being Paid in Uzbekistan?

The silver skyscrapers of Tashkent City are intended to declare Uzbekistan’s capital...

Turkey Detains Philanthropist Known for Supporting Armenian Reconciliation

Turkey has detained an influential Turkish businessman and philanthropist who has been...

Putin at Valdai: A Deep Dive Into Long-Standing Grievances

Organizers take pride in the Valdai Discussion Club’s generally forward-looking approach. Yet...

Georgia’s Elections: Painting the Town Blue with Kakha Kaladze

Ex-soccer star Kakha Kaladze has scored his biggest win on Georgia's political...

South Ossetia Joins Russia in Ban on Jehovah's Witnesses

Breakaway South Ossetia is jumping on board with a Russian crackdown against...