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Uzbek President Islam Karimov (L) with Russian President Putin (file photo) (epa)
31 January 2006 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin said today his Uzbek counterpart's decision to order a military crackdown in the eastern city of Andijon last year helped avert major unrest in Central Asia.
Addressing reporters at a Kremlin news conference, Putin also warned against the prospect of a revolution in Uzbekistan, saying the country is experiencing " very large number of problems."
"We don't need a second Afghanistan in Central Asia and we will act very carefully there," he said. "We don't need a revolution [in Central Asia], what we need is evolution that would help consolidate [democratic] values, while averting outbursts such as the one we witnessed in Andijon."
The government of Uzbek President Islam Karimov says 187 people, including many security officers, died in the Andijon unrest. By contrast, human rights campaigners claim troops killed up to 1,000 civilians.
Uzbek authorities have refused to let the international community investigate the unrest, which they blame on alleged Islamic militants.
A dedicated webpage bringing together all of RFE/RL's coverage of the events in Andijon, Uzbekistan, in May 2005 and their continuing repercussions.
An annotated timeline
of the Andijon events and their repercussions.