Well-known Central Asian specialist and prominent Russian-Uzbek journalist Sanobar Shermatova has died in Moscow, RFE/RL's Russian and Uzbek Services report.
Shermatova, 59, died of cardiac arrest March 6. She was working for several media outlets as an independent journalist at the time of her death and had for many years reported for RFE/RL's Russian and Uzbek services.
Shermatova had covered the Tajik Civil War and events in the Ferghana Valley. She had previously worked for the weekly "Moskovskiye novosti" (The Moscow News) and the "Bolshaya Politika" (Big Politics) journal in Moscow.
She was born on April 13, 1951, in Shakhrisabz, Uzbekistan, and graduated from Tashkent's Institute of Russian Language and Literature and Moscow State University's Journalism Faculty.
Her colleague, journalist Dmitry Furman, told RFE/RL today that Shermatova was energetic and full of plans when he saw her on March 6. He added that they had recently written a special report called "Kyrgyz Cycles," about the situation in Kyrgyzstan.
Shermatova returned to Moscow from Kyrgyzstan several days ago. Furman said she interviewed Kyrgyz President Roza Otunbaeva and other top officials in Bishkek.
Former Kyrgyz President Askar Akaev told RFE/RL today that Shermatova was a "professional journalist who contributed a lot to the development of democratic institutions in Central Asia."
Shermatova is survived by two sons and a grandchild.Read more in Russian here
Read more in Uzbek here