Saturday, May 23, 2015



Caucasus Report

Regional Smoke Detector

Akhmad-hadji Abdulayev is seen here on the left with then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in 2011.

What Lies Behind Daghestani Mufti's Sudden Popularity?

For the past several years, the independent Daghestani weekly Chernovik has conducted an annual poll in which readers are encouraged to vote by SMS for whomever from a short list of 10-15 political figures they would like to see as "People's President." This year's surprise winner was Akhmad-hadji Abdulayev, chairman of the Spiritual Board of Muslims of Daghestan (DUMD). More

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Ukraine Unspun

New Competing Claims On Downing Of MH17

The Russian Investigative Committee says it has a "sincere" witness who claims a Ukrainian jet took down Malaysian Airlines flight MH17. But other emerging evidence further supports the widely accepted theory that the plane was shot down by a Buk missile fired from separatist-held territory. More

Transmission

Odds, Ends, And Autocrats

Russia's children's rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov (file photo)

Russian Official Stirs Scandal With Underage Marriage And 'Shriveled' Women Remarks

Russian children's rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov has incensed his critics by condoning marriages between adults and minors and saying some women are "shriveled" by the time they are 27 years of age. More

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Watchdog

Abuses Uncovered

HRW Wants Kyrgyz To Reject 'Foreign Agents' Bill

Human Rights Watch has called on Kyrgyz deputies to reject a bill requiring domestic NGOs that receive foreign funding and engage in "political activities" to register as "foreign agents." More

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Qishloq Ovozi

Blogging Central Asia

For now, IMU fighters in Afghanistan seem more focused on their survival than anything else. It wasn't always that way. (file photo)

Closer To Home, Islamic Movement Of Uzbekistan May Renew Original Goals

Militants of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) found sanctuary in Pakistan’s tribal areas for more than a decade. Now, it appears many have left and are looking for a new home. They might have found one in Afghanistan, right on the doorstep of their native land. More

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Persian Letters

Notes Of An Iran Watcher

Ayatollah Mohammad Movahhedi Kermani (file photo)

Tehran's Friday Prayer Leader Calls On Saudis To Rise Up

Tehran's temporary Friday Prayers leader, Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Movahedi Kermani, has called on Saudi citizens to rise up against their country's rulers and to speak out against their "crimes." More

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